Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chuck Bowen


Our gratitude

Editor's Insight

November 10, 2014

Chuck Bowen

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: Lots of delicious food and football games on during dinner. What a great country we live in.

This month, we gather around with our loved ones and take some time to think about what we are truly thankful for. While this is a good thing to do with your family, I suggest you do this with your employees, too. And tell them not just that you appreciate them, but why. Give them a concrete example of what they did right, and how that makes a difference to the company and your customers. You get major bonus points if you give them this praise in front of everyone else. It doesn’t have to be a big production, but I think it’s human nature to want other people to know it when we do a good job.

I’m the first to admit that I struggle with this. I have a critical eye, and it’s much easier for me to point out when things are wrong than when things are right. But I think (and I’ll have to ask Brian and Katie and Kate to make sure) that positive reinforcement works better in the long run than negative.

After every issue of the magazine prints, I go through and flag any page in L&L that I can credit to someone else and write a thank-you note to that person. Freelance writers, contributors, photographers, etc. all get a little white card with a few lines of my chicken scratch. It’s a reminder to them – and to me, too – that none of this can happen without the work of all of us.

I know that Lawn & Landscape wouldn’t exist without the hard work and dedication of lots of people here in our headquarters and all across the country. Your company is the same – even if you run a small operation and your name is on the side of the trucks, you owe your success to the hard work and dedication of at least a few other people.

Yes, you set the vision. Yes, you started this whole business. Yes, you’re out there every day closing deals and signing paychecks and keeping the lights on. Being grateful doesn’t diminish any of that.

In the day-to-day rush of closing deals and signing paychecks and keeping the lights on, it’s easy to forget that it wouldn’t be possible without everyone else wearing a shirt with your logo on it. You know it, and they know it. So take a few minutes today and say thank you.

– Chuck Bowen