Season 4 | Our State Foresters | Episode 8

#65 | I don’t believe in leadership by title; I believe in leadership by influence

May 16, 2018 | Tom Boggus

Tom Boggus is the State Forester of Texas and the Director of Texas A&M Forest Service. He has worked for the State of Texas since 1980, becoming Interim Director in 2008 and being officially appointed State Forester in 2010. One of the events during this time was when Tom led the response team during the worst wildfire season in Texas history. On this show, he says that leadership is about impact, not titles, and says the following. “The details matter. Communication through storytelling is the best way to get your message across.” Find out more about Tom’s leadership principles, his extensive career, and advice on this week’s episode!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro about Tom’s background.

[3:40] How did Tom become interested in forestry?

[7:35] What was it like during one of the worst wildfire seasons in Texas history?

[10:50] What was Tom’s first job like?

[14:25] If you don’t know how to deal with or communicate with people, then you will not be successful in forestry.

[16:35] Tom shares what makes the Texas A&M Forest Service unique and describes the diverse landscapes and silviculture of Texas.

[22:15] What was Tom’s first leadership position like?

[27:25] People aren’t going to respect a leader purely by the title. Leaders have to earn it.

[34:15] Mistakes are one thing, just don’t make a habit of “repeating the course.”

[34:55] What’s it like leading on the State Forester level?

[45:55] What does Tom wish he’d learned sooner in his career?

[49:35] What advice does Tom giver his new employees?

[53:45] The future is bright for forestry!

[58:55] You have to dream, but more importantly, you have to believe in the dream.

Mentioned in This Episode:
A Passion for Leadership, by Robert Gates
Intentional Living, by John Maxwell
The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout


Leadership Nature is a proud supporter of #forestproud, a diverse community of forest stewards.