MW077 — Author and Director of Landscape Services at University of Mississippi, Jeff McManus: Growing Leaders

Think about who you are right now both professionally and personally.

Who do you influence? How important are the roles that you play? Jeff McManus, director of landscape services at the University of Mississippi, problem solver, and author of Growing Weeders into Leaders, is on a mission to not only grow plants, but people.

After coming to the university in 2000, Jeff took on the challenge of managing a multimillion-dollar landscaping beautification implementation project. He was faced with the demand for excellence and high productivity at a stagnant budget. Jeff knew that influencing his team was going to be critical in growing the landscape and it was through that experience that he developed his growth theory. His theory’s a management and professional development approach based on the belief that all humans either strive for or have within them the elements of greatness, resilience, opportunity, and wisdom. All they need is a fertile environment to grow.

Listen in and learn how to create experiences that foster connections, make real impact, and lead greatness in yourself as well as others.

Key Takeaways:

Growing your community. Did you ever have a goal, whether it’s as simple as losing five-pounds or as complex as writing your first book, that you never quite got to achieve? Self-motivation’s just the first step; you need THIS to get to the finish line…[06:01].

Nurturing your inner leader. In each and every one of us is this ability to lead, to empower, and to influence those around us, but not many of us believe we can. How do you embrace this role when your current position or title doesn’t reflect it? It’s a two-step process; start here…[16:04].

Harvesting your meaningfulness. There’s a shift you can consciously make from living a mundane, menial life, to one that’s rich of purpose and lights you up. And it makes no difference if you’re a tough, blue collar, frontline employee – you CAN bring meaning into your position. THIS is how you make your mark… [21:16].

Seeding your self-growth. At this point you’ve learned how to become a leader beyond any doubts or titles AND you’ve brought meaning to your life. Great! But how can you continue to develop and grow the way that you do? Simple, try THESE practices to keep you motivated…[28:29].

Tune in and turn the volume up for a dose of inspiration and life lessons. That’s how we Live Lead and Play!

To learn more about Jeff McManus, visit

Meet the host, Luke Iorio
All you really need to know is this: Luke Iorio is a dad, a spouse, an entrepreneur, a conscious growth strategist, coach, blogger, podcaster, a wide-angled observer, and enthusiastic participant in the game of life who seeks to ask and answer, “What’s truly possible?”
So where does that all come from? Well, for that we need to answer this: How does a shy kid from the suburbs of New Jersey grow up to become a conscious strategist, sought-after coach and speaker, and disrupter of life’s “good enough” status quo?
In a nutshell, Luke intentionally pushed through some of his most palpable moments, or what he calls inflection points. These moments included standing on stage, gripping a microphone, and getting totally out of his comfort zone. This repeated intention to “choose different” has catapulted Luke toward stellar success.
So, what happens AFTER you choose…when you start to take meaningful action? That’s when an inflection point becomes an open road — a pathway to living your intended purpose.
Luke’s path looks something like this…he became President of The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching at age 32, and has since graduated more than 11,000 coaches, leaders, athletes, and professionals across 44 countries, all of whom share his vision and desire for expanding our human potential and creating lasting, conscious change.
You could say Luke’s manifesto reads something like an everyday philosopher and spirited entrepreneur having been inspired early on by the likes of Napoleon Hill and Og Mandino. Nowadays, his intrinsic curiosity and wisdom is paying off as a media personality quoted on The Huffington Post, Fox Business, and Next Avenue, and most recently taking to the airwaves to entertain life’s pivotal questions with the help of celebrated thought leaders, mentors, and everyday unsung heroes.

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