By Tom Davidson
Lee Steigerwaldt is the Chief Operations Officer and part owner of Steigerwaldt Land Services, Inc. Steigerwaldt Land Services was originally established in 1957, making Lee a third-generation consulting forester. Prior to joining the family business, Lee served as a production arborist in Idaho. Today’s discussion details the unique challenges of growing up as a little girl working in a family forestry business and quickly ascending to an executive role at a relatively early age. Lee also outlines some of the fun and challenging aspects of her work as a forestry consultant and business owner, her insights about organizational growth and some advice for young professionals. In this episode, Lee says there is always something to do in forestry, and she advises folks to not sweat the small stuff.
[1:10] A quick intro about Lee’s background.
[4:10] How did Lee get involved in forestry?
[5:30] What are some of the differences between working in Idaho vs. working in Wisconsin?
[7:50] What does Lee’s sister, Julie, do for the family business?
[9:10] When was Lee first exposed to leadership in the work that she was doing?
[14:35] What does Lee wish she had found out earlier about leadership?
[16:15] Lee wishes she had a leadership coach sooner in her career. What have been some of the biggest benefits of having one?
[18:10] What has been the most fun/challenging aspects of Lee’s career?
[21:15] Lee believes the gender discrepancy in forestry is gradually shifting for the better.
[21:55] Where does Lee find talent for her business?
[22:35] A lot of the staff have seen Lee grow up in the family business. Has she had to deal with any pushback when she took on tougher and more senior roles as she got older?
[25:20] What advice does Lee have for women interested in forestry?
[27:05] How do people learn leadership, and what is considered ‘good’ leadership?
[29:15] Lee discusses some of her mentors, growing up.
[31:05] What’s the most exciting aspect about going into the consulting field?
[36:15] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!
Mentioned in This Episode:
Gracious and Ruthless, by Susan Sokol Blosser