February 4, 2020
John Larsen
John Larsen
John Larsen, owner of Garden City Groundskeeping Services in Mississauga, Ont., has enjoyed participating in Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network for the past four years.

Larsen joined the group because he was looking for answers to growing pains and staffing issues. “Having specific topics and seeing people ask questions I could relate to really caught my attention. The atmosphere in the room is very warm and everyone wants to help you succeed. Before long, I was participating and reaching outside my comfort zone,” he explains. “It is exciting to feel comfortable and to participate.”

Now more comfortable with the group and the topics, Larsen says he soon realized he was not alone in his business. “I have gained great relationships, improved knowledge, validated many ideas, and found the answers to many questions. Because of the great people in the group, I know I can pick up the phone, ask a question, and the person will understand the situation because of what we’ve learned in the workshops together. The topics are current, and the group chooses the issues to be discussed.”

John says the inspiration the group provides is priceless. “Personal growth is really the best outcome,” he says. “I learned to open up, change my style, share my challenges and concerns, and complete the circle, which is to listen to others.”

“We have a good diversity in the room, with many sizes and scopes of work. I did not come out with a clear path, however, I got the tools and gained confidence to move forward, ask questions, and to listen to what others have tried in order to find success,” says Larsen.

Larsen applied his new-found knowledge to work with staff and a moderator to develop core values for his company. “Now when we are working or making a decision or see the actions of others, we can ask ourselves how those actions or decisions align with our core values. The answer is simply a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”