March 15, 2018

By Warren Patterson
LO President

Warren Patterson Last month, I closed my column by saying, “I am very thankful for being part of Landscape Ontario... as a group of professionals, we can all work together to help each other through challenges... and continue to profit.” I would like to expand on this thought.

Mentorship has played a big role in my career — both seeking it and giving it to others. Through other people’s experiences and observations, you can truly learn how to make things better. Mentoring is an invaluable experience for both parties involved. When you mentor someone, it helps to crystallize what you know and how your business works. A person being mentored learns valuable lessons in a compressed time frame, allowing them to propel their career forward much faster.

Mentoring is valuable to everyone: from a first year staff member to a seasoned business owner. Mentoring is a founding pillar of the association. One of the pillars of LO’s purpose is to facilitate mentoring. Members and their staff have many opportunities to mentor and to receive mentoring.

LO chapter meetings provide a great opportunity for members to meet and exchange information with people in their local market. Here, you can build relationships with people that you can then call up when you have a problem or need advice. I have done this a number of times, and have never felt threatened that I was discussing my problems with a local competitor.

LO sector groups have lots of business mentoring that happens before, during and after meetings and events. Sector groups share lots of information that is specific to their area of business.
This sharing of information is very powerful within the sector groups, but since many sectors have an impact on one another, I would personally like to see more collaboration between sector groups in order to maximize the benefits to the overall industry.

Attending allows you go get a good feel for the challenges and opportunities that are relevant to your business.

Started three years ago, LO’s P2P Network is the perfect first step on your path to personal business mentoring. Open to owners of LO member companies, the group meets several times a year at various locations across the province. They tackle issues, learn from and support each other, and work toward helping each other and their employees to realize their full potential. Their sharing continues online using a private Facebook page and LinkedIn group. Members routinely post business questions and then very quickly receive advice or direction from others within the group. The peer to peer group alone makes being a member of LO worthwhile. To join, email

This past September, I had the unique opportunity to be part of the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) Congress in Niagara Falls, Ont. Delegates from all over the world joined us to tour Ontario’s best garden centres. We spent four days together and every day I met new people, talked business and learned how other people deal with the same issues we deal with. Participating in events and tours is a fun way to learn more about yourself, your business and others.

LO has lots of opportunities to give and receive mentoring. If you want to grow as a person or propel your career, I urge you to get out and get involved. Be a mentor, get a mentor.

My motto: “You always get out what you put in,” is alive and well within our membership and association.

Warren Patterson may be reached at