Warren Gorowitz is a leader in the landscape industry. He is a forward thinker when it comes to new technology, sustainable practices and social media. Over the years I have learned so much from Warren. He is committed to improving our industry and I am so impressed with his ability to teach and lead by example. He tells us “We have the ability to work together to make the world a better place for us to live in today and for future generations.” Warren was recently named to Lawn and Landscapes list of the top twitter accounts to follow to keep up on the growth of environmental awareness. You can find Warren on twitter @waterguru2. Let’s see what we can learn from Warren.
What’s Your Typical Work Schedule?
Monday – Friday: 8am – 6pm. I’m a morning person, so I’m up by 5 a.m. and although I’m not at the office at that time, thanks to technology I do start thinking about the work day. My first task in the morning is to spend some time reviewing current events as it relates to the green industry. I also use this time to prep my social media posts for the day and get them all scheduled. After that for me there isn’t a typical work schedule because I am often on the road traveling to visit our branches, attend conferences, etc.
Saturdays and Sundays: Do you completely check out or do you work a little check emails – how do you manage this time?
I will check emails on the weekend, usually by Sunday afternoon. You have to have some down time so I try hard not to be connected 24/7 with my work emails. About 10 years ago, I turned off the auto-receive feature on my iPhone so my emails (both work and personal) don’t get pushed to my phone automatically. I get them when I want to. If you’re not careful the technology these days will control you. There are times when I’ll spend time working on a project on the weekends when necessary. It’s nice to have a clear head and no distractions to approach a task. It helps with my creativity.
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
There are so many apps I like. I guess it depends on what I’m doing. For my note taking and capturing important information I want to reference, I can’t live without Evernote. It’s a powerful tool and is great because it syncs across all of my electronic devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.) I’ve been using Evernote since 2011 and am a Premium subscriber. It’s worth the extra annual fee for offline access and extra monthly storage. I’ve tried all of the various To Do related apps, and found that I started making it so complicated that I never got anything done! As of now I’m using Wunderlist and it seems to be working well for me. Again, it syncs across all of my devices so that is very important. I’ve started using MindMeister to help visual ideas and for brainstorming. It’s a very powerful tool that gives you a more visual look at your ideas, versus just making a standard outline or text document. It too has an app, and syncs across all of my devices. (Notice a theme here?). For taking pictures with my iPhone I LOVE ProCamera and also purchased the HDR package. It has some amazing filters built into it and produces some great photos. To manage all of my travel, I use TripIt Pro. That is a must for me as it keeps all of my hotel, car rental and air travel information organized by trip and it also tracks my flights to let me know about any delays which is really handy when I’m in route traveling.
How Do You Stay Up On What’s Happening In Irrigation?
I rely on the various landscape industry e-newsletters, websites, and even printed magazines. Irrigation and Green Industry, Lawn and Landscape, Turf Magazine, and Landscape Management to name a few. I participate on the Irrigation Association’s Government Affairs Committee so I am kept up to date on irrigation related federal and state legislation. I also follow a variety of irrigation related people and companies on Twitter, LinkedIn discussion boards, and even through Flipboard and Apple News.
How much time to you spend managing projects and people vs promoting sustainability?
In my current role, I don’t manage any people. A good majority of my time is spent managing projects and working on the strategic direction of sustainability for Ewing. Since this is a relatively new position for both myself and Ewing, it’s a lot of development work and brainstorming currently. Over time I will I see myself spending more time promoting sustainability. That being said, I’ve been asked to present at a variety of conferences around irrigation topics and am weaving sustainability into my presentations when possible.
How do you get ideas of how to be more sustainable?
There are a variety of websites and social media outlets I follow that are focused around sustainability. The key thing is that they are all outside of the green industry. One thing I learned from my recent Executive Master of Sustainability Leadershipat Arizona State University is that you have to get outside of your normal area of focus and by networking and researching information there’s so much more to be learned. I also attend a few sustainability conferences such as GreenBiz Forum (The GreenBiz website is a great resource for current sustainability trends and news).
