Resource of the Week: Each Other, Your Most Powerful Resource
Your Most Powerful Resource
I hate networking events. A room full of strangers, everyone expected to produce business cards for each other, everyone fishing for that contact that could serve their own needs, everyone trying desperately to avoid the chatty salesman. Yet some of my most enriching relationships have come through my work; working directly with people, meeting people at industry events, or making connections naturally.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, here’s the industry secret: Most every groundskeeper feels isolated, the lone ranger within their institution with no one who fully understands them. The sales rep rarely has been in their shoes, the commercial contractor plays a different game, and the specialist can only relate in one area of their work.
Then the incredible happens – they meet another groundskeeper and realize there are others in the world who are living a parallel life to theirs. Maybe the budgets and expectations are different, but the goal is still the same – to keep the most attractive, functional, and sustainable grounds with the resources given.
I hope you’ve made those kind of connections in your work. If you have, you know you can always use more. If you haven’t, today’s your day to take some action and tap into your most powerful resource.
Here are three ways to make a connection that can have an incredible impact on your life and work:
There’s Someone Down The Road
Groundskeepers are everywhere. Think about the local K-12, the hospital, the nearest colleges and universities, gardens, golf courses, and parks. Each one either has a groundskeeper and crew or someone on staff who is responsible for overseeing the landscaping contractors (these people are valuable resources as well). Pick up the phone and call them. Have coffee, visit each other’s shops, tour each other’s grounds. You’ll learn something, maybe make a friend, and come back to your own property with a fresh set of eyes. Do this with some regularity and you’ll be amazed at the insights and ideas you return with.
Join A Professional Organization
Even if, like me, you’re naturally introverted and dread the networking event, a professional organization can be a wonderful place to meet other people. Attend a conference and introduce yourself to others – see what happens. Look at a membership list and see who you might want to reach out to. Or simply take advantage of any training, certification, or other options your organization offers to help make yourself and your team better. You can find a list of Professional Organizations at the bottom of The Campus Green’s Resource Page.
Connect Through The Campus Green
The Campus Green is an online gathering space for groundskeepers, facility directors, and property managers. If you are tending to your institution’s grounds, you will find others here thinking the same thoughts, fighting the same fights, and solving the same problems as you. Here are a few ways you can make the most of The Campus Green:
1. Utilize discussion forums
Once you are logged into the site, you can join or create your own discussion forums in the ‘Community’ page along the top menu. Find a forum you would like to join or select ‘Create A Group’ along the top to begin a discussion. Select ‘Members’ under the ‘Community’ menu tab and you can see others who use the site and send them a message as well.
2. Comment on posts
There will be a new post on The Campus Green every weekday. Use the comment section at the bottom of an article to share your own thoughts or ask a question.
3. Follow on Social Media
If you check your social media much more than you would check this website, follow The Campus Green on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Most articles post to Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Instagram provide this community with other ways of engaging our work and each other. Today you can join a Facebook discussion on whether or not to use edging material in beds or post a picture of the coming of spring with the #wheresspringphotochallenge on Instagram.
4. Invite Others
This resource is only as strong as the people who use it. Invite your team at work (don’t hog the resources for yourself, use them as training tools and discussion topics for your entire team), and invite others you know in the industry who can add to our conversations. Share social media, forward The Campus Green Weekly, and email out articles. The broader TCG grows, the more powerful a resource it can be for you and others.
Do you have other ways you network? Please share in the comments below.