January 26, 2017

S2|E2: Gretchen Nicholas – “Only good things will come when you follow your passion”

By Tom Davidson

Welcome again to Season 2 of the Leadership Nature podcast! Season 2 is focusing on and featuring women in forestry and natural resources. Today’s guest is Gretchen Nicholas! Gretchen is the Program Manager for the FIA Program at the U.S. Forest Service. With over 30 years of experience, Gretchen has seen the industry change and grow from a male-dominated field to a diverse set of people with different backgrounds and cultures. Gretchen is nearing retirement, but says that she is so glad she chose her passion for the outdoors over other options she might have chosen along the way, even when higher-paying opportunities arose!

Key Takeaways:

[3:00] How did Gretchen get started in this industry?

[6:40] Although Gretchen had other options, she chose to follow her passion and work outdoors.

[8:00] What was it like transitioning into a leadership position?

[10:20] Don’t assume you have to be right all the time.

[13:15] As a leader, it’s important you respect your team, but it’s also important to set high standards. This may mean you won’t always be liked.

[18:55] What were Gretchen’s first 20 years in the business like?

[19:40] Men are not the enemy!

[22:45] What advice does Gretchen have for those who may experience discrimination or harassment in the workforce?

[29:10] Pay attention to what your team is good at. Pay attention to their strengths and play to those strengths.

[31:45] What can men do to help their fellow female co-workers?

[40:10] Be more aware and compassionate towards other cultures, and people of different backgrounds.

[44:00] Where is natural resources headed? What does the future hold for it?

[47:25] Gretchen asks that you watch Invictus.

[51:35] Are leaders born or made?

[54:10] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Gretchen on LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *