Constructive Criticism

Constructive Criticism

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.

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Wisdom from Disney

Wisdom from Disney

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 Dory

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Where's the Pony

Where's the Pony

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 Jefferson

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An Example of Not Taking Ownership

An Example of Not Taking Ownership

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!

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Drive Through it

Drive Through it

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.  

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Levels of Leadership

Levels of Leadership

"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.

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Taking Ownership = Being Committed to your Results

Taking Ownership = Being Committed to your Results

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 Carver

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Servant Leadership

Servant Leadership

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 Pree

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Traction Management System

Traction Management System

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.

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Passion

Passion

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.

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Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude

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 Holtz

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Southwest Florida's Best Landscaper

Southwest Florida's Best Landscaper

We were recently voted Southwest Florida's Best Landscape Company by ABC-7 and their viewers and yesterday we met with their TV crew to do an interview and take some action shots of our crew. The show that will spotlight this accomplishment is called SW Florida Out and About, and it will air on ABC-7 Sunday September 17 at 11:30 AM. This is obviously quite an honor and reflects the hard work and talent of our team. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the answers to the three questions she asked me as I think it will be helpful as a review of who we are and what makes us special.

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Importance of Employee Recognition

Importance of Employee Recognition

Recognition is defined as "special notice or attention (a)." In a study of more than 50,000 employees in over 1,000 companies, sixty-three percent of employees feel that they don't get enough praise (b).  Gallup has found that employees who receive praise at least once per week increase their individual productivity, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and are more likely to stay with their organization.  

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Deconstructing Garth Brooks

Deconstructing Garth Brooks

Music can fill us with many emotions, and occasionally serve as a great motivator.  I was listening to an old song called The River, released by Garth Brooks in 1992 on his album Ropin the Wind.  Says Garth about the song, 

"Of all songs, most of the letters I receive concern "The River." It is a song of inspiration... a song that I will be proud of a hundred years from now."  

The River is a song about a following your dreams, and I thought it would be cool to deconstruct it and extract all of it's inspiration. 

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Attitude Adjustment

Attitude Adjustment

Zig Ziglar became a world-famous author and motivational speaker. He suffered personal tragedies, but he had a special ability to cast a positive light on those tragedies. He shared his methods with the world, offering comfort and inspiration (A).  Here's a quote by him that I heard way back in high school that's stuck with me:

"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude" - Zig Ziglar

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Leadership & Building Trust

Leadership & Building Trust

Building trust is crucial for effective leadership at Crawford Landscaping.  Because we care so much about our employees (reflected in our guiding principle: STEWARDSHIP), we want there to be trust throughout the ranks.  We do not endorse, nor will we tolerate, leadership by intimidation or any other devaluing method.  Central to trust is also INTEGRITY (another guiding principle).  Brian Tracy nails this thought:

"The glue that holds all relationships together--including the relationship between the leader and the led--is trust, and trust is based on integrity." --Brian Tracy

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Traits of a Successful Team

Traits of a Successful Team

A team is defined as a group of people who come together as a team to achieve a common goal.  Look what Steve Jobs had to say about teams:

"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people" - Steve Jobs

A good leader recognizes the need for a good team and works hard at at creating an environment for the team to succeed.  I read an article (a) recently in Inc. Magazine where Google studied 180 teams over 2 years do determine teams.  The operations was called Project Aristotle, and Google gathered several of their best and brightest to help the organization codify the secrets to team effectiveness.  There goal: to determine why some teams excelled while others fell behind. 

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Culture of Calculated Risk-Taking

Culture of Calculated Risk-Taking

My family and I are up in Blue Ridge Georgia this week for a little R&R and to pick up some furniture Tara and I ordered in March.  I rented a trailer and headed to the location where I was to pick up our furniture.  When I arrived, the parking lot in this tiny strip mall was jammed, but I saw an open spot and I began backing up my rather large trailer.  All was going smoothly until the trailer reached the side a brand new Honda Accord.  Yep, that's right, I crushed this poor ladies passenger side door.  Of course she came running out, the police were involved, I was embarrassed... it was a swell time.

After dealing with my "accident" and loading everything into the trailer, and as I jumped in the front seat of my wife's suburban and sat at the precipice of some well deserved self-inflicting shame and contempt, it dawned on me - sometimes, failure is ok if it means you have the confidence to try things.  

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Coaches & Leadership

Coaches & Leadership

I was reading an article on my phone while my wife and daughters shopped the other day entitled 6 Powerful Ways to Make Anyone Into A Great Leader: The function of a leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers.  The article appeared in Inc. Magazine July 17, 201 7and was written by Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within.  She said this about leadership that embodies perfectly what I have long believed and strikes to the heart of why I take the time to write these email every day:

"For me, that central message of leadership is this simple, clear thought: Within everyone there is a leader."

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Godly Comfort & Encouragement

Godly Comfort & Encouragement

I know of several who are hurting reading this today.  When I am hurting, I like to turn to God's Word for comfort and encouragement.  Here are a few:

COMFORT

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ” - Matthew 11:28

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”  Psalm 147:3

"He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety" - Job 5:11
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

"Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" - Romans 8:18

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