Editor’s Note: Back to basics

October 17, 2017 -  By

Marisa Palmieri

Another year, another edition of the LM Business Planner.

We’ve covered various themes in our annual growth-focused issue over the years. For 2017, we thought we’d go “back to basics.” We asked our expert contributors to choose and address the fundamentals they believe are vital for landscape business owners—whether they’re novices or veterans—to keep in mind.

I learned a lot reading through these articles, which touch on finances, employee matters, planning for the future and much more. I hope you pick up an idea, tip or two to set you up for success in 2018.

I also appreciated Ken Thomas’ Leadership Advantage column, where he outlines the concept of servant leadership. It’s a term that gets thrown around a lot—likely more than it’s put into practice. As Ken says, it’s easy to understand why basic, fundamental concepts like culture and servant leadership are important, but it’s not always easy to achieve them.

Ken’s words resonated with me because they align with the book on my nightstand right now, Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek. Sinek—best known for Start with Why—doesn’t use the term servant leadership, but he expresses the concept to a T with the example he gives of meal time in the U.S. Marine Corps.

The author set out to uncover why some teams are able to build trust, thrive and, if it comes down to it, literally put their lives on the line for one another, while other teams fail to rally together. Sinek turned to the Marines and got the answer from a general who explained, “Officers eat last.”

The most junior Marines are always served first, and the most senior are served last. “Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own,” says retired Lt. Gen. George Flynn in the book’s forward.

I recommend the book, and I hope you’re inspired by this simple concept, as well as Ken’s column and the other content in this month’s issue of LM.

Pink again
LM’s parent company North Coast Media is supporting cancer research for the fourth year in a row. We’ve turned our logo pink since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A portion of this month’s companywide revenue will be donated to a local cancer research initiative.

It’s been fun to see the various ways landscape companies and industry suppliers have “gone pink” over the years.

This season, Drew Standfuss, owner of GreenScape Lawns in Montague, Mich., decided to create pink shirts for his crews to wear in October in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Then, two days after placing the order, he learned his aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer—adding new meaning to the goodwill endeavor. (She’s undergone treatment and is recovering well, Drew reports.) He added, “The guys and I take pride in showing our support.” As they should.

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About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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