How Our Core Values Continue To Shape Our Business

I was asked recently to define T. Lake’s core values. And the best I can say is that our values are derived first and foremost from the land.

Both of my grandfathers and theirs before them and theirs before them were farmers and timbermen. They loved the land. They made a living from the land. They appreciated and valued it. It took care of them, and they took care of it. That’s the attitude I grew up with.

I consider myself part of the lineage of the first job God gave a human being, and that's to tend the garden. Humankind’s first job was to get our hands in the dirt. We’re here to be good stewards.

work boots

The T.Lake Work Ethic

It’s a very pragmatic way of life that you learn growing up around farms and sawmills. You create, and you do it well. You use what you have. If you don’t have it you make it. If you can’t make it, you look for who has the best one, and you buy and use something that will last, because cheap is just that. When you are making an enterprise go you want something that will hold up and not cause you downtime and frustration.

That's the kind of people who built this country. People who had the ingenuity and drive and perseverance to get up and make things happen every day. It’s the classic American work ethic that sadly isn’t always easy to find any more.

But that’s the kind of people we look for here at T.Lake, both in our employees and in the people we serve. We value hard work. But by that we don’t just mean we like to get our hands in it. We value smart work, too, and we work hard at working smart. It’s about showing up consistently, and having the integrity to do what we say we're going to do.

T.Lake’s Core Values

These are the guidelines we use to decide who works here and who doesn’t. These guidelines define the kind of person we attract. (Reading between the lines, they also define the kind we weed out if they happen to  get here by mistake.)

Here they are—not necessarily in order of importance, but just the way we spit ‘em out:

  1. Do good work. I think this one speaks for itself.
  2. Have a bias toward action. In any situation you are empowered to make a decision. This should be to the benefit of the client first. If you see an issue, be proactive. don’t let things slide.
  3. No drama.  Be part of a team first, and don’t bring pettiness to work.  I actually did terminate someone for that recently, because it poisons the well.
  4. Be reliable.  Show up, do what you said you’d do, and do what needs to be done, consistently.
  5. Deliver value. People invest in us and our product. Be doggone sure they get a good return on that investment.
  6. Do the right thing. In any situation you may be faced with choices. Rely on your moral compass to make the right decision.
  7. Stand by your work. We guarantee our work no matter what. We do this as a company but our team members also do this as individuals. Do your work in a way that you would be proud to put a sign on it that says “I did this.” As one person put it, “Don’t deliver no junk.”
  8. Personal growth. Be a continual learner. You cannot remain at T Lake if you are not learning and growing your skill set. Not just what we pour into you, but what you go and proactively learn for yourself.

Tim and TeamSo to sum it all up, you could say it’s farmboy pragmatism combined with education, responsibility, and thoughtful leadership that defines who T. Lake is. In the end, these values free us up to be happy in the work we do, to be fulfilled in the work, and to deliver work that brings fulfillment to others.

In order to achieve that, it’s important to be well matched to the people we’re working with and for. We want the people we work with to know up front how we’re wired. We don’t want to work with people who don’t also espouse similar values, because frankly it just won’t work out.

So, if after reading this you don’t feel like we’re on the same page, then I wish you well as we part ways.

But if you find that the ideals I’ve set forth here resonate with you, we’re going to get along just fine. If that’s the case, and you would like to know more about working with T.Lake, I encourage you to reach out. Just give us a call at 478-750-7733, or contact us online and we’ll get back to you soon!

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Topics: Commercial Landscape Maintenance, Environmental Services