Season 1 | People You Should Know in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 13

#13 | The two most important skills every effective leader needs to have

December 14, 2016 | Steve McMullin

Dr. Steve McMullin is president-elect of the American Fisheries Society, former Chief of Montana’s Fisheries Management Bureau, and current Professor Emeritus at Virginia Tech. During his tenure at Virginia Tech, Steve developed and directed the College of Natural Resources and Environment Leadership Institute, a program designed to introduce outstanding juniors and seniors to principles of leadership. He has also taught leadership, communication and team-building workshops for the US Forest Service and other natural resource agency personnel. According to Steve, there are two important skills he wishes every young or emerging leader to develop. Find out what those are in this week’s episode!

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] What first got Steve interested in wildlife and natural resources?

[5:15] What are some of the key differences between a younger student and mid-career professional learning about leadership?

[6:40] How can our youth get involved with the department of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech?

[12:00] Steve is not aware of any other program that is as extensive as Virginia Tech’s program for undergraduates.

[14:50] What are some of the main things Steve tried to get his students to learn from the college program?

[15:45] There are two important factors to know, in order to be an effective leader.

[18:00] Don’t let who you are, or your personality type, limit you.

[20:45] Don’t waste your time taking a 4-hour personality type, Myer & Briggs-esque, course.

[22:50] All confidence and no skill is a bad look for a leader.

[24:05] You don’t have to be an outgoing and extroverted person to be an effective leader.

[26:50] How does someone learn leadership skills if they aren’t exposed to a program like the one at Virginia Tech?

[31:20] Keep reading leadership books!

[34:35] You can also learn a lot about leadership from volunteering!

[41:35] Remember, we’re in the people business too.

[43:15] Steve recommends the book, Grit, by Angela Duckworth.

[48:00] Are leaders born or made?

[50:55] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth
Team of Rivals: The political genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Goodwin


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