It’s about the people and team

Becoming the manager of a large manufacturing plant was not top of mind when Leslie landed a quality supervisor job armed with a microbiology and chemistry degree.

“I do understand that I work in an environment that has historically been predominantly male, but I believe being a good leader is not dependent upon gender. I also believe that Scotts has supported this premise in its treatment of associates.”

A new path discovered

When Leslie graduated with a degree in microbiology and chemistry, she didn’t necessarily envision a path in which she would one day manage our liquids manufacturing plant.

“The last thing I ever pictured doing was working in a manufacturing environment, as I thought that type of job would be ‘boring’,” Leslie says. “I continue to be amused by that thought because I have never once been bored in any of my positions with Scotts.”

Leslie has had a range of responsibilities since joining the company in 1999, starting as a quality department supervisor. She credits a positive team dynamic and work environment with her ability to grow and thrive.

“I do understand that I work in an environment that has historically been predominantly male, but I believe being a good leader is not dependent upon gender,” she says. “I also believe that SMG has supported this premise in its treatment of associates.”

Leslie noted that the liquids leadership team primarily is female, but that she often doesn’t take notice. “From our perspective it is simply a team of high-performing associates focused on achieving results and making this a great place to work,” she says.

A people leader

She emphasizes the concept of team, interweaving that into her philosophy as a people leader. “I believe that establishing relationships, understanding what is important to others and being respectful and compassionate so that you connect to others on a personal level helps everyone feel valued and to be more successful,” Leslie says.

She also draws inspiration from her colleagues, an extension of “family” in her eyes. “I am fortunate to have great mentors within Scotts who have and continue to offer personal growth opportunities,” she says.

Opportunities to grow

Leslie has had many opportunities to take on an increasing number of challenges. In 2018, for example, she oversaw a major expansion of our liquids plant. With immense responsibility daily, Leslie feels her single largest challenge, however, is maintaining work-life balance. One way she strikes that balance is by tapping into the strengths of others and giving them more opportunities to grow. “You should never underestimate the resources around you from a people perspective,” she says.

Her words of advice for women and men: “Be passionate. Work hard. Love what you do and always recognize the value of people.”