A winning mindset

June 26, 2019 -  By
Team with trophy (Photo: iStock.com/vchal)

Photo: iStock.com/vchal

With July just around the corner, many of us are nearing the end of our busiest season. I used to call these the 100 days of hell, given all the demands that are put on us and our companies from April through the Fourth of July. But then our Grow Group client and friend, Jeffrey Johns, who runs Coastal Greenery in Brunswick, Ga., convinced me to think of them as the 100 days of victory instead.

Jeffrey’s point — and it’s a good one — is that we need to focus on all the gains our teams can achieve rather than how challenging it can sometimes feel to get them, and the words we use matter. Winning is a mindset, and it’s up to all of us in leadership roles to impart that to our teams, both in what we say and what we do.

And boy, have we been challenged to stay true to this principle these last several weeks at my landscaping company! A team member’s email account was compromised, and a phishing email was sent to some of our clients. We installed a geogrid incorrectly and had to take down an entire wall on one of our client’s properties and start over. One of our trucks was struck by a driver. And we’ve had one rainy day after another with a tornado thrown in for good measure.

It’s easy — and very tempting — to get discouraged by all this, but we’ve worked hard to stay focused on the positive. My team reacted swiftly to address the email issue immediately, inform those affected and implement safeguards to prevent it from happening again. The wall was a costly mistake, but we know we did the right thing in alerting the homeowner to the problem and proactively correcting it. When you act with integrity, you turn customers for a season into clients for life. No one was hurt in the vehicle accident, and fortunately the tornado did not touch down in our immediate area. Sure, the seemingly incessant rain has significantly impacted the work we’re able to do, but we focus on what we can get done rather than what we can’t.

To me, this is all part of creating a positive team culture and the victories you can win when you do. As Mike Bogan, CEO of LandCare, wisely says, “Culture is a strategy” — when you build and foster a positive one, you position your company for success.

That’s why when Mike took the reins at LandCare in 2014, he focused on changing the culture first. He invested in the growth and development of the workforce and set about building healthy, team-focused environments at each of LandCare’s branches. He committed to paying his employees well from the start, rather than relying on rewards and bonuses that can sometimes incentivize teams to cut corners to save time. And he gave everyone in the company a platform where they could be heard and listened to. The result? LandCare is now one of the top providers of landscape maintenance services in the country. (See the LM150 rankings in this issue.)

LandCare’s story is an incredible one, with lessons for us all, and we’ll have the chance to learn them firsthand in August at this year’s NALP Field Trip when Frank Mariani and I lead a tour of the company’s San Diego branch. Join us and together we’ll learn how to win from one of the best in the business. Learn more about the event here.

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Marty Grunder

About the Author:

Marty Grunder is president and CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, based in Dayton, Ohio.

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