Case Study: Motivational monday

March 28, 2016 -  By
Mark Svozil.

Mark Svozil.

What started as an email to a small group has grown into a nearly decade-long commitment.

When Mark Svozil was promoted in 2007 from branch manager to regional manager for Davey Tree Expert Co. in Kent, Ohio, he sought a way to maintain connections with his former co-workers and clients. As a fan of motivational books, he came up with the idea to send an email blast with inspirational quotes each Monday morning. What started as a 12-person email chain grew into an audience of more than 800 readers. Now, if his email isn’t out by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m., Svozil’s readers start asking for it.

“Now that it’s gone on this long, it has become a responsibility, and I take that seriously,” Svozil says. “It’s a small thing, but it has the power to impact peoples’ lives. You never know which quote is going to affect someone.”

In the nine years since he started the email blasts, Svozil—now senior vice president of commercial landscape services for Davey Tree—has never neglected his responsibility. If he has a flight early Monday morning, for example, he composes the email in advance so it’s not rushed.

The ideas come from books, the Internet or readers’ suggestions. The email comes out Monday mornings to kick start his readers’ weeks. Svozil keeps a log of the quotes he’s already used to avoid repeats. Constructing each email—choosing the quote, reflecting on it and creating a visual to accompany it—takes him anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

“This doesn’t cost me anything other than time,” he says. “But it’s a commitment. People are counting on me to read this each week, and it’s important that I remain consistent and follow through.”

Svozil has built an audience by keeping the effort consistent. His audience started with co-workers and clients, but it has expanded to family, friends and industry acquaintances. People have shared it with their own personal networks. As his audience grows, he says, it’s important to be open to both positive and negative feedback.

“When Monday morning rolls around, everyone has a choice in front of them—a choice of what kind of week they want to have,” Svozil says. “There are always going to be those that just hit ‘delete’ and never read the email. But those who choose to take a few minutes to read it are usually the same people who are motivated to set themselves up for a good week. I like to think this might have some small part in starting their weeks off right.”

Beyond the Quote

Business_breakdown_0316While it’s not just about him, Svozil acknowledges he gets a lot out of it.

Each email’s quote is followed by his personal interpretation in a section titled “Beyond the Quote.” Reflecting on each quote helps him start off his own week the right way, but he says his explanation is not necessarily “right.” Each week he gets more than 10 reader responses sharing how they interpreted the message that week.

“Just because I interpreted a quote a certain way doesn’t mean that’s how everyone else will take it,” Svozil says. “The whole idea is to consider how the quote relates to the reader. How does it impact them? Life brings its ups and downs—and, of course, the stuff in between—and I never know how these quotes might have an impact. But if it can impact just one other person, I feel like I’ve made a difference.”

Of all the quotes Svozil has read and shared over the years, his favorite is one from football coaching legend Vince Lombardi: “The man on the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

“That one always hits home with me,” Svozil says. “No matter what you do in life, if you want to succeed, you have to put in the effort. You also have to live with the outcome should you decide not to chase your dreams.”

If you’d like to receive the Monday email blasts, email Svozil at Mark.Svozil@Davey.com.

About the Author:

Payton is a freelance writer with eight years of experience writing about the landscape industry.

1 Comment on "Case Study: Motivational monday"

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  1. George Gaumer says:

    I always look forward to reading Mark’s Monday email. Its one of the first things I do on Monday mornings, and I often forward it.

    Great commitment from a great leader! Thank you Mark!