I was talking with someone the other day about career advancement, and I remember remarking something that is probably pretty contrarian to what most people think of when they consider career advancement; and that statement was this: "don't become preoccupied with career advancement as the expense of knowledge and experience advancement." In other words, learn what you need to learn today to prepare you for where you'd like to be tomorrow, and don't rush the process. This idea reminds me a of a popular phenomenon called The Peter Principle.Read More
A great team is at the the heart of any great business. And leaders of great businesses understand the importance of growing and developing their team. At Crawford, we recognize this truth and do all we can to inspire each member of our team to grow and reach their full potential. As part of this effort, founder and co-owner Blake Crawford sends a daily email to the Crawford Team entitled "TODAY'S QUOTE." Using powerful quotes, Blake is able to share important lessons with the team that help to shape the culture at Crawford Landscaping. These are a sampling of those emails.
Customer service is one of our Guiding Principles at Crawford. Last week I experienced what I will call "Radical Customer Service." But before I go there, allow me to set the stage with an applicable quote by Kate Zabriskie:
"The customer’s perception is your reality" - Kate ZabriskieRead More
Sometimes being a great leader means you have to change your thinking. Check out this quote by Henry Ford:
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, 'a faster horse'!" - Henry Ford
I recently read an article in Inc. entitled Research: 6 Things Great Leaders Always Do (But Mere Bosses Typically Fear), A top leadership scholar discovers the most effective characteristics that lead to successful company cultures, by Marcel Schwantes. I think this article explains beautifully how to succeed as a servant leader - the leadership model of choice at Crawford Landscaping. To review, Servant leadership is an understanding and practice of leadership that places the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader.Read More
There's a song called "Humble and Kind" by Tim McGraw that's full of excellent advices about life. It's actually written by Lori McKenna, a critically-acclaimed artist and one of Nashville's most sought-after songwriters. "Humble and Kind" sprang from McKenna's concern over raising her younger children in the age of cell phones and social media, and hoping they understood the proper way to treat others.
"I think initially it honestly came from a kind of frustration in the way that you see people sometimes not be humble or not be kind," she says. "I remember having a conversation about it, thinking, 'Have we been careful to raise our kids ... our kids would never say that. Our kids wouldn't do that, would they? Have we been really careful enough to make sure that they know everything we want them to know?'"Read More
Having the right attitude is very important at Crawford Landscaping. The attitude of an organization defines its culture and it permeates through everything that goes on. Successful people have a habit of having a good attitude. A good attitude not only affects your results, but it also affects those around you as you achieve those results.
Having the right attitude at Crawford means you’re a fighter. You don’t take no for an answer and you find ways to get things done. You are committed to your results. When someone says something can’t be done, that’s when we make it happen. That’s when we show why we are different that the average landscaping company. Henry Ford said, “If you say you can or you can't you are right either way.” At Crawford, we approach what we do with an expectation that we will find a way. We are a company of extra-ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things. It’s a mindset. It’s an intentional way of thinking.Read More
I just started reading a book entitled You Win in the Locker Room First, written by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith. In the first chapter, the authors make this statement:
"Culture drives expectations and beliefs; expectations and beliefs drives behavior; behavior drives habits; and habits create the future. It all starts with culture."
For me, I don't know if I've ever read a better statement on culture. Culture, and it's formation and maintenance, is one of leadership's primary responsibilities. But it doesn't end there. Culture should be the responsibility of everyone!Read More
Core values are what support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what the company values. They are the essence of the company’s identity – the principles, beliefs or philosophy of values. Core values help companies in the decision-making processes. Core values educate clients and potential customers about what the company is about and clarify the identity of the company. Lastly, core values play a major role in recruiting and retaining good employees. Roy Disney once said “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”
Taking ownership means you own 100% of all aspects of your job. Doing what needs to be done because you expect it of yourself as ownership springs from the intrinsic motivation of pride and engagement. Taking ownership starts with developing a belief or habit of mind that you, as an individual, are accountable for the quality and timeliness of an outcome, even when you’re working with others. Whatever sphere of influence you have on your work, you are to take 100% ownership of your work and upholding the companies pledge of “Quality, Service and honoring our word.” Don’t make excuses when you fall short or something goes wrong. Don’t blame others. The results you achieve begin and end with you. When relying on another person or department to complete a task, don’t relinquish your responsibility. It’s not acceptable to say, “well I sent a CMS,” or “I am waiting on (fill in the blank) to get back to me.” You treat them as a subcontractor that you’ve hired to do a job on your site – and it’s your responsibility to push them to get the work done.Read More
Team work is a funny thing. It's great until it somehow dis-proportionally effects you. You see it all the time. If one person is pulling more of the weight than the other, all of the sudden the one pulling more of the weight becomes disgruntled and start resenting those not pulling their weight. Or when things start to get tough, and all of the sudden things start to unravel, all of the sudden a connected team turns into a collections of disconnected blame artists! Teamwork, it's a funny thing!
"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people." - Steve JobsRead More
Anyone out there crave being criticized? Didn't think so. Being told you're doing something wrong is never fun. But, criticism can be the key to open the lock to future growth. It says this in Proverbs 29:1:
"Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery."
