I vividly remember the first day of my landscape career;
It was a hot June day in 1998 and I had images of stripping amazing lines of turf on a belt-driven walk behind mower. (As that was all we had back then.) The powers that be had other ideas that involved a 5-gallon bucket and a flat head screwdriver. My first month in the landscaping industry consisted of digging weeds out of sidewalk cracks. I was awesome at it after a few days. I would look up occasionally, wipe the sweat from my brow, and watch my team weed eat, mow and edge with perfection. I wanted that. I was not exactly living my dream, yet. I eventually did start moving up. Every time I got somewhere, I looked up and saw someone else doing something I wanted to learn about. I am now surrounded by a team that is doing the same every day. Here are a few stories from the commercial Landscape Management Crew.
– Misty Gil , General Manager
Pj McLean has done every job at commercial Landscape Management, Earlier this year he moved up from Forman to Project Manager of Commercial Maintenance in our company and leads 6 Forman and their crews in the field.
Why did you get into the commercial landscape industry?
I like leaving jobs sites looking good. I enjoy making a difference on sites and feeling a sense of accomplishment.
What was your first day in the landscape industry like?
I felt sort of lost, but I had something to prove. I wanted to learn the industry and move up fast as possible. My Forman handed me a weed eater and pointed at some things to weed eat. I did not have much training on my first crew.
When did you know you wanted to be a manager?
On that first day due to that experience. I wanted to make other peoples’ first day and career better than mine started as.
What is your favorite part of this job?
The people. I like to be a positive influence on people as they learn and grow with our company.
What is being a manager really about?
Leadership. Being in step with your teammates and crews and a resource for knowledge, guidance, and help. It’s more about leading people than the knowledge of how to do the job, I have found. I like to be a mentor for our team and encourage them.
Where do you see yourself next?
Antron Longmire will be moving into the next phase of his career this year as a Project Manager. He is currently a Forman and has our most prestigious properties. He has earned his place and here are his thoughts about his experience in the Green Industry.
Why did you get into this Landscape management industry?
My dad got me into it. He worked on a golf course for over 40 years. When I graduated, I went to work with him.
What was your first day in the landscape industry like?
I was weed-eating around a pond in June. It was hot, but I was excited to come back the next day.
How long did it take before you set your sites on Management?
After 3 years of working with my dad, I went to work for another golf course. After that, I went to work at a Commercial Landscape company and learned about that part of landscape management. From there I ended up at Commercial Landscape Management and saw my path into management become clearer.
What do you think is the most important part of being a manager?
Making sure that the work is done right. It is also about training and encouraging the team that I am responsible for
What are you most excited about as you take your next step?
To be able to share my experience with other people and be a great leader for them.
Where do you want to go next?
Michael Bauman is our CEO and assists his management team in running the company every day. Michael spends time in the community encouraging kids and young people to pursue and career in this industry. Here are his thoughts on opportunities available to people wanting to learn and trade and get on a path to leading people and making a difference in their lives.
Why did you choose Landscape industry?
I would ride around in my dad’s truck as we traveled the triangle, and he would point to jobs he was involved with I was always very excited to brag about his work. I joke that this industry chose me through my DNA. I was very literally raised in this business. One big reason I love this industry is it is not just one routine thing the business can move into many different services that make things very interesting every day!
What was your first day like?
I talked my parents into letting me drop out of high school in 10th grade. The crowd I was hanging around was on a bad path and I knew that path was not what I wanted for my life. My first day after that decision was spent in the welding shop cutting metal and welding together mailboxes when we were involved in building and installing them for our customers.
Why do you think Landscaping is a good career for young people?
I believe I am one example that this industry invites every type of person.
What do you say to young people when you are in front of them to encourage them in their future?
I try to encourage especially young people to follow their passion and what makes them happy. For some that are being outdoors and working with their hands. I was not one that liked or did well in school, so I try to tell them that does not HAVE to be the way for every person.
What skills are you looking for when building your management team?
I look for people that are willing to jump in wherever they are needed (selfless attitude). I am big on how they respect the people they are directly managing (leadership in all we do). This is why those are some of our core values as a company.
What is your goal when you hire someone with something you see as potential?
I am the very opposite of a micromanager. So, my goal is for these hires to really take their role and allow their skill set to shape how they do their job day today.
How do you encourage them?
Mostly showing appreciation and not just saying thank you. I encourage personal development and high-level awareness of their happiness as it relates to the job they do every day.