December 11, 2020
Dave WrightI’m a little slow to hop on the bandwagon, so I’m just going to own it and tell you I just started listening to podcasts. I had heard all about them, but it never really clicked for me until a few weeks ago. I downloaded Google podcasts and started listening. I’d heard of all kinds, from The Joe Rogan Experience to TED talks, but I found a treasure trove of podcasts related to the landscape business with information that I have already started rolling into my daily operations.  

It started with an email invite I received from LO Associate member Grant Harrison’s firm, Nextra Consulting, for a podcast called Nextra Presents…! I started there and moved on to the LMN-sponsored Landscape Disruptors, then Jeffery Scott’s The Ultimate Landscape CEO.

As landscape professionals, we all spend a lot of time driving around to various job sites, to meet with clients, or just to and from work. I used to call it my thinking time in which I mostly listened to the local radio station, but rarely actually heard what was being said. I was always deep in thought. For the last few weeks I have been listening to all kinds of great topics. With a playlist about 25 episodes deep, I am doing a lot of listening. The odd episode is a bit of a bomb, but that is usually because the person being interviewed is not an engaging speaker. Grant has a wider breadth of topics, while Jeffery has settled into a standard format. You can tell the older podcast from the new as the presenters get more polished over time. There are many commonalities to the good episodes — an interesting backstory followed by a discussion of mistakes or challenges that have been overcome.  

I especially like Jeffery Scott’s question: “Successful companies look so polished and perfect from the outside. What mistakes have you made along the way?” So often the answer to that question is something that we are going through right now or stumbled through at some point in our careers. Listening to Grant and Jeff (both personal friends of mine), it’s like they are along for the ride or sitting with me at the bar during Congress, dissecting an issue over a drink.  

And, once you get past Landscape Disruptors’ Stanley “Dirt Monkey” Genadek’s surfer dude sound, you realize he is very smart, and adds great depth to the conversation, often expanding on a guest’s point. I find his episodes to be the most entertaining, with an equal mix of employees, owners, small companies and big companies.

What has drawn me to this “new” form of personal education is the isolating effect of the Coronavirus pandemic. I can’t travel to a conference to get my head filled with new ideas, so I listen instead. Next up, I plan to download the Audible app, and tackle a long list of business books I have not read yet. So, thanks Grant for the nudge from your email newsletter, and yes, Jeff did tell me about this new form of learning a couple of years ago, but it all came down to timing.

If you haven’t already, I challenge you to find the perfect podcast or Audible book, and to never stop learning.

Do we add a mention of Landscape Ontario’s podcast? I am at a loss how Dave wrote a whole column about podcasts and didn’t mention it.

Hear more conversations on the issues shaping the profession with the Landscape Ontario Podcast. Visit
Dave Wright
LO President