Season 1 | People You Should Know in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 6

#6 | Some of the greatest leaders are introverted

September 28, 2016 | Carlton Owen

Carlton Owen is the President & CEO at the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities since its inception in 2006. However, Carlton has been involved with conservation innovation for over 40 years and is a trained forester and wildlife biologist. In this episode, Carlton discusses important lessons in leadership and uses the current Presidential election as an example of what not to do when faced with people who have differing opinions than you. He added that a great leader is compassionate and understanding of the people they serve, and he notes that it’s important to listen and be respectful of other people’s differing opinions.

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] How did Carlton get interested in forestry?

[4:55] Don’t forget to appreciate your mentors.

[7:00] Don’t be afraid to ask for a mentor. People are almost always willing to help.

[7:20] Be proactive in your own career development.

[7:35] Carlton shares his leadership journey and how he got into policy.

[11:10] You won’t get anywhere by attacking people’s character.

[12:00] How do people get comfortable with the unknown?

[13:35] Some of the greatest leaders are introverted.

[13:55] Carlton believes getting out of your comfort zone is where you will learn the most.

[14:00] We’re not learning new things by listening to the same news that just re-confirms our biases.

[16:00] It seems like it’s harder and harder to have a healthy conversation over social media.

[16:35] The only way to learn is to do!

[16:55] So, what does this new world mean to leaders today?

[19:40] What do new leaders and students need to learn?

[20:05] An individual is not going to be able to solve complex problems alone. It takes a team of talent.

[22:15] If Carlton were to write a book about leadership, what would the first chapter be about?

[24:10] Base your decisions off of your own moral value system.

[24:30] It’s difficult to be a leader and you will have to face some tough decisions.

[26:30] You can’t grow if you’re in denial about what you need to improve on.

[27:40] Keep in mind, our weaknesses are often our strengths as well. It’s sometimes a hard thing to balance.

[28:00] Why does Carlton have frequent feedback conversations with his team?

[29:15] A non-profit is still a business!

[35:10] Carlton shares one last piece of advice before he goes.

[36:30] What’s Carlton’s favorite book on leadership?

[38:35] Are leaders born or made?

[42:50] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Carlton Owen on Linkedin


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