A Dangerous Mindset for Owners to Have

In the latest Spiderman movie, the character named Mysterio tells the young Peter Parker (aka Spiderman), “Never apologize for being the smartest person in the room.”

While this was a nice bit of encouragement for the timid teenager, it can be a dangerous mindset for business owners to have. If you think you’re always the smartest person in the room, you’ll greatly limit the growth of your company.

If, on the other hand, you’re humble enough to admit what you don’t know and confident enough to listen to others who challenge your way of thinking, you’ll build a culture and a company that’s open to change and improvement. You’ll also foster a team that’s really invested in your success because it’s truly their success too.

Marty and his team at Grunder Landscaping Co. have seen the power of different perspectives firsthand. When Seth became general manager in January 2018, he brought a fresh way of thinking and his own leadership style. He’s steered the company to more fully embrace technology and to streamline systems and processes that were eating up more time than the value they were delivering. And with his experience working in production, he has an understanding of what matters to and motivates team members to do their best, which has helped improve GLC’s recruitment and retention rates.

As a result, the company is enjoying a remarkably strong year. Marty will tell you the smartest thing he did was to give Seth the leeway to make the changes he wanted to make, to support him, and to champion a culture that’s focused on improvement. Marty doesn’t have all the answers, and neither does Seth. But by listening to each other and fostering a workplace where new ideas are welcomed, they are moving the company forward in significant ways. It isn’t always easy, but it is worthwhile.

If you’re an owner or manager, take a few minutes this week to look in the mirror and ask yourself:

  • Do I listen when team members suggest new ways of working, instead of immediately pointing out all the reasons their ideas won’t work?

  • Do I give my team the information and support they need to do their job well and make informed decisions?

  • Am I open to working with people whose perspectives and personalities are different from my own, instead of only hiring people who are just like me?

If your answer isn’t yes to all three, then you have room to grow.

Have a great week!

The Grow Group


Our Fall Field Trips bring owners and their teams onsite to Grunder Landscaping Co. headquarters in Dayton, Ohio, one of the most successful companies of its kind in the Midwest. You’ll spend a jam-packed day going behind the scenes with president and CEO Marty Grunder, touring the facility and grounds, meeting with the GLC leadership team to see how they operate and optimize each area of the business, and visiting some of the job sites they’re at work on. We purposely limit this event to just 14 attendees so we can guarantee you get the one-on-one attention you need.

Our Fall Field Trips sell out every year so if you plan on joining us, please reserve your spot soon.