Trust, Donuts and Takeaways from the Tailgate

Brian Brueggemann - November, 2022

“It’s not one thing that you do. There’s a quote I read, it said, ‘anything of value in your life is built on trust,’” Brueggemann said. “Your culture is built on trust because it’s valuable. Connect to your staff because that is what builds a great culture where someone down the street might offer 25 cents more (per hour), but they don’t want to leave this place because these guys are like family.”

Recently I spoke on a panel at Equip to a room full of landscapers about the secret sauce of what makes companies exceptional.

Company culture is one of those things that’s easier to experience than describe. But I have a story about a micro-moment on a Saturday morning in a yard in St. Louis, the impact of an unplanned donut run, and a culture of camaraderie and trust.

Our early morning group of crew leaders and teammates didn’t need me to send them off and prep them for the day, but I showed up anyway. I dropped my tailgate and laid out donuts by the dozens. The smiles were enormous and when someone asked “what, no coffee?”, the laughter and feeling of unity in that small moment taught me all I needed to know about how thoughtfulness and solidarity on a difficult morning or any morning can make all the difference in how the rest of the day unfolds.

Whether it’s playing the role of team leader or chief donut officer, taking good care of your people (so your people take good care of your customers) is as simple as generating feel-good moments—the micro-experiences that form the heart and soul of the heart of your business.

When I look at what things service companies must get right as we build our next-generation operating models, it still comes down to the quality and morale of the people who pull together to excel together and the principles and spirit on which the organization is built.

If you’re looking at your culture or thinking about production and collaboration and wondering how all the moving parts can work together to be as efficient, productive and as lean as possible—so your company can be as profitable as possible—I know exactly what you’re going through.

Before joining the Bruce Wilson team, I was a production and operations executive for multiple market-leading companies. But my 4-decade landscape career started like so many other passionate Hort grads, working my way to the top by learning everything from the ground up.

If you want to talk about what I’ve learned to help you improve productivity, performance, and value stream mapping – or delivering experiences that build team loyalty and trust, let’s set up a virtual tailgate on zoom. The donuts are on me.

Brian Brueggemann Operations Consultant

P: 618-344-4377




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