Scott and Judy Green, Alumni Leading Our Community
Scott and Judy Green
Scott, Area Manager, Vice President, Bank of the West | Finance
Judy, Regional CEO, American Red Cross | Accounting
"Humility is a leadership trait that can influence a corporate culture. Humble leaders seek out feedback and focus on the needs of their team; solidifying relationships of trust."
How did MSUM shape you as a leader?
Scott: My takeaway beyond the learning, the books, the lectures, and the tasks, beyond everything - was self-discipline. I understood that graduation was the beginning of life-long learning.
Judy: It shaped me because I had my first mentor here in (accounting professor) Dr. Judy McLean. She gave me good counsel on getting my associate's degree because I knew what I wanted and I was ready to launch my career. I came back and visited her after getting my first real job and she was a shining light and an inspiration. It solidified my choice and my readiness as a professional.
What is the most important quality of a good leader?
Judy: Humility, decisiveness and integrity are key qualities of good leaders because these traits will inspire people, create momentum and develop a positive culture.
Scott: Another quality managers and leaders need is the desire to listen, listen and listen. My father used to say you can’t learn anything by talking and that has always rung true with me. Good leaders surround themselves with good people who are trustworthy and who have integrity.
What is the most important role of a leader?
Judy: One of the key responsibilities of today’s leaders is to share your knowledge and experiences with future leaders so they can grow and be strong leaders in our community, our country and our world.
Talk about the importance of teamwork in leading your organization.
Scott: Teamwork in the workplace is more important than ever. Change happens so rapidly that a high level of trust is needed to navigate through it. When people work together we can make a true difference versus trying to work individually where we will most certainly fail.
Judy: For me, teamwork is all about the privilege of serving together. I have the honor of serving with some amazing people who are very committed to a mission and a purpose with the Red Cross. There is no greater joy than working alongside someone who shares your passion and commitment for the work you do.
As mentors in MSUM’s executive mentorship program, what advice do you give to young mentees?
Scott: My best advice is to find a good mentor. It doesn't need to be structured; it can be a business owner who has affection for what you are graduating in, or it might be an uncle who has been successful. Just find someone who cares about you and your aspirations. Mentors will enter and leave your life at different times, but learn what you can from those people.
Judy: My advice I give to many of the mentees I have had the opportunity and privilege to know is to be open to the possibilities that present themselves and to find those things that feel good to you. I don’t think I would have entered the nonprofit world if I hadn’t opened myself up to opportunities. Find those things that fill your bucket, keep down that path and see where it leads.
Tell me about a time when you failed and how it made you a better leader?
Scott: It’s not a matter of one event, but the events that occur over the lifetime of your career that make you a better professional, leader or person. I don’t like the word fail, even though I’ve done it plenty of times. I look at the totality of it and learning a little bit more from each one of those life events.
What’s your favorite book on leadership?
Judy: “Discover Your True North” by Bill George and “How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership” by Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Both have relevance from a regional perspective and they both are excellent storytellers offering good messages of leadership, family and stories of highs and lows.
Scott: “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. Even though the book is almost 15 years old, there are still concepts that will forever hold true. And the one that I think of is to get the right people on the bus, surround yourself with great people, then figure out where to go.
Tell me why you think MSUM is a vital part of this community?
Scott: Dr. Blackhurst, I believe, is bringing this university in a new direction and becoming more engaged in the community. The professors, the administration, the students, and the alumni have so much to offer to make our region a better place.
Judy: The legacy of learning that is surrounding this footprint of MSUM is really inspiring, and what is so awesome is we are starting to capture it. There is phenomenal learning that happens here. So many artists and communicators, educators and business leaders have come out of this wonderful campus. MSUM is a a treasure.
What are your parting thoughts on leadership?
Scott: Stay humble. It’s one of the better qualities a leader can process.
Judy: Leadership matters. No matter what the level of leadership, it matters.