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To prepare for a downturn, besides all the fundamental tactics around strengthening your balance sheet and cash flow, here is one big idea to help you be best prepared.

Leadership (Photo: phototechno / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images)

(Photo: phototechno / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images)

It comes from Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric.

You may have read about him recently for his positive and negative impact on business.

  • Some see him as a business innovator and hero who defined many of the big business strategies from the last century.
  • Others see him as an uber-capitalist who only focused on short-term profit to the harm of the long-term health of the business.

No matter your view, you can’t overlook his larger-than-life impact on the training and development of leaders.

Building leaders

There is no denying the importance of developing leaders at all levels in your landscape business, and Jack Welch was the best in the world at this.

He identified correctly that the best defense for a down economy (and the best offense for an up economy) is to prepare with a superior leadership team, built of well-trained leaders who work well together in a nimble fashion.

As CEO, he focused a large portion of his time on developing employees deep in his organization. He discovered that you need smart people to help the organization pivot and take advantage of opportunities and skillfully avoid problems. And this takes building a superior bench.

I agree.

How strong is your team?

In the coming years, you will see both ups and downs in the economy. Remember, a down economy also means opportunity. In fact, two words — danger and opportunity — make up the Japanese word for crisis.

A deep bench of leaders in your organization will give you the strength to identify trends early and implement new strategies. 

Some must do’s

As an owner, all your direct reports should be A players so that you can implement with speed and skill. The same goes if you are the GM of your business, all the leaders underneath you should be A players (or B players growing into A players.)

And the same goes for their direct reports — the people reporting to your division leaders should be A players or B players in training or positioned to work on their strengths.

Learn firsthand

With this training in mind, I am happy to invite you to my Summer Growth Summit, Aug 30-31. This event will help you run shoulders with the best players in the industry and learn firsthand how a team of A players operates. The host company of this event is Drost Landscape, which has scaled handily by building a team of A players.

Click here for facility tour details and to register before the early bird discount ends on June 22.

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Jeffrey Scott

About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit

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