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Leadership

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...

“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...

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...

I stepped into the warm, cozy conference room on a cold February day and looked back over my shoulder at the beautifully groomed golf course – in spite of the grey gloomy sky and brown dormant turf, it was stunning. My department took over the golf course landscaping and maintenance several years ago. We were already a bare bones operation, working with a barely adequate budget and minimal staff only to have one more property to add...

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