MONTAGUE – Michael S. Seaver said when he was growing up, he didn’t want to go into the family business, so instead he decided to move to Arizona to walk a different path
His father Jack, is the owner of Seaver’s Lawn Services in Montague, a staple of the White Lake community since its founding in the 1950s.
“My grandfather started our family business – Seaver’s Lawn Care – in 1953. It has been around for a while. My dad bought it from him in 1987,” Seaver said.
Seaver, who runs his own business as well, is an executive coach and leadership consultant. And has written a book sharing some of the lessons he’s learned over the span of his 10-year career.
Seaver will be returning to Montague on Thursday, May 27 at 4 p.m. to do a book signing at the Book Nook & Java Shop, 8744 Ferry St., in Montague. He said hs goal is to reconnect with friends and acquaintances from the community, as well as, raise money for the First Tee of West Michigan.
According to the First Tee website, “We enable kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with life skills curriculum, we create learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience that kids carry to everything they do.
His book, “I Know”, is divided into three sections which are each then divided into three chapters.
Section one, Seaver says, is directed towards a person who is looking to let something go; it could be overcoming a fear, processing a loss or more. The second section is about self-discovery, testing assumptions and learning about one’s self. And the final section is about how to become a great leader.
Seaver, is a 1998 Montague High School graduate, and a 2002 Grand Valley State University graduate. He said he moved out to Arizona when he was only 23 years old.
“I graduated from Montague High School in 1998 and I graduated from Grand Valley State in 2002 with a dual major in management and finance. And I think, right around that time, I was pretty frustrated with winters, because back then winters were a little bit more severe than they are now. So I got really frustrated with winters, and being cooped up and having to be indoors all the time,” Seaver said.
“That really wore on me. (But also) The thing was (that) the leadership and management of business in the 1980s and early 1990s were much more command and control and you just did what the boss said. And that always made me feel like a robot. I never felt like I could be my own authentic self.”
Moving to Arizona didn’t immediately cure that listless feeling he had back home either.
He found himself still experiencing that robotic feeling working at a Four Seasons Hotel and Resort in Scottsdale.
So, in 2008, Seaver enrolled in school at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which ultimately helped him find his true passion. While there, he worked with a woman named Pam, whom he credits with his transformation.
“Pam helped walk me through a series of processes to find my authentic self. It was something I never ever thought about before until she walked me through her processes,” said Seaver. “And I realized that my life’s work wasn’t meant for landscaping and snow plowing, or the hospitality business, but it was meant to be in organizational development, coaching, consulting, training and employee engagement.”
Pam, he said, had invited him as a second-year student at the school to help coach the first-year students. At the time Seaver was learning Mandarin Chinese, and was able to use his knowledge of the language to help coach some of the international students from China.
Over the years, Seaver’s business has changed, with it first being focused on helping people find jobs, and then it was meant to help work with clients on their communication skills.
“More recently it has morphed into what is commonly referred to as organizational development consulting. So, changing company culture, so if we really need to shift company culture, what are the steps needed to do that.”
He said this could include anything from changing a company’s mission statement and core values to how they pay their employees.
However, despite the changes to his business, Seaver always finds himself going back to what he learned from Pam so many years ago. Whenever someone feels disengaged or like a robot in life and or at work, there is a process a person can go through to shake things up and help them transform.
For more information about Seaver and his book visit: https://michaelsseaver.com