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. I know. I have been in a leadership role in the industry for more than 35 years, and nothing compares to what leaders are faced with today. Nothing. Despite these difficult times, there are a significant number of landscape companies enjoying record years.

So why is it that some companies enjoy so much success and others flounder?

I’m convinced it has a lot – if not everything – to do with the leadership of an organization.

It all starts and stops with the leader.

Fundamental 1: Work Hard (and Smart) and Perform

These challenging times require sacrifice, hard work, and perseverance. It’s the collective hard work from everyone in the organization –, especially from our leaders. No one is going to put in the extra effort if they see their leaders coasting. Leaders need to get into the game and invest the necessary time to get the company moving in the right direction. Don’t just put in the hours for the sake of it. But put in the needed extra effort and be visible in your business.

Recognize the power of your presence and, remember, wherever you spend your time is perceived as important by your people.

Here are some examples:

Meetings: Make sure they are worthwhile. Leaders need to be prepared, show up on time and actively participate without stifling the flow of communication. If there are assignments given to you, make sure you deliver on them.

You: Manage yourself and where you spend your time. Know where your time is best used based on where your organization is headed.

Measure the Right Stuff: Track key milestones like a client and key employee retention, gross margins, the new business added, accounts receivable and so on.

Now ask yourself: 

Are you working hard and smart? Really? How much time are you spending “on” your business and not “in” your business?  Where should you be spending your time for the best leadership leverage to help with your company’s success?

How do you measure up with your leadership performance?

Now go ask your key people what they think of your answers.


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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