General manager who can grow a company from 1.5m to 5m

Green Mentorship

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Heaven
what do you want to do as the owner then?
I think this is a very good question. If you're going to farm out the visionary role, how is that still your business? It's theirs. If you want to be an implementor, go work for someone else with a ton less stress.

I have no research but I'd say the vast majority of super successful organizations have an uber passionate owner as the visionary setting the course for the company.

Sure, as the visionary, I still take input from my leadership team but don't believe I won't override even a unanimous executive team position if I don't agree with them. How would your CEO have any chance of succeeding if you as the owner still had the authority to trump whatever decisions he or she made?
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I think this is a very good question. If you're going to farm out the visionary role, how is that still your business? It's theirs. If you want to be an implementor, go work for someone else with a ton less stress.

I have no research but I'd say the vast majority of super successful organizations have an uber passionate owner as the visionary setting the course for the company.

Sure, as the visionary, I still take input from my leadership team but don't believe I won't override even a unanimous executive team position if I don't agree with them. How would your CEO have any chance of succeeding if you as the owner still had the authority to trump whatever decisions he or she made?
well an "owner" can literally be just the 'money man'.
Think about a race car...someone owns it, they dont drive it, they dont fix it... they just pay the bills and get to collect money from the sponsors.
Or a sports team is another good example, what does the owner do?
Pay bills, and possibly reap profit.
In fact they have a "person" that does that for them too.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
well an "owner" can literally be just the 'money man'.
Think about a race car...someone owns it, they dont drive it, they dont fix it... they just pay the bills and get to collect money from the sponsors.
Or a sports team is another good example, what does the owner do?
Pay bills, and possibly reap profit.
In fact they have a "person" that does that for them too.
this is very true. Owner doesn’t have to be involved.
 

grass man 11

LawnSite Senior Member
I have no research but I'd say the vast majority of super successful organizations have an uber passionate owner as the visionary setting the course for the company.

?

Facebook and google hired people to run them, replacing them owner because the owner knew they where not ready to run an organization of that size at that time. Additionally, if the end game for an owner is not to be involved with the business daily, then why should the owner be the one to create processes that must be followed. Let those that must follow them create the process. Let the owner decided which ocean to sail the ship in, let the managers drive the boat.
 

cool breeze

LawnSite Member
Facebook and google are public companies. The shareholders own the company. Zuckerberg, the initial "owner" of facebook is the CEO. Like Green Mentorship stated, behind most successful private companies there is a passionate owner. He may not be involved in the daily operations but he is calling the shots and this includes sports team and race car owners. No such thing as a "silent" owner (100% ownership) if a company is going to be successful.
 
OP
BrendonTW

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
I think this is a very good question. If you're going to farm out the visionary role, how is that still your business? It's theirs. If you want to be an implementor, go work for someone else with a ton less stress.

I have no research but I'd say the vast majority of super successful organizations have an uber passionate owner as the visionary setting the course for the company.
What you're getting at is spot on. At that point, the visionary has to be passionate about the investments and what their plan is to do with the investments or the life he/she plans to create off the proceeds of the investments. Its a question you have to ask: "Am I passionate about this industry, or is there at least a level within this industry that I can work towards (whether it be $250k or $250m or 2.5b) that would allow me to get to the point where I finally am passionate about what I get to do?"

The Mexican fisherman in your example is passionate first and foremost about living easy and enjoying life. Being a good steward of the gifts God gave him - peace, family, a beautiful view. This is honorable.
-But is it impossible or less honorable to be passionate about creating a large organization where thousands can come to work and provide for their families, while also spending time with family and retiring nice?

In the banker/fisherman example, it sounded like the banker is just living for himself with no real cause or passion in life besides finally retiring rich one day.

For me personally, this is not motivating at all. I'd like to live well, but I don't really plan to retire, and I intend to continually spend time with my wife and kids and not be a workaholic. It's more about honoring those who are helping me build the company and loving my family and doing good with what I have. I think the fisherman would probably approve of this. The banker probably wouldn't understand.

Sure, as the visionary, I still take input from my leadership team but don't believe I won't override even a unanimous executive team position if I don't agree with them. How would your CEO have any chance of succeeding if you as the owner still had the authority to trump whatever decisions he or she made?
I think when you move out of the CEO/visionary position to just an owner, you would HAVE to do it because you believe that the new person is or can be better than you were in the position. What do you do with a guy who builds a company and realizes he can take it no further. That's pretty good self-awareness. Maybe he would like to find someone who can build his investment for him so that he can invest in other things or retire early on the dividends.

