During the first week of February, Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO, attended the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Leaders Forum 2023 in Maui, Hawaii.

“First and foremost, this event is all about superior leadership; not common, typical, ordinary leadership. If you don’t have this event on your calendar every year, you are missing out, falling behind … putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage. You are making an unforced error,” said Tom Fochtman. “Superior leadership is where competitive advantage begins. How do you increase enterprise value? How do you get top dollar when you finally sell your lawn and landscape business? You get it by developing, maintaining, and enhancing superior leadership. This event helps owners work on uncommon, atypical ways of thinking and acting to produce leadership that beats competitors and produces outcomes that raise the value of a company significantly.”

Here are important takeaways that the enterprise value specialists at Ceibass garnered from the knowledgeable speakers at NALP’s Leaders Forum 2023:

  1. The business of leadership is human business. It’s easy to be seduced by getting into the numbers or spreadsheets. But business is about people, relationships, and connections. And people are more than their work. They have families, children, birthday parties, softball leagues and lives outside of work.  Make it your business to connect with the whole person; not just the one that shows up at work.
  2. Leadership begins at home. Know thyself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Take the time to develop a leadership style that is not all about you, one that is helpful and supportive and creates a company culture that actually attracts followers. Be decent, be a fair and honest human being.
  3. Leadership fuels purpose. Constitute your big whys. Reinforce the reasons behind what you do. Make sure you do it often. Celebrate your values in action. Make your company a great place to work. Not an ordinary, common place, but a great place. This will help with recruitment and retention. As keynote speaker Paul Epstein said about prospective employees “give they a reason to believe we have the greenest grass.”
  4. Leadership aligns the business narratives of the company. Get your teams rowing in the same direction. Make sure everyone knows what success looks like, and why what they do each day is so important, useful and worthwhile to the company.
  5. Leadership mobilizes people. You can motivate people with a carrot or a stick, but it is mobilization that catapults a company to extraordinary success. See greatness in your team and help them get there. Inspire them. Nurture them but hold them accountable. Mobilization produces moods of commitment, learning and constant improvement … people who can think on their feet and deal effectively, strategically, and competitively with rapid change, complexity, and uncertainty.