I still recall the occasion on which my reverence for lawn management began. My wife and I were browsing the pictures from a friend’s wedding, and something about one in particular—a shot of the bride and groom beaming at the camera from the well-kept lawn of a public park—was permanently etched in my mind as a perfect shot. Of course, the expressions of joy on the bride and groom’s faces were part of the magic of the picture. But there was something else about the scene that elevated it from a mere event to the kind of timeless moment that seems certain to leave an indelible mark fixed on that location. What made the picture so striking was the way all of the elements came together and, by almost alchemical process, transformed the scene into a snapshot of perfection—one of those elements being the lustrous green backdrop, so caringly coifed by the groundskeepers. Looking back, it strikes me that, insignificant though lawn-care may seem to some, whoever took care of that lawn contributed in a palpable way to the perfection of that captured moment. That the task of simply cuttin’ the grass can have such an impact is a source of continuous admiration and pride for me.
Of course, cutting grass is not always going to leave such a lasting impression, nor be as important to everyone as the preceding might indicate. Often times, clients are rental property owners who—having so many other demands on their time and resources—are not concerned about the direction in which the lawn is cut, or whether the edging is done with a line trimmer, or steel blade, etc. Often times, the biggest concern is that the lawn is kept in accordance with city bylaws, and is presentable for prospective tenants. In such circumstances, it is easy to lose sight of that source of pride, so much more apparent in the case of the wedding photo. However, I love the challenge that such situations present. As someone who works for the property owner, I always try to envision myself as more than just the guy who cuts the grass. In a very real way, I, and the work I do, represent the property owner and his/her commitment to providing quality homes for rent. I am not just out there cutting the lawn, my work is an important part of the property owner’s business—the first thing a prospective tenant sees when walking up to the property, and perhaps even a deciding factor for a tenant torn between two comparable houses. Knowing the important part I play for both the property owner and the prospective tenant is great source of pride for me.
So, whether giving your lawn its weekly cut, striping your backyard for a special occasion, or keeping your rental property neat and trim, there is always a source from which the reflective lawn care professional might draw real pride—pride that is always reflected in the finished product. This is the Kaizen difference.