Everyone is driven for different reasons.

Actually making me think about how just becoming an “owner” could potentially void out the purpose we’re in business in the first place.
This is a quote of my response to your fisherman story.

It made me think. Am I passionate about what can be done within OUR business in the industry, or am I more passionate about what could be done with the investment when someone else is managing it? We are pretty passionate about our cause, and I would hate to hire a CEO one day who goes a different direction. I think it would be crucial to have someone attracted to running the business BECAUSE of the values already within the business. This would somewhat alleviate the worry about them coming in and undoing the core values and passion statement.


The reason I am inquiring about all of this is that I am starting to put a finger on what I really enjoy which is investigating opportunities and digging into them, and figuring out ways to get them under my wing. This has seemed to come up more in the investing category rather than the business visionary category.
 
OP
BrendonTW

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
Facebook and google hired people to run them, replacing them owner because the owner knew they where not ready to run an organization of that size at that time. Additionally, if the end game for an owner is not to be involved with the business daily, then why should the owner be the one to create processes that must be followed. Let those that must follow them create the process. Let the owner decided which ocean to sail the ship in, let the managers drive the boat.
Facebooks original man was Mark Zuckerberg. He is still the CEO and I assume owns a significant portion of the stock. Same with Jezz Bezos. He started, still is CEO, and owns somewhere around 1/6 of the stock. This is to Green Mentorships point of the original owner and founder being tied to the vision and driving force of the company.

Googles founders I believe still serve on the board of directors for google/alphabet which the boards purpose is to make sure the ceo is in line with the company values etc.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
Over 30 years in the green industry I have worked for various size companies. One of the first ones, 25 years ago I was crew leader, huge company in Atlanta and South East. Truck pulls up, hey get in i need to show you some things......i say who are you.....he's one of the owners. Shows me some things, never seen him again. The company ending up selling to tru green landcare.....i quit shortly after. Next significant company I worked for was a crew leader, promoted to maintenance account manager over time. Company grew well over years. I left after about 9 years. The owner had unrealistic expectations on the day to day work. At that time around 8 million a year company. A consultant told him....you are a great owner, but a bad manager. And that was the truth. Now one of the larger landscape companies in Atlanta.
Now I work for a company that may hit 10 million this year. When I interviewed the owner said I could sell tomorrow and retire comfortably, but I dont want to do that to my managers. He is mid 40's.
At this size company it is great to see the owner daily. Approachable if needed.
 
OP
BrendonTW

BrendonTW

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Oklahoma City
Over 30 years in the green industry I have worked for various size companies. One of the first ones, 25 years ago I was crew leader, huge company in Atlanta and South East. Truck pulls up, hey get in i need to show you some things......i say who are you.....he's one of the owners. Shows me some things, never seen him again. The company ending up selling to tru green landcare.....i quit shortly after. Next significant company I worked for was a crew leader, promoted to maintenance account manager over time. Company grew well over years. I left after about 9 years. The owner had unrealistic expectations on the day to day work. At that time around 8 million a year company. A consultant told him....you are a great owner, but a bad manager. And that was the truth. Now one of the larger landscape companies in Atlanta.
Now I work for a company that may hit 10 million this year. When I interviewed the owner said I could sell tomorrow and retire comfortably, but I dont want to do that to my managers. He is mid 40's.
At this size company it is great to see the owner daily. Approachable if needed.
I share that view of your current employer.

I don't think it's wrong to grow and sell. But, I personally would feel like I spent the last 10-40 years (however long the company was being built) using people to build my retirement to sell them to someone else who won't value them the same. I have told all of our guys, "you can build yourself a career here, you just have to do it" -- if I sell, then that is possibly a lie. New ownership may have different values.
 

notoriousSTV

LawnSite Member
Location
Atlanta, Ga
The company will definitely change....it won't be the new owners baby like it was yours. That being said, if the owner i work for got a buy out offer he couldn't refuse, i would understand. A company close by, probably the second largest in our area sold to a company from another state a couple of years ago.....seemed like they were falling apart at first, now it seems like they are rebounding. Possibly a normal thing from a buy out. I dont know. Again if the owner sold out tomorrow I would understand. Its business
 
Top