183. Using Words and Wisdom to Create a Greener, More Sustainable World
Judith Webb is executive vice president of the U.S. Green Building Council, a non-profit that advocates for healthier, more sustainable buildings and communities. Throughout her 40-year career, she has been a sought-after strategic thinker in marketing and public policy strategies for organizations and the executive teams that drive them. Her portfolio of experience includes corporate, non-profit and four agency engagements, specializing in helