Leadership: Vision + Conviction

LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their resumes. As of April 2017, LinkedIn had 500 million members in 200 countries. 

Jeff Weiner started at LinkedIn in 2008 and as CEO and has rapidly expanded its global platform to 24 languages and more than 30 offices around the world, grown its membership base and increased its revenue to $2.2 billion in 2014.  Prior to joining LinkedIn, Weiner served in various leadership roles at Yahoo for over seven years beginning in 2001, most recently as the Executive Vice President at Yahoo's Network Division. As EVP of Yahoo, he led a team of over 3,000 employees, managing products reaching over 500 million consumers. While serving Yahoo’s Network Division, he was part of the Search leadership team that directed the acquisition and integration of Inktomi, AltaVista, and FAST as well as the development of Yahoo Search Technology.  In 2011 Weiner and Reid Hoffman were the U.S. Overall winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and in 2014, Weiner was recognized by LinkedIn employees via Glassdoor's annual survey as among "the top 10 CEOs at U.S. Tech Companies".

This is what Weiner has to say about the difference between managers and leaders: "A manager as someone who will tell you what to do, while a leader inspires you to do it." According to Weiner, that inspiration is derived from these three things:

  • The clarity of your vision
  • The courage of your conviction
  • The ability to effectively communicate those two things

At Crawford, we've done our best to try to define our vision, which we call our Credo.  In short, it can be summed up in 4 words: Quality, Service, Integrity, and Stewardship.  Here's a brief sentence describing each:

QUALITY: everything we do will must be of the highest quality - period.  We want to set the bar for all things landscape related and our goal is to have Crawford be synonymous with quality.

SERVICE: we serve others the way we ourselves would want to be served - promptly and completely.  Our goal is world-class service.

INTEGRITY: we do what we say we will do.  We are honest and transparent. Our goal is to be known for our integrity. 

STEWARDSHIP: we aim to be good stewards of what's entrusted to us; this includes our properties, employees, vehicles, equipment, etc.  Stewardship represents a paradigm shift from most business's business model of profits first to a focus on caring for others, which results in a view towards our clients, employees, and physical assets of caring for their needs first versus using them to enrich our bottom line.  It's a huge difference.

As leaders, it's our responsibility to communicate these 4 Credo statements.  Over and over again, till it becomes second nature for all the wear our uniform.  It starts with each individual's commitment and spreads out from there.  

In closing, I am often asked how Crawford Landscaping is able to achieve such a high level of quality with a largely recycled workforce.  In other words, how do employees do "C" work for other landscapers in town and then come to our company and do "A" work for us?  The answer is simple: we've created a culture of excellence where hard-working men and women are encouraged to do their best, where people who take pride in their work are encouraged to do work they're proud of.  And here's where the rubber meets the road: it start with everyone one of us contributing to this culture.  

Application: over-communicate our Credo to your staff.  Recognize and reward behavior consistent with our Credo, and correct behavior that is not.  And lastly, live these statements out yourself so as to be an example for others.