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The Culture Coach – Sharing Stories to Enhance Your Culture

Jeff McManus December 21, 2022 26


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At the age of 37, the University of Mississippi hired Jeff McManus as the Director of the newly formed Landscape Services Department. As one of the most junior directors on campus, the immediate challenges that faced him were staggering – exceptionally low morale with an unacceptable lack of productivity. In many ways, the Ole Miss landscape services was actually an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations then and today.
Jeff believed the challenges could be overcome with focused team effort. So, he established a four-step process he calls “The GROW System.” Jeff works from the position that everybody wants to be successful and they can be – by recognizing their personal potential. Great teams, Raising results, Offense scores and Winning Attitudes, these four things, formed Jeff’s GROW System.
Jeff has been praised by Forbes and the Huffington Post for his book, Growing Weeders into Leaders, where he shares how his team went from last place to being on the national stage. It wasn’t long before PGMS, Newsweek, Princeton Review, and USA Today all recognized Jeff’s teamwork and awarded their efforts with the nation’s most beautiful campus designation.
Dan Cathy, chairman of board of Chick fil A, had this to say about Jeff’s book, “…[it] serves as a guide for all current and future leaders. As a member of the leadership team at Chick-fil-A, part of my job is to help define the future of our business. One thing we have learned throughout my tenure at Chick-fil-A is that there’s a big difference between locating leaders and cultivating them. Jeff reminds us that all leaders can be cultivated with the right pruning and nurturing.”
Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture from Auburn University and is a Certified Arborist and Grounds Manager.

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Jeff McManus

Jeff believed the challenges could be overcome with focused team effort. So, he established a four-step process he calls “The GROW System.” Jeff works from the position that everybody wants to be successful and they can be - by recognizing their personal potential. Great teams, Raising results, Offense scores and Winning Attitudes, these four things, formed Jeff’s GROW System.

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