March 7, 2018

S4|E8: David G. Smith – “Don’t raise your voice, elevate the conversation”

By Tom Davidson

Today’s guest, David Smith, was born and raised in Hawai’i where he began his career as a biologist in 1982 with contract positions at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, he is the State Forester of Hawai’i and the Forestry and Wildlife Administrator for the Division of Forestry and Wildlife. On today’s show, David talks about the diverse ecosystem of Hawai’i, how good leaders talk it out — not shout it out, recommends patience and learning when passed over for promotion, and lots more!

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

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

[2:40] How did David become interested in forestry?

[3:50] What types of jobs have been the most memorable for David?

[6:10] What was David’s first leadership position?

[7:45] David discusses what kinds of things began to change during his leadership positions.

[10:05] What is Hawaii’s ecosystem like?

[18:35] What’s David most proud of?

[27:00] Don’t raise your voice. Talk it out. Most of us have 95% in common.

[31:00] Designing an effective process is crucial. David shares an example of what he means by a ‘good’ process.

[33:35] What advice does David have for younger professionals wanting to get started in natural resources?

[41:05] How does David attract and retain talent?

[45:25] Don’t get too upset if you’re not moving up quickly enough. You’ll learn from everything.

Mentioned in This Episode:
Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect, by Bob Rotella and Robert Cullen
A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction, by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein

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