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High Performance: 60 days and dwindling

January 12, 2015 -  By

Looking at the calendar, there are 60 business days from Jan. 5 to March 27. Where I come from, a typical spring landscape season begins the first week of April. For many of you, you may only have 50 or 40 days to be ready.

I learned early in my career that it’s better to be ready for spring than not. Once the season hits, it’s incredibly difficult to catch up when you’re behind to begin with. I’ve seen complete failures, disasters, meltdowns, employee turnover, lost clients and more—all as a direct result of not being prepared for spring.

Begin by compiling a list of everything that needs to be done between now and your target date for spring launch. More specifically, managers should develop their own lists for the items in their areas. It’s best to allow each manager to create his or her own list versus having lists created for them.

Once the lists are made, reviewed and approved, it’s time to attack the lists, working in priority order. Every day brings a fresh opportunity to make forward progress. Every day is precious. Managers who make the most of every day in the off-season will reap the rewards in the spring.

Review the lists weekly so there’s a high level of transparency and accountability. If progress is insufficient, corrections may be made. Sometimes priorities change and items are added or subtracted to the lists. Keeping the lists current and visible is important. Don’t assume that progress is being made. Inspect what you expect.

Spring is coming. Will you be ready?

Now go forth.


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Phil Harwood

About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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