Season 1 | People You Should Know in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 5

#5 | Top leaders need communication, authenticity and self-awareness

September 21, 2016 | Dr. Paul Winistorfer

Paul M. Winistorfer, Ph.D., has served as Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech since 2009. Under Dr. Winistorfer’s leadership, the college has undertaken strategic initiatives to adapt and succeed in a changing landscape, which Paul discusses in greater detail in this episode. Paul also discusses the nature of the next generation of natural resource students, their dedication to the environment and some ways to help grow them as leaders.

Key Takeaways:

[3:00] How did Paul get started?

[8:00] Paul talks about students today and the types of programs Virginia Tech is offering them in the forestry field.

[10:00] How do Paul and Virginia Tech incorporate leadership into their curriculum?

[14:10] How do students define leadership and what is Paul’s definition of leadership?

[16:45] Why did Paul’s definition of leadership change over time? What made him change his mind?

[18:30] Paul shares an early life experience which taught him the importance of leadership.

[19:55] We all need to step up. Do not assume you can not make a difference.

[22:50] Paul does believe more students in this generation are willing to step up and ask questions.

[23:15] More experienced leaders need to be open to questions.

[24:55] What are the top 3 things leaders in forestry need to know?

[27:20] What challenges do our young and emerging leaders need to be aware of?

[29:20] Paul talks about the new water program.

[32:05] What has the school done to increase more diversity in this field?

[34:40] What piece of advice would Paul give to those who are looking to develop their skills?

[36:00] Start sooner rather than later!

[38:30] Are leaders born or made?

[40:50] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Leadership, featuring Peter F. Drucker and others


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.