Managing to Win Despite Challenges - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Managing to Win Despite Challenges

Life will always challenge you in different ways. What matters is how you deal with the challenge of change. If you want to learn how to manage to win despite the circumstances, don’t miss the closing general session at ELEVATE on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022.

Entrepreneur, former Super-Bowl winning NFL quarterback, and NFL analyst Joe Theismann will be presenting on effective leadership and good management for the conference’s closing keynote.

Joe Theismann

“It’ll cover things like goals, attitude, customer service, teamwork, motivation, opportunities,” Theismann says. “I tell some stories. It’s fun. It’s got to be fun for me as well as the audience. I think there’s some valuable information when it comes to being part of a team, when it comes to working with people.”  

During his keynote, Theismann will draw parallels between his time as an NFL quarterback and landscape and lawn care leaders.

“I believe there is a tremendous analogy between the world of sports, the world of business and our own lives,” Theismann says. “They all parallel one another.”

One parallel is how you both have a team of people you’re working with who have different personalities, strengths and abilities. He says it’s critical you have the right people in the right place.

“One of the big mistakes I think companies make is they take their top salesperson, and they move them to management,” Theismann says. “Well, all you’ve done is weaken two positions. You’ve taken somebody that’s really good at what they do, and you moved them into a position that is very unnatural, for them in most instances.”

Theismann says one element of leadership is empowering the people in your organization to step outside their comfort zone. This is a topic he’ll delve into in more detail during his presentation, sharing the story of his record-setting one-yard punt return against the Chicago Bears.

“I wasn’t a punter, but I stepped outside of my comfort zone,” Theismann says.

He stresses that people tend to get stuck in ruts and unless you challenge yourself, you’re not going to have an opportunity to be able to get better. Another leadership motto Theismann says he lives by is don’t think you know everything.

“Be willing to bring people in that are smarter than you,” Theismann says. “Be willing to surround yourself with people that are experts in what they do and trust them.”

Theismann will also cover how effective leaders can show they care about their people. Taking the time to get to know your team can go a long way.

“One of my favorite sayings is, ‘People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,’” Theismann says. “From a leader standpoint, it’s essential. Leadership is not a popularity contest. You’re going to make decisions that are probably not going to make people happy at times and what you have to do is you have to be able to explain why you’re doing something.”

Similar to his job as a football analyst, as a leader you have to explain to your team the why behind your various leadership decisions.   

“When you make a decision, commit to the decision,” Theismann says.

Theismann says he learns from what happened in the past but doesn’t dwell on it. He says he’d rather dwell on the future and what’s going outside the front windshield. It’s more important to learn from the lessons of where you’ve been and grow, as the day you stop learning is the day you stop living.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to have a chance to share some stories, share some ideas,” Theismann says. “The most important thing is I’m not there to tell them how to be successful. First of all, I’m there to learn from them. Because I think we always have a learning experience. And secondly, I want to make the best session they have.”  

With the closing keynote, Theismann says he wants attendees to go away feeling great about who they are, great about their business and their industry.

Want to learn how to win despite the challenges? Register for ELEVATE and we’ll see you in Orlando, Florida!

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.