Work Area Set-Up?
Being a Virgo, I try to keep things pretty simple and organized. My desk at the office is great because it gives me a lot of space to spread out and think. As you can see from the photo, two monitors is a MUST for productivity. I have a LandingZone docking station for my MacBook Pro which makes it really easy to hook up all of my accessories (monitors, speakers, etc.)
At home I have a smaller set up of the same thing, also with two monitors, but I use a Mac Mini instead. Thanks to the connectivity of Apple devices, I rarely have to use my work MacBook Pro at home. In fact, after I started working in the Mac environment at work (I was one of the first employees to try one out, which is something that is common with me, the early adopter), I ended up ditching my Windows PC at home and bought a Mac Mini (since I already had the two monitors for my PC).
At home, I use the Bluetooth wireless Apple mouse and a wired Apple keyboard as well. At the office I use a wired keyboard and an old fashioned wired mouse (I like the reliability of it).
What Kind of Gears and Tech Do You Use to Work?
13” Macbook Pro with Retina Display– Almost bulletproof machine. Always seems to work without any problems. I suggest you spend the extra money and get the flash drive option because the computer boots up in less then 5 seconds! I would encourage you to set up an external backup drive just as a fail safe (Mac makes it easy with the Time Machine app included) because the flash drives are hard to recover when they crash.
iPhone 6— I’ve been an iPhone user since almost the beginning (in fact I used to carry a personal phone, just so I could have the iPhone, before it was our company issued phone. What can I say that hasn’t been said about these phones? How did I live without it?
iPad — I have a work iPad, that I use, especially when going to meetings so I have access to all the information I need at my finger tips. I like the larger display when working on research an website browsing. I have a Bluetooth external keyboard that I use for my iPad when taking it into meetings at the office. Although, I have found that it’s just as easy to take my MacBook Pro with me to the meetings so I’m starting to do that more often. Notebooks and Pen – I do still write notes and thoughts down on paper from time to time, but it seems as though my writing is getting harder and harder to read. I can type faster then I can write these days. When using paper, I recycle other notes and paper, and you’ll often find me writing on the backside of something else (if it wasn’t already printed on both sides).
Other Work Gear?
Sonos Wireless Speaker System — I have a complete Sonos system at home and I love listening to music when working at home. It helps keep me focused. I have the PlayBar for my TV, and then Two Play 1’s and a Play 3 around the house which I move outside when I want to enjoy music there. Even when I’m not working at home, it’s rare when there isn’t music on in the background. I listen to a variety of music through Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music. I’d love to have a speaker for my office, but it would require a lot of bandwidth on our work network, which is discouraged.
Computer Apps I Use to Stay Productive
Here are the apps I use to stay productive throughout the day:
Evernote — for organizing post notes and capturing ideas.
Buffer– for managing my social media posts on both Twitter and LinkedIn.
Microsoft Office and Google Docs for my writing, spreadsheets, etc.
Safari and Firefox Browser with the following plugins: Evernote (for saving articles and posts for future blog post research)
Buffer App (for managing social media) LastPass (for managing all of my login passwords)
GoTo Meeting (for online meetings and video chats)
What are you currently reading?
After spending 13 months in my Executive Master’s program reading a variety of leadership, sustainability books, unfortunately, I haven’t gotten myself back in to reading regularly. I have a short attention span when reading and tend to start a few books at the same time and never finish anything. I have a rather long list of books that I want to read though.
How do you recharge?
I’m an outdoors person. I run, hike and just started biking recently. Recharging your batteries is important, so I also make sure to take a few long weekends away (especially as it gets hot here in Phoenix during the summer) up to the mountains, and I also take a 1-2 week vacation each year, usually out of the country. When I’m out of the country, I disconnect from work, turn off the cell phone and don’t check work email. You have to do that in order to get your sanity back!