October 15, 2011
By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners program manager

jacki hartIn the 20-plus years I've been running my business, with various staff coming and leaving every year, I've learned that without a doubt, leadership is a huge component of both productivity and morale. In the past, I wrote an article in this space about making sure to 'never let 'em see you sweat.'

Hindsight is 20/20. I can tell you that this past season was a chance for me to take my own advice — and really stretch my resolve to keep my staff on track when the heat was really on. With only a couple of hours notice that my sales design manager was leaving in the first week of June, due to unexpected challenges in her pregnancy, it was all hands on deck — including mine.

Because of the time of year, I decided to take on the role myself (something I hadn't done in several years) and wait for the winter to recruit a new designer for next year. This left me swamped. The biggest challenge was to keep everyone on task, and willing to step up and focus more on thinking ahead.

By keeping myself focused, tactical and supportive of my team, we flew through the summer as a more cohesive team than ever before. And our sales were up by 15 per cent, and the profit margin right along with it. They all knew how much pressure I was under to add the full-time sales and design role to my operations and management role, and they all stepped up in a way they never have before.

In this sense, I believe leadership breeds leadership. When the owner of a business demonstrates a calm resolve in the middle of a storm, others follow suit. Alternatively, if a business owner or person in a leadership role starts to come unglued, so do the processes, systems and commitment across the board.

In the Prosperity Partners' Build Your Prosperity seminar, the owner/supervisor's role in leadership is put into perspective. In this seminar, we use some really cool self-evaluation tools to help you figure out where you are strong in your business, where you aren't, and the resulting gap between what your business needs, and what you bring to the table.

We also check in with current reality, and a three to five year projection of what's coming down the road. This helps to map and plan to create a more prosperous business, and a better work/life balance.

This winter, I will be stepping back into the classroom to instruct the Prosperity seminars in Milton. The team at Landscape Ontario extends our heartfelt thanks to Ryan Heath CLP, CLT for his commitment to the program, and years of seminar delivery. We wish Ryan the best of luck. We're grateful also to Mark Fisher for his help and support in delivering countless seminars in the past couple of years.

Coming seminars

You can check out all the seminars at www.horttrades.com/seminars. In order to ensure great networking and participant contribution, there is a minimum of 12 participants are required to run a seminar. Please register early, so that we can ensure each one will run, and keep the next date available should one seminar not meet the minimum registration criteria. This seminar is free to new members of Landscape Ontario.
Jacki Hart may be reached at prosperitypartners@landscapeontario.com.