May 9, 2018
By Tom Davidson
Larry Kotchman has been the State Forester of North Dakota for the last 31 years; he is currently the longest active serving State Forester. In this role, Larry is responsible for the administration of the North Dakota Forest Service, managing the agency’s $15 million budget, and directing statewide forestry services through three leadership teams. On today’s show, Larry discusses why building relationships and trust is a continuous process, leadership lessons he wished he’d learned sooner, and so much more!
[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.
[1:35] A quick intro about Larry’s background.
[3:15] How did Larry become interested in forestry?
[6:15] What types of mentors has Larry had over the years?
[9:30] Larry shares what his first formal leadership job was like.
[12:25] As a State Forester, how is the leadership different compared to a more frontline manager?
[17:35] What was Larry’s experience like at Harvard? How does the executive fellow program on leadership work?
[19:50] What is like being the State Forester for North Dakota and what exciting programs are up ahead for the state?
[22:05] What’s the hardest part of being a leader?
[25:10] As a leader, it’s important to not only lead but to also shape the environment you’re in so that your team remains calm and has the confidence to excel at their tasks.
[27:20] What does Larry mean when he says that formal authority has its limitations?
[29:55] When making a transition to a different level of leadership, what are some of the best things you can do to handle that transition with your colleagues?
[32:05] What did Larry wish he’d learned sooner about leadership?
[38:25] Learning how to communicate effectively is a highly sought-after skill.
[42:25] Larry shares his thoughts about the future of forestry.
[47:25] Larry recommends reading the book, A Sand County Almanac!
Mentioned in This Episode:
A Sand County Almanac (Outdoor Essays & Reflections) by Aldo Leopold
Larry on LinkedIn