September is one of my favorite months of the year.
On the nursery, we are starting to push plants into dormancy to get them ready for the coming winter. We may work tirelessly all summer to help the plants size up. This is also when they set flower buds for the next spring. But the fall often makes or breaks the plant for the next growing season.
Just as importantly, for me at least, September means football season. It is my favorite sport. It’s been several years since I hung up my cleats, but I still love the smell of a crisp, freshly cut field. These days, I focus more on drafting and managing my fantasy football teams. I’m in three leagues and have been for several years.
If you are wondering why I’m bringing up fantasy football in a nursery industry trade journal, there’s a connection:
In fantasy football, you have to plan out and assemble the best team you can, making use of the resources that are available. In the nursery industry, your company is also a team. Similar logic applies. You have to identify what you have.
Analyzing your employees means identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Having done that, you can then improve the strengths through hard work. It’s also important to know and address weaknesses because they represent one of your primary exposures to risk. Ultimately, you must then develop a game plan to achieve your goals.
The New England Patriots under coach Bill Belichick consistently have been able to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan. It’s no accident they have won six Super Bowls with his leadership. It always helps to have a great coach!
Through my involvement in sports, I’ve been fortunate enough to play under some great coaches of my own. They helped me develop skills I have been able to use in my professional career. Through it all, I always remember a quotation from John J. Beckey: “Most people don’t plan to fail — they fail to plan.” I constantly think about that when looking at the production side of the nursery.
Our nursery recently hosted a team from the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, a nonprofit health care provider based in Hillsboro, Oregon. They and other service companies came to the nursery to help our crews deal with any health issues. I remember the smiles on our workers’ faces as they were seen by the great team at Virginia Garcia. If you have not heard of them, I highly suggest looking into them and supporting them.
To tie this back to sports, these health care professionals act as the trainers to keep your crew healthy, so they can stay at the game. They are a great support and morale booster. I am very thankful my company supports their efforts.
Similarly, the Oregon Association of Nurseries is your support as well. We work behind the scenes to represent your business and industry; we stand beside you. We are connected to your success. Sometimes it takes a bit of thinking to identify how things are all linked together.
If you are into fantasy football, good luck with your season. And most importantly, I hope you have had a great growing season as well.