Throughout Scripture the term humility is used. Perhaps one of my favorite references is in Proverbs 15:33 where is states humility comes before honor. It takes humility to accept criticism. And the reward of humility and criticism is wisdom and growth.Read More
Sometimes movies for kids can produce awesome quotes for us adults. Check these out from various Disney movies - I am sure everyone will be touched by at least one!
"Some people are worth melting for." Olaf - Frozen
"When the raindrops come tumbling, remember you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine." Snow White – Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
"When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming." Dory – Finding DoryRead More
Nothing shapes a person more than their attitude. Or should I say nothing shapes a persons reaction to life than their attitude. That's why at CLG, attitude is a core value. We want people with the right attitude working here. You can train the skill, but you can't train the attitude.
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." - Thomas JeffersonRead More
I had a breakfast meeting at a local restaurant yesterday and I observed a massive case of lack of ownership in an employee. I thought this display was worthy of a post as it serves as a great example of a mindset void of responsibility or ownership. Here's what happened.
I was early for my meeting so I sat down and started reading my book The Advantage by Paul Lencioni - great book by the way. I was approached by a you man, maybe 20 years old, and asked if I cared for any coffee while I waited. Being the coffee-loving person that I am, I accepted his offer and within 2 minutes I had a beautiful cup of coffee in front of me. After thanking the young man, I started looking for my spoon so I could stir my secret ingredients - cream and splenda. The waiter noticed I was missing a spoon and asked "you looking for a spoon?" To which I answered "yes!" Almost immediately this young man commented, "nice job night crew!" In other words, the night crew forgot the spoon. In my words, lack of ownership. It's your table, make sure the right silverware is on the table before guests arrive - don't trust that the night crew did their job - take ownership!Read More
I am super excited about today's quote. It comes from a scene in an excellent movie called Days of Thunder, starring Tom Cruise, Robert Duvall, and Nicole Kidman. Released in 1990, this movie's 27 years old! Tara and I happened to watch it again last night.
Let me set the scene:
Cole Trickle, played by Tom Cruise, is a successful NASCAR driver dealing with intense fear as he drives in the Daytona 500. As the result of a horrific crash while racing, Trickle is almost numb with fear as he starts the race. After a few laps, a crash occurs in turn 3, which will force Cole to relive and face his greatest fear.Read More
"A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves" - Eleanor Roosevelt
I came across this chart that I think does an excellent job outlining the growth "arc" of a leader. It demonstrates how a leader's ability to lead should change over time and the effect it has on his or her team. I think it's worth discussing as it provides an excellent vision for leadership and how one is to expand their influence.Read More
It seems in our business a maintenance client's satisfaction is dependent on two things: work quality and service. Most of the time disgruntled prospective clients tell me they're either dissatisfied with the quality of their existing maintenance provider, or their lack of communication or pro-activity. And to their defense, they're often times right!. Because our business is so cut throat, many of our competitors cannot afford to offer both quality and service. That is why one of our Core Values at Crawford is Ownership. Taking ownership effects both quality and service, and is rooted in the idea of always finding a way to do something (often times when everyone else folds). Check out this quote:
"Ninety-nine percent of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses." George Washington CarverRead More
Servant leadership is at the core of who we are at Crawford Landscaping and it serves as a key component of our leadership model. In short, a servant leader views others as more important than themselves. That's not to say that the servant leader has a negative opinion of themselves and as a result values others as more important; rather they have an appropriate opinion of themselves that their self-worth isn't determined by self-accomplishment, thus freeing them to be about "team" accomplishment. And people follow leaders who genuinely care about them and their success. That's servant leadership.
"The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant." - Max de PreeRead More
Many of the world’s greatest race car drivers are typically masters of tire management. Tires are the singular point of contact between a vehicle and the road, but they’re often the most overlooked item on the car. Why are tires so important? Because tire traction is essential for drivers to be able to effectively get to where they want to go. Traction is constantly distributed in three different ways: turning, accelerating forward and braking. These three actions are essential to racing, and in the automotive industry, adjustments to traction is known as a Traction Management System, or TMS. What happens when drivers ask more from the tires than the traction that’s available? They slide. They lose grip. The tires squeal and don’t go in the direction they were aiming for. Ultimately, this means that race car drivers are often passed by their competition.Read More
Passion is one of the Core Values at Crawford as we believe passion is a great indicator or predictor of one's behavior. We believe that passionate people typically aren't driven as much to prove or achieve something as they are to simply release something that's deep within in them. A passionate person's motivation isn't rooted in a reward or achievement, its rooted in their being. We also believe that passion trumps dedication and commitment as dedication and commitment are determined by external forces while passion is internal and simply a way of being.Read More
Attitude is one of our Core Values at Crawford. What we mean by attitude is simply this: have a good attitude at all times. I'm sure you've hear the saying "It's you attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude." We believe this 100% at Crawford. Here's a great quote by football coaching great Lou Holtz:
"Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it." - Lou HoltzRead More