Words of wisdom

Words of wisdom

Check out the advice longtime landscapers and sports pros shared at GROW! 2018.

February 23, 2018
Kate Spirgen

GROW! 2018 brought together a variety of professionals with lots of advice to share. From former NFL star Derrick Brooks to some all-star landscapers, here is some food for thought from the conference in Tampa, Florida:

Tino Martinez, former MLB player:

  • Always strive to do better. “I always wanted to do better than last year,” he said. “I pushed myself hard day in and day out.”
  • Be accountable to your team. “If guys showed up tired or hungover, the other guys would get on them,” he said.

Derrick Brooks, former NFL player:

  • Be a finisher. “Finish and give your best effort and that has gotten me far in my career,” he said.
  • The best advice he got from a coach was “Be humble, but don’t be bashful.”
  • It’s important to be coachable and learn from feedback. “If you don’t want to be challenged, there’s nowhere for you to get better,” he said.
  • Be accountable to both yourself and others. “I think that’s a key ingredient to building any team,” he said.
  • Find your motivation, whatever it is. “Keeping your edge is about one person – you,” he said. “I was really proud of the one thing I could control, and it was my attitude and my motivation.”

Mike Rorie, executive vice president, GroundSystems:

  • Offer good working conditions to stay competitive in the market. “We’re going to give you more because we’re going to get more from you,” he said.
  • Keep growing for your people, even if it's just a little at a time. "We enjoy the winning," he said. "It's contagious."

Frank Mariani, CEO, Mariani Landscape:

  • Know what your competition is paying. “Everyone is already paying above minimum wage,” he said.
  • Always try to be the best, no matter how successful you get. "If recognition is the pinnacle, I should retire," he joked.

Bob Grover, president, Pacific Landscape Management:

  • Don’t attract employees with just a paycheck. “I don’t want to pay more than you’re already making because I don’t want to buy people,” he said.

Todd Pugh, owner, Enviroscapes:

  • As you grow, you can only do so many things well. Focus on those and find new opportunities. "If you've been in the same market a long time, you're probably driving by opportunities you don't even know about.

Read more coverage from Grow! here.