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Do you ever get weeds, like plantain, in your turf areas?  Or, do you ever get the feeling that an attitude of negativity is growing among your team?  What do the two have in common and what does this tell us?  I walked the Ole Miss Grove, a 10 acre green space in the center of campus, and share what I have learned.  Nature lets us know when things are out of balance and needs attention. Feel...

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.” ~Mahatma Gandhi I prefer to give humanity the benefit of the doubt and believe most of us don’t truly enjoy disagreeing with anyone - especially at work.  After all, as a team you have one another’s back; are supportive and encouraging.  In building team unity, voicing disagreement may feel rude or seem out of place.  However, after seeing a project fail, the feeling of regret for having said nothing...

“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” ~Harry S. Truman Were you, like me, a kid who did not like to read? I never enjoyed sitting down long enough to get into reading. Most people in our industry can have a negative reaction to reading. “We are too busy to read a book,” or “If I’m not moving, I’m sleeping!” or the usual blank stare when I refer a good book. But what if I...

The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is when you keep doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.  In the early years, our team consistently acted insane!  We would have equipment suddenly disappear; become frustrated with tools being broken and unready to use; waste valuable productivity trying to “fix” the problem.  We would point fingers, blaming others for their neglect and continue putting up tools and equipment the same way...

The drama-nators….you know the type.  They enjoy stirring things up – spreading a few rumors – treating the job as a form of personal entertainment.  The drama-nators are rarely the best at what they do on the job, but let someone else make a mistake and their face lights up in anticipation.  Unfortunately, we all know the type and dealing with the negative behavior or sub-par work practices among team members is something we would all...

Have you heard of Jane Helser?  For 48 years Aunt Jane, as she is affectionately called, worked at the Wilson factory sowing NFL footballs in Ada, Ohio.  Every football we have seen on TV for the last 48 years was sewn by Jane.  Yes, she's good at sewing footballs, but its Jane's work ethic and attitude that model the spirit of so many people we get to work with each day. Once while sowing these thick rough...

Recently, I posted a blog on trust and in it I spoke about actions that breed trust. I heard that message again yesterday as a few of us on staff were discussing the definition of loyalty. The answers I related to best were straight from our front line team members. “To be trusted, to do the right thing no matter the cost….sticking together through the good and bad….not giving up, staying committed….always being there….they’ve got your...

Awareness and Discovery “We have it really good here at Ole Miss,” one of our Landscape Leaders said. After listening to what other campuses are going through, his appreciation and awareness was at a new high. How often do we get to hear our staff say things like this, especially in front of their peers? It was great to hear it, but knowing why it was said is the most important part of the conversation. In short,...

Trust is not a commodity – you can’t buy it and trying to sell it is in direct contradiction to its definition. Trust, simply put, is “I’ve got your back, you’ve got mine. I feel valued and safe.” Employees who know their value and who know they are not in it alone are in a state of trust. The outcomes are measurable in customer satisfaction and the maximizing of time and money. When we started The Landscape...

For the second consecutive year, How to Create Your Own Landscape University went smoothly. Hosted on the beautiful Ole Miss Campus in Oxford, Mississippi, there were many details to manage and execute; such as scheduling the Double Decker bus ride, food orders, planning the campus-wide tour and gathering all the needed intense learning and training tools in one place. The entire program flowed smoothly, people were engaged and our staff were able to show off the...

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