This post was contributed by Scott Neave, president of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions, Wappingers Falls, NY.
In the landscape business, sometimes it’s easy to think the grass is always greener in a different role at the company.
Salespeople and managers think production workers have it easy because they think they just show up on a property, do their jobs and deal with little headaches. Production workers think salespeople, managers and office personnel have it simple because they don’t get dirty, arrive later, work in an office and don’t work on Saturdays.
We all suffer from various degrees of delusion in respect to our own values and contributions to a business – the owner included. We all have the tendency to think we each do more than the next person, offering more of ourselves to our companies, our friends and our spouses – even if we try our best not to think this way.
Whose Grass is the Greenest at Your Company?
Personally, I think this “grass is always greener on the other side” mentality is toxic to a business; it’s like a poison that can slowly destroy productivity and prosperity for all who engage in it.
As a leader in my organization, I encourage our people – and remind myself – to assume others have it tougher, not easier, than themselves. I urge them to consider the possibility that others might do more. Everyone’s talents, tolerances for stress and work hours are different. That doesn’t make anyone less of a person just because they aren’t the same as someone else; in fact, some people contribute to the business in ways others cannot.
Everyone in my company works hard – they just work differently and to the benefit of their strengths. And, I believe this mix of talents is what ultimately makes the company better.
Focus on Your Grass
So when I encounter a situation where I’m challenged to think someone else has it easier than I do, instead of having those feelings, I try and do the opposite. I provide a helping hand and respect their abilities even if I start to think they care less or are less focused. More importantly, I remind myself to focus on my job and what I can do to make the company better because the only person I can control is myself.
Of course, I still have my doubts and frustrations with people, but I always remind myself to stop and try my best to see it from the other person’s perspective. Then I focus on being the best I can be and making the company and everyone around me the best they can be.
As William James, an American psychologist and philosopher, once said: “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”
Scott Neave is President of Neave Group Outdoor Solutions in Wappingers Falls, NY and Boca Raton, FL. Scott joined his family business in 1998 after earning his degree from Penn State University. As a Go iLawn partner since 2009, Neave Group uses our software extensively in their lawn care and snow and ice management divisions.