March 15, 2013
Tony DiGiovanni CHT
LO Executive Director

Coincidences are a pleasant mystery to me. They sometimes feel like spiritual communication.

In December, I re-read an excellent book by Viktor Frankl, entitled Man’s Search for Meaning. In it is a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “He who has a why to live can bear any how.”

The statement stimulates thought and discussion. To me, it means if you are driven by ‘purpose’ you can withstand many hardships and challenges. 
As I relayed in last month’s article, I suggested to our staff that we choose ‘why’ as our word of the year. In everything we do, we must consider and articulate the higher purpose. This will enhance relevancy. It will help to make a real difference in the lives of our members and stakeholders.   

Coincidently, Ryan Heath sent me an audio book by Simon Sinek entitled, Start with Why. And, even more of a coincidence occurred when Jacki Hart reviewed Simon’s book in her January column. (I suspect Ryan sent her the book, too.)

Sinek’s theme is that in order to be truly successful, you must start with ‘why’ you do what you do. He goes on to make an intriguing statement, “People buy why you do it.” People buy your passion, care, mission and attitude. People buy your culture. People buy your integrity. People buy you.   

Coincidently, in celebration of our 40th anniversary, Landscape Ontario is developing a website to honour the contribution of our pioneers. As part of this project, a number of past presidents were videotaped by Stuart Service and Mark Disero. What struck me was how well they articulated the purpose and values (the why) of Landscape Ontario. Take a moment to visit and listen to Monica van Maris, Tom Intven, Bob Tubby, Gord Shuttleworth, Phil Charal, Barry Benjamin and Karl Stensson talk about why Landscape Ontario exists.   

All of the interviews are focused on purpose. Landscape Ontario exists for members to build up and help each other succeed. It is all about enhancing lives. It is all about making a difference in the lives of our members and public. Our purpose is inspiring. As long as we continue to attract members who are focused on the higher purpose we will continue to succeed.  

And speaking of passion and celebration, join me in congratulating the following Landscape Ontario members who were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the National Awards of Excellence ceremony at a recent meeting of CNLA in Niagara Falls (See story on page 25).  
  • Sheridan Nurseries, RBC Grower of the Year Award
  • The Landmark Group, Dynascape Award of Excellence for Landscape Design
  • Snider Turf and Landscape Care, John Deere Award of Excellence for Residential Landscape Maintenance
  • The Cultivated Garden, John Deere Award of Excellence for Commercial Landscape Maintenance
  • Flynn Canada, Caterpillar Award of Excellence for Commercial Landscape Construction/Installation
  • Sheridan Nurseries, Unionville, Chrysler Garden Centre of the Year Award. Congratulations as well to the Ontario category winners Canadale Nurseries for Growing Teams and Sandhill Nursery for Growing Sales
  • Green for Life Community Award to the Friends of St. James Park and the St. Lawrence Market BIA for the St. James Park Revitalization Project 

Tony DiGiovanni may be reached at