Each year, high performing college football players are recognized for what they do on the field by being selected to the All-America team. At Bartlett, we have a similar program of recognition through the Bartlett Champion program. Each year the program recognizes the top two employees within each position and regional Division in the company. Having the right mindset is how I was able to become one of the Plant Health Care Specialist Champions for the Piedmont Division.
The Idea of the Natural
Five years ago, when I came to work at Bartlett, I struggled to become competent in arboriculture field skills. Tree work was very different from my forest economic research position at a university. I wasn’t a star with natural talent within the first few months of employment. After some time, I began reading arboriculture books and then applied this knowledge to what I was doing in the field. I became more engaged in the work I was doing by always asking the “why” questions. I also became more engaged by working with individuals who had a real passion for tree care.
Michael Jordan wasn’t a natural with copious talent for playing basketball. One year he was cut from his high school varsity team, wasn’t recruited by the college he wanted to play for, and wasn’t drafted by the first two NBA teams in the draft. Michael Jordan would go on to become the greatest basketball player ever.
One of my crew leaders a few years ago would always say chipping brush builds character. This was a task I did for the first few months of employment that was challenging and caused me to dig down and find strength. Chipping brush was just the start that set the stage for the rest of challenges to come. I’ve been challenged by climbing trees, learning new plant health care applications, and working with many different types of customers. To be a champion you have to be good at coping with setbacks and challenges and use them to move forward on finding good strategies to get better and improve.
What does it mean to be a Champion?
Champions look both inward toward their own development and outward to how they can contribute to their team. To be a successful plant health care specialist, one needs to learn techniques and skills and practice them regularly. Success is when you work your hardest to become your best. At Bartlett we operate very much in a team environment, therefore, it’s important for a champion to have a role that supports the team’s goals. Talent may get you through a tough job when it comes up, but its teamwork that will get you through the entire season. Champions understand this mindset.