Podcasts

S3|E1: Josh Van Vlack – You don’t have to look up for the best leaders; they’re at all levels

By Tom Davidson

Welcome to Season 3 of the Leadership Nature podcast. This season’s theme is all about young professionals in forestry and natural resources, their experience, their perspectives, and their advice.

This season’s first guest is Josh Van Vlack, Assistant State Forester with the Wyoming State Forestry Division. In addition to his forestry education and a diverse forestry background, Josh holds a MS in strategic leadership with an emphasis in crisis leadership and emergency management. In this episode, Josh discusses some of his first leadership positions, shares career advice for young professionals, and reflects on the challenges and rewards of taking on significant leadership challenges early in his career.


Key Takeaways:

[1:10] A quick intro about Josh’s background.

[2:35] How did Josh get started in forestry?

[4:45] Why, and how, did Josh get a master’s degree in leadership?

[10:25] What was Josh’s first job in leadership?

[13:05] What has been the most fun about Josh’s career so far?

[15:05] Josh discusses some of the personal challenges he’s faced when he was a young professional.

[16:15] What leadership lessons did Josh wish he knew about sooner?

[17:40] What does the world of natural resources look like today for young working professionals?

[22:00] What are some of the best ways a young person can get involved with the profession?

[29:25] From a big-picture point of view, what can the profession be doing better to help welcome new professionals?

[34:20] We need to stop feeling vilified and start stepping up. It’s time to get better at marketing and communication.

[39:45] What kind of nontraditional skills do foresters need to really succeed in natural resources?

[45:05] Josh offers some final parting words of advice.

[46:55] Tom’s Leadership Tip of the Week!

Mentioned in This Episode:
WSFD.wyo.gov
Josh on LinkedIn
T. H. Kelly Handbook: The Little Green Book Book, by T. H. Kelly


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