Business Insider: The four pillars of growth

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Jeffrey Scott

What does it take to achieve true success? Over the past 15 years, I have worked with many landscape business owners and their leadership teams and have witnessed and coached all kinds of growth.

While every company has a unique growth path, I’ve found that the most inspirational entrepreneurs in our industry have excelled in four specific areas (or pillars).

We use these same four pillars in our Leader’s Edge Peer Group, where each year we nominate a member (from each group) who has shown the most growth and success. The winners are chosen by their peers and presented with the Mighty Oak Award.

Pillar 1: Financial performance

In the end, your report card comes from your financial results. We look at the bottom line “net to owner” profit percent, top-line revenue growth, along with a strong balance sheet, cash flow and a few other indicators. We give weight to improvement and consistency.

While business is not just about money, it is like your heartbeat. Without it, you will die. To stay healthy and growing you must give serious accountability to this metric.

Pillar 2: Company development

To achieve great results, you must build your team and company. This includes developing your “people, products and processes,” curating a Destination Company™ culture and making bold moves in terms of hires, acquisitions and strategic decisions.

This is the true work of a business builder, and we support all our peer group members on this journey. I am extremely proud of the work we have done here.

Pillar 3: Professional growth

Your company can only grow to the level of professional growth achieved by your owners and leaders. If the owner is not growing, the company will stall or meander. To win the Mighty Oak, members must show that they have progressed in their own learning and development.

This can happen through coaching, reading, traveling and, of course, membership in one of our peer groups.

It also comes from how you interact with your team: how you put yourself in a position to learn and stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Pillar 4: Personal growth

This answers the question, “What are you doing this all for?” Too many entrepreneurs make the critical mistake of having a business affair, i.e. they are married but spend all their time with their business. I have seen too many affairs, divorces and unhappy lives come from skewed priorities.

For this reason, it’s critical to divide your time wisely by investing in your family, personal hobbies, community, travel, etc. For each owner it’s different, but, as they say, “you know it when you see it.”

The makings of a Mighty Oak

Last year we awarded seven business owners with this prestigious award at our Summer Growth Summit in August. Many of the winners sat on a panel to present their experiences and how they developed their own secret sauce to success.

The owner/winner who shared the most was Ivan Katz, founder of Great Lakes Landscape Design in Oak Park, Mich. He shared his personal struggles and demons, how he overcame them and what he did over the years to build momentum in his company and his life.

The audience was riveted. At one point he queued his team of 12 leaders, and, in unison, they stood up and recited their company mission statement. It was not planned, which made it amazing.

Over the years it’s become clear that success is not measured by money, but by understanding how to pursue all four Mighty Oak pillars and enjoy the journey.

We are starting up a new Leaders Edge peer group meeting on March 4-6. Visit JeffreyScott.biz to apply for membership.

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners. To learn more visit GetTheLeadersEdge.com

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