Manuel Castenada graduated from Turbo Leadership Systems'™ Leadership Development Lab (LDL)™ #157in 1995 and then returned as a volunteer instructor to assist with three more ten-week LDL's. He is a dear friend, for whom I have the greatest respect. On February 15, Manuel sent me the following email which reads, in part:
"About 27 or 28 years ago, I was busy working and running Pro Landscape, Inc. That year, I decided to set up a 10'x10' booth at the Portland Expo Center during the Home and Garden Show. Other booths had large areas and amazing displays. I couldn't afford anything like that. My display was just a few photos showing Henry [Manuel's brother] pruning a cherry tree and doing other simple landscape work. To fill the 10'x10' space, I added a small center table with a tablet where people needing landscape maintenance could add their names and two chairs.
"An old man stopped in front of the Pro Landscape booth.
He looked dazed and confused.
I asked, "How are you?"
"Oh, no, I don't need any services. My wife makes me do all the gardening. I lost her."
I invited him to sit and rest.
"Your wife can't go anywhere. She will appear soon. Just relax."
"The man was Tony Wright of A.W. Geotechnical Services. After a conversation, I learned that he had just left the City of Portland Engineering Department to start his own business. His biggest challenge was that he wanted to stabilize hillsides and slopes with pin piles but didn't know any contractors doing that type of work in Portland. I looked in Tony's eyes and shook his hand,
He was shocked and surprised.
'Do you know how to do this work?'
"I smiled big again. 'No. But you are going to teach me on the weekends, and we will figure it out. I will be in your home every Saturday and Sunday. What is your address?'
"This is how the transformation took place from mowing lawns to performing quite sophisticated engineering projects today in at least five states.
Unfortunately, after only about 3 years, Tony died of a brain tumor, (cancer). During that time, I met Charlie Lane, John Cunningham, Craig LaVielle, Kevin Foster, John Gambee, Ray Miller, Tom Fowler, Ken Safe and other wonderful engineers that became mentors to me.
"Losing Tony was hard on me. He introduced me to this field of work and PLI Systems, Inc. was born."
How many of these qualities are demonstrated in Manuel's extraordinary story? I counted seven. How many did you count?
Which of these do you score yourself highest? Which ones do you need to improve? What are you going to do in 2022 to accelerate your improvements?
—Larry W. Dennis, Sr. President Turbo Leadership Systems