A Leaders Guide for Thriving in Today’s Challenging Times

Today’s leaders are faced with business challenges as tough as any over the past 35 plus years. In order to provide the needed leadership for their organization’s success, leaders today need to demonstrate some very fundamental leadership skills and behaviors.

To date, we have reviewed eight fundamentals:

1 – Work Hard (and Smart) and Perform
2 – Radiate Confidence and Optimism
3 – Enlist and Enroll vs. Command and Control
4 – Drive Change and Innovation
5 – Foster Cooperation and Collaboration
6 – Sharpen the Saw – Your Saw
7 – Communicate and Communicate Some More
8 – Reflect, Connect Decide and Do

Remember you Leaders out there: “It all starts and ends with you, the leader.”

In this e-newsletter, the Harvesters present the 9th fundamental for  “Growing Forward Leaders”  in challenging times which focuses on: People

Fundamental 9:  Surround Yourself with the Right People

Growing Forward Leaders need to take a GOOD look at who you surround yourself with: Team Members; Customers; Peers and Coaches/Mentors

Team Members:

The Potential Pool of Team Members include: Sacred Cows; Raptors and Labradors: Dogs and Stars; No-Nos and Know-it-Alls; Organizational Terrorists and High Potentials; Gossip Mongers; Yes, You’re Right Boss (Kiss Butts) and the “A” “B” and “C” levels of performers.

You as the leader must continually take an honest look at your team members that you are surrounding yourself with:

Here are some tips:

  • Take inventory of your people assets regularly
  • Take good care of your keepers and make sure you keep them
  • Lose the losers who are taking up valuable time, energy and space
  • Always be looking for talent; if you can’t hire now practice “Tag and Release”
  • Consider this as your MAIN BUSINESS, yes you are in the PEOPLE business


  • Have a selection criteria in place to make sure you get the right customers under the right conditions
  • Always be moving your customer relations from vendor to trusted advisor to partner level of relationship
  • Cull out the non-desirables; it’s better to leave professionally than to let them fester into bigger issues


  • You become who you hang out with; take a good look at who you hang out with
  • Hang out with WINNERS; not whiners, wieners or wimps
  • Good Peers will tell it like it is; straight up
  • Consider forming or joining a peer group


  • Growing Forward Leaders should always seek and take good council
  • Find someone who has gone down the path before you and is willing to spend time with you
  • Have a trusted adviser, coach or consultant serve as a “sounding board” or “thought partner”
  • Consider forming an advisory board with people whose strengths compliment areas you and your organization need to improve, not just “Yes You are Right” types

It’s all about People

Your success as a Growing Forward Leader and the success of your organization will greatly depend on your ability to surround yourself with the RIGHT PEOPLE.

Always remember that people are at the very core of all successful organizations and Leaders. Your skills with Attracting, Getting On Board, Keeping and Growing the Right People will dramatically affect your success. If you get really good at this your life as a Growing Forward Leader will be most gratifying, honest.

Suggested Reading:
What Your Clients Won’t Tell You and Your Managers Don’t Know” by John Gamble

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Growing Forward Leader please contact us

Bill Arman

worked for and helped grow one of the biggest landscape outfits in the country. He’s seen how the big boys do it, how their systems and structures work. So his know-how is rooted in recruiting, hiring, training and growing great people—that along with quality assurance. Bill, alone, has gone on 15,000 quality site visits in his career. Nobody else has that, not that we know of anyway. He received Lawn and Landscape/ Bayer Environmental Science's 2006 Leadership Award. Read Bill's full bio.

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