Season 4 | Our State Foresters | Episode 6

#63 | I’m smart enough to know what I don’t know

April 25, 2018 | Barry Cook

Barry Cook is the Director and State Forester of West Virginia, a military veteran, and a seasoned forester with a diverse background. He earned his BS degree in Forest Management from West Virginia University and an Executive MBA from Duke University. Barry began his career as a logging superintendent for Weyerhaeuser, then became a procurement supervisor for J.P. Hamer Lumber, vice president of Coastal Lumber Company, and president of Forest Products Group (an arm of Kimball International) before starting his own company. On the show, Barry shares lessons he learned as an impatient manager, the types of projects he’s working on for the State, and advice for young professionals.

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:40] A quick intro about Barry’s background.

[3:20] How did Barry become interested in forestry?

[5:05] When Barry was growing up in West Virginia, there was no game around where he lived. Why was that?

[9:00] How did Barry get his first job in forestry?

[11:45] Barry has never hired someone off the internet. He believes in face-to-face interactions.

[12:55] What have been some of the more interesting jobs Barry has had over the years?

[20:20] Does Barry’s background in business make it easier or harder to be State Forester?

[24:45] Barry discusses some new and exciting projects that are happening in West Virginia right now!

[28:05] What does Barry wish he’d learned sooner in his career?

[33:25] Barry highly recommends that young managers take professional management training.

[35:30] What advice does Barry have for retaining new talent?

[40:55] Barry shares his thoughts and resources for those just entering the workforce.

[44:15] Barry recommends two books!

[50:00] You don’t have to know everything to move into a new position.

Mentioned in This Episode:
Barry on LinkedIn
Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive: Outsell, Outmanage, Outmotivate, and Outnegotiate Your Competition, by Harvey B Mackay
Yeager: An Autobiography, by Chuck Yeager


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