For those of you who do not know me I am Steven Cohen, The Chief Knowledge Officer at GreenMark Consulting Group. I am also someone who is driven by what I call the Three P’s- Purpose│Passion │Pride.
Simply said; I love the Landscape Industry!
I just returned from my second PLANET GIC-GIE Event. The last one I attended was in 2003. I’ve missed a lot between 2003-2014. WOW…did I learn a lot in the last few days!. I met so many GREAT landscape and allied industry professionals. I learned that our industry is even bigger than I thought. It is not just about all the landscapers in the world, it is about all the allied industries that support all the landscapers in the world through product development, on-going innovation, technical support and technology. In fact; It is so big; billions of dollars are being traded annually and you get a clearer picture of that when walking the massive trade show floor. What I also learned is how diverse our industry is culturally, demographically and economically. You see it is not just about the 100 TOP LANDSCAPE COMPANIES we often read about, or the biggest equipment manufacturer on the trade show floor, or all the coolest new turf equipment available by all the industry manufacturers, it is really about the 75% of the industry that are the small people who make up this GREAT INDUSTRY. These companies are the real future of our industry. These are the companies we must teach, mentor and support so they learn how to grow and prosper.
What I also learned after listening to several speakers and engaging in conversation with others is conventional thinking is not the future of our industry. We (Our industry as a whole, trade associations, industry leaders, contributors and even company owner’s) we must broaden our viewpoints, expand our approach to how we think, the journey’s we embark on and how we reach out to others. The future of our industry is based on both outreach and contrarian thinking. Not the status quo. We must all extend our hands to others with this mindset so we can help the smaller companies find opportunities for growth at all levels through industry education and peer outreach.
Reinforcing my own contrarian thinking, industry passion and purpose to contribute to the industry…here are my biggest takeaway thoughts from GIC-GIE 2014.
1- If you believe in something (no matter how crazy it is), even if all the experts tell you you’ve lost your mind . . . DO IT-
2- It’s the customer that matters, not how you seem to your colleagues in the next trade show when you exchange business cards is irrelevant.
3- Never look how far you are from your ultimate goal. Look at how far you’ve come.
4- You need to reach out to the future leaders when you can help them, not when they can help you.
5- Everyone has great ideas. Execution is the only thing that matters.
6- When something you try fails, dust yourself off and try again.
7- You cannot have a voice, if you do not contribute!
That said, what was your biggest takeaway?
Looking for a good book on the subject, suggested reading;
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It Paperback – by Michael E. Gerber