Keynote Address for the 2019 Conference

Our Keynote at the 30th Annual SFMA Conference is Jeff McManus!

Jeff McManus grows things. As the Director of Landscape Services at the University of Mississippi, he grows plants…he grows people…he grows ideas. Jeff is a problem-solver, understanding that doing more with less is a 21st century mandate.

Faced with a multi-million dollar landscaping beautification project, a demand for excellence, high productivity, and with a stagnant budget, Jeff knew that growing the people was critical to growing the plants. Understanding that all humans either have or strive for the innate elements of Greatness, Resiliency, Opportunity and Wisdom, Jeff developed his GROW-theory into an impactful management and professional development leader-ship program for his staff.

Taking his grounds employees, affectionately known as “weeders”, and developing them into “leaders” has been a joyous challenge that reaped acres of rewards in the form of national recognition by the Princeton Review, Newsweek, USA Today and every faculty, staff, student and visitor who has walked onto the Ole Miss Campus. Building on that momentum, Jeff has designed a professional development plan for his Weeders called Landscape University which he shares online on his website, jeffmcmanus.com. His message rings true for any industry leader or manager looking to grow a high-performance and dedicated workforce.

About the Session:

Jeff will be presenting “How to Grow Weeders into Leaders.”

  1. Attendees, at any professional level, will be able to identify strategies for “leading by example” in the workplace, while being inspired to implement them.
  2. Attendees will learn the personal and organizational value of cultivating a culture of resiliancy – to adapt and overcome – when managing problem employees.
  3. Attendees will learn to utilize communication strategies in the workplace in order to develop a culture of trust resulting in a “growth” environment.

Most organizations can’t pay for the talent they want, but with the right strategy most organizations can GROW the talent they have to get the leaders they need. Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. Leadership is a mindset. It begins with aligning the work to a vision of greatness, resiliency, opportunity and wisdom, and then developing an environment based on trust, communication, respect and creditability. Jeff takes the audience on a tour of Leadership Basics, developing a culture of accountability, and encouraging and recognizing the talent within our organizations and ourselves.