Episode 156: Greg Wittstock – The CEO Must Guide The Culture

Greg Wittstock has been dabbling in water gardens since the age of 12. He began with a concrete creation and evolved to the naturally balanced, #1 contractor-installed ecosystem ponds that Aquascape is well known for.

After graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in Interpersonal Communications, Greg founded Aquascape Inc., which experienced incredible growth during its early years. The company appeared on Inc Magazine’s coveted list of 500 Fastest-Growing, Privately-Held Companies in North America from 1999-2002. Greg later appeared on the cover of Inc Magazine, along with a feature article about his leadership and entrepreneurial spirit.

In 2004, he was nominated for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. Greg also received the Best Boss’ award from Fortune’s Small Business Magazine and Winning Workplaces in 2005, and earned the University of Chicago’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame award in 2007.


Episode 156: Greg Wittstock – The CEO Must Guide The Culture

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The Learning Leader Show

“The first job of the CEO is to guide the culture”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Most excited about: The 25th anniversary of his company, Aquascape
  • Growing a business from college hobby to 120 employees and over $60m in revenue at one point
  • “Those who sweat together stay together”
  • Values of Aquascape
    • Character
    • Team
    • Winning
    • Fun
  • The importance of playing football and how they taught Greg about teamwork
  • How The Chicago Tribune story launched his business to another level
  • Why he didn’t speak with his Dad for 9 years
  • The average pond they build is $15,000
  • Overall philosophy to the profession of sales: Help those who have had a bad experience, sell the lifestyle, share statistics about how a pond can change your life
  • Find someone who has done what you want to do and learn directly from them
  • “The greatest satisfaction in life is helping other people succeed”

“Find someone who does what you want to do and learn directly from them.”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 047: David Marquet – “Turn The Ship Around”

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

The Learning Leader Show is supported by Daor Design – Daor Design will help you build your brand like nobody’s business. Most of their work falls into one of four categories: Logo Design, Print Design, Web Design or Digital Marketing. They pride themselves in being a trusted, valued resource for their growing family of clients.

Additional Bio

At the end of 2005, Wittstock’s dream of a workplace utopia came true as the company moved to Aqualand, a 256,000 square foot office and warehouse facility that boasts the largest sloping green roof in North America. Aqualand received Silver Level recognition in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system.

Greg has been interviewed and featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times in 2009, and has appeared on a variety of television shows over the years including Good Morning America, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and cable home improvement shows.