116: Growing Weeders Into Leaders Who Live Abundant Lives with Jeff McManus

Not everyone wants to be a leader in the sense of leadership on the job. When Jeff McManus and I are talking about Growing Weeders into Leaders, we are not just referring to leaders on the job, in the military or even on the ball field. We are talking about leading yourself, your family and your kids. We are talking about enjoying what you do on the job and making work more than a four letter word. Let’s learn how to grow as leaders together.

Meet our Feature Guest

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.

After coming to the University in 2000, Jeff took on the challenge of managing a multi-million dollar landscaping beautification implementation project. Faced with a demand for excellence and high productivity, and a stagnant budget, Jeff knew that growing the people was critical to growing the plants. Through that experience, Jeff developed his approach to managing resources and developing personnel – his GROW-theory; a management and professional development approach based in the belief that all humans either strive for or have within them the elements of Greatness, Resiliency, Opportunity and Wisdom – they just need a fertile environment to GROW.

Taking his grounds staff, 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, PGMS, Newsweek 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 – a replicable training program that promotes the individual’s innate ability to GROW.

Time Stamped Show Notes

(click a time stamp below to time travel directly to that point in the conversation.)

8:50 So, where are you at in the World?

9:55 Attitude of Gratitude

11:20 Let’s get Personal

17:20 Kick in the Gut Moment

Paying it Forward 33:20

36:19 Action Steps you can take today.

39:05 What are you reading or listening to right now and why?

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39:40 What do you feel holds most people back from live a life of True Abundance?

40:42 What does Living A Life of Abundance mean to you?

41:25 Parting piece of guidance

Connect with our Feature Guest

Wally’s Take Away:

It does not matter what you do in life. Rather you want to be a leader or not, leading is a requirement to move forward in life and rase an amazing family. Lead your life to a life of Abundance and life of Happiness.

Resources Mentioned:


  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth – John C. Maxwell


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