Season 4 | Our State Foresters | Episode 10

#67 | Work hard at work worth doing

May 30, 2018 | Scott Phillips

Scott Phillips is the State Forester for the South Carolina Forestry Commission where he brings expertise in forestry, wildlife, and business management. As agency head, Scott provides oversight for all functions of the agency and works with a nine-member board to set agency policy and direction. After earning his BS in forest resources from the University of Georgia, Scott got his start in 1999 as a Forester on Manchester State Forest in South Carolina and held a variety of positions in the Commission on his way to becoming State Forester in 2017. While working full time, Scott earned his MFR from Clemson in 2004. On today’s show, Scott shares timeless wisdom about leadership and highly recommends that young professionals get involved in the fire services to build key leadership skills. He also says, “There is always an opportunity to lead up,” and he advises, “When you find your passion, you never work a day in your life.”

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

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

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

[9:20] What did Scott’s first job look like?

[14:50] Scott sees it as a blessing being able to work in forestry every day.

[15:25] What was Scott’s first leadership position?

[19:00] You learn a lot about leadership when you’re in the fire services.

[22:05] If you stick with the status quo, you’re going to fall behind the curve.

[23:35] Scott shares what the South Carolina Forestry Commission is currently working on.

[30:10] The Commission recently celebrated their 90th anniversary.

[35:10] How does leadership change at this level?

[40:45] As a leader, don’t be so quick to speak up. It can quickly squash conversation, which can take away power from your team.

[44:55] If you really want to make an impact, you gotta be able to communicate and listen.

[47:45] If your team is not performing to your expectations, then you’re doing something wrong.

Mentioned in This Episode:
Seedling Partnership Article: http://www.state.sc.us/forest/releases/scfcarborgenpartnership.pdf
Harvard Business Review Podcast: http://feeds.harvardbusiness.org/harvardbusiness/ideacast/
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Scott with SC National Guard Sgt. Joe Berendzen whom Scott guided last year and where Joe bagged his first turkey on one of the Commission’s military appreciation hunts

Scott with Tree Farm Inspector Kirk Weyman on a Tree Farm Field Tour


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