After growing my landscaping company the hard way for 15 years, I realized the toll it was taking on me — mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It was all on me, and I hated it. And despite the fact I was making good money, I was tempted to walk away from it all many times. I was no dummy, and I worked hard but couldn’t see a way to make it fun again. I FELT STUCK!
In 2005, a friend of mine introduced me to Open Book Management as a way of operating, and I was hooked. I remember saying, “If I can’t run my company this way, I don’t want to run one at all.”
I can’t say the transformation was easy, but it sure was worth it. We defined and devised ways to use our Vision, Purpose, and Guiding Principles to move toward our clearly defined success and hire the right people. We began to teach our employees financial literacy so we all knew exactly how we made and spent money.
We opened our books and created financial and non-financial scoreboards, so rewards were based on targets EVERYONE understood and not some arbitrary CEO-decided Christmas bonus. We hosted a weekly 1-hour huddle for all staff to check the score and create action plans to achieve better results. We created a leadership culture to grow and honor our people. Then, we tied it all together with our branding so our staff, customers, and community knew exactly what we were all about. We were talking business with the people we were literally in business with each and every day…Our employees!
We were working on the company as the ultimate product and building a business with employees who could think and act like an owner simply because they now had the same information as one.
In 2016, I began to sell a good portion of the company to key employees as they earned the opportunity. This next generation of leaders ensures the landscaping company I started will not only continue beyond me but also thrive without me. Now, I’m showing other landscaping company owners how to do the same.