The Story of the Landscape Gardener
A landscape gardener ran a business that had been in the family for two or three generations. The staff were happy, and customers loved to visit the store, or have the staff work on their gardens and make deliveries – anything from bedding plants to ride-on mowers.
For as long as anyone could remember, the current owner and previous generations of owners were extremely positive happy people.
Most people assumed it was because they ran a successful business.
In fact it was the other way around…
A tradition in the business was that the owner always wore a big lapel badge, saying Business Is Great!
The business was indeed generally great, although it went through tough times like any other. What never changed however was the owner’s attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!
Everyone who saw the badge for the first time invariably asked,
“What’s so great about business?”
Sometimes people would also comment that their own business was miserable, or even that they personally were miserable or stressed.
Anyhow, the Business Is Great! badge always tended to start a conversation, which typically involved the owner talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, for example:
- “the pleasure of meeting and talking with different people every day”
- “the reward that comes from helping staff take on new challenges and experiences”
- “the fun and laughter in a relaxed and healthy work environment”
- “the fascination in the work itself, and in the other people’s work and businesses”
- “the great feeling when you finish a job and do it to the best of your capabilities”
- “the new things you learn every day – even without looking to do so”
- “the thought that everyone in business is blessed – because there are many millions of people who would swap their own situation to have the same opportunities of doing a productive meaningful job, in a civilized well-fed country, where we have no real worries.”
And so the list went on, no matter how miserable a person was, they’d usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivity.
It is impossible to quantify or measure attitude like this, but to one extent or another it’s probably a self-fulfilling prophecy, on which point, if asked about the badge in a quiet moment, the business owner would confide:
“The badge came first The great business followed.”