Your Manual for Building and Leading a Culture of C.A.R.E.
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Foreword by Dina Dwyer-Owens
The ten van Stralen brothers built The Grounds Guys®, their landscape management company, from the ground up. By establishing a “culture of C.A.R.E.” as the centerpiece of the organization, the brothers have experienced tremendous success, working together in unity and growing their concept into a multinational franchise brand. C.A.R.E. Leadership shares the van Stralen brothers’ extraordinary story and shows how eight simple but powerful leadership principles derived from the code of C.A.R.E. will enable your company to thrive, too. It’s all about the culture, author Peter van Stralen argues, and each one of the principles—from “Create a Remarkable Experience” to “Be Humble” to “Listen Well and Communicate with Respect”—gets leaders one step closer to creating a team that is competent, fun, fulfilled, engaged, and committed to giving customers the best service possible.
With over twenty years of business success to his credit, Peter van Stralen is a certified franchise executive (CFE) and the visionary CEO of Sunshine Brands®. He is passionate about sharing the culture of CARE by teaching the principles of CARE Leadership. He is currently traveling in NZ and Australia with his family. In 2016 they completed a full year of RV travel around all of Canada and the USA.
Praise for C.A.R.E. Leadership
“Peter van Stralen knows that when you care about your team, they will pass along that caring attitude to your customers, and success will follow. If you haven’t yet created a culture of care in your organization, read C.A.R.E. Leadership and make it happen.”
— Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Trust Works
“In a fast-paced world that changes at lightning speed, it is vitally important (and necessary) to be grounded in unchanging values and principles. Peter has revealed these timeless gifts in a simple passionate, personal, powerful and inspiring story. Most of us feel these principles in our heart, conscience and spirit. C.A.R.E. Leadership reminds us that the business of enhancing lives enriches our own and helps us change the world in positive and long-lasting ways.”
— Tony DiGiovanni, Executive Director of Landscape Ontario
“C.A.R.E. Leadership will give you incredible insights into building a great organization. Peter van Stralen has proven that with Sunshine Brands. More importantly, he reminds us all as leaders that we must continually be learning and applying the wisdom that can be found all around us, if we only have the courage to look.”
— Jim Paluch, President of JP Horizons; Author of Leaving a Legacy
“C.A.R.E. Leadership is an impressive and refreshing book. Peter van Stralen’s journey of how he and his brothers have literally built the Ground Guys business from the ground up is entertaining, informative, and inspiring. I particularly love the way he has crafted important principles of leadership into practical frameworks that can be immediately grasped and implemented. Peter writes with the conviction of someone who has truly put their ideas to the test. This is great stuff.”
— Greg Nathan, Founder of the Franchise Relationships Institute
“Wow! What a great book! It isn’t theory or philosophy but practical realworld leadership. I don’t think I’ve read a book with so much practical, useable, trainable information packed into it.”
— Joel Worthington, President, Mr. Electric
“There is much to admire about this work and a great deal that could be said to recommend its reading. At its essence, however, I would say this: If you are seeking both significance and success and realize that going to work every day for a dollar is the height of poverty thinking — then C.A.R.E. Leadership is for you.”
— Jim Amos, chairman of Tasti D-Lite /Planet Smoothie; Former CEO of Mail Boxes Etc.
“This book is a must-read for anyone in a leadership position. Whether you’re an experienced leader looking for new perspective or a new leader looking for best practices, this is the book for you. The clarity and focus that Peter van Stralen brings to his thinking on how to be a great leader is refreshing, and his writing makes you feel like you’re having a great chat over coffee. Your time will be well spent and your leadership will be reinvigorated.”
— Lorraine McLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association
“Having worked with Peter for several years, I already knew the story well — yet I couldn’t put the book down. I read it from start to finish in one sitting. I never saw a company that didn’t list customer service as their top priority, yet most companies struggle to deliver excellence at the very point where employees interact with customers. With C.A.R.E. Leadership, business owners inspire employees at every level to embrace and transmit the owner’s passion for excellence down to the customers. It is this ‘secret sauce’ that has made The Grounds Guys an industry leader in landscape management.”
— Ron Madera, President of The Grounds Guys USA
“C.A.R.E. Leadership is an engaging and insightful story of how one family used perseverance, passion, and mutual respect to build an amazing brand across North America. It is written through the eyes of the author’s life experiences, much like a storybook. I felt like I was reading an entertaining autobiography, yet the story is chock-full of leadership lessons for the business and non-business reader alike. C.A.R.E. Leadership is a ‘feel good’ business book about doing it the right way — in business, at home, or in the community.”
— Mike Bidwell, President and CEO of The Dwyer Group
In C.A.R.E. Leadership, Peter explains one of the most important lessons in business. It’s not just about making money; it’s about doing good, and The Grounds Guys are doing a great deal of good, thanks to the solid foundation the van Stralen Family has built. Their CARE Leadership approach is creating a wake of other CARE Leaders.
- Dina Dwyer-Owens – Co Chair The Dwyer Group, and the Undercover Boss.
I have really enjoyed your family success story… it is very inspiring to read about your steps to success. Not only that, but your philosophy and insights that you shared in your book really had an impact on me. Thank you. Your genuinely thoughtful and effective leadership values will be shared with my three little ones as they advance in life. I have read many self-help and inspirational books in my time, but not many (except maybe Deepak) really hit home, like yours. – Timothy N