Episode 024: Jeff McManus – Growing Weeders into Leaders

Episode 024: Jeff McManus – Growing Weeders into Leaders


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. Faced with a multi-million dollar landscaping beautification project, a demand for excellence, and a stagnant budget, Jeff knew that growing the people was critical to growing the plants.

Understanding that everyone has or strives for the innate elements of Greatness, Resiliency, Opportunity and Wisdom, Jeff developed his GROW-theory into an impactful management and professional development leadership program for his staff.

Taking his grounds employees, 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 faculty, staff, students and visitors who walk onto the Ole Miss Campus. Jeff’s message rings true for any industry leader or manager looking to grow a high-performance, dedicated workforce.

In our conversation, we focus on the importance of empowering EVERY staff member, no matter their rank. When you build a team of leaders, productivity goes through the roof, morale is at an all time high and turnover is slim to none. Not to mention, when you put the right systems and processes in place, it frees up the owner to do really cool things!


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While you’re here, watch our interview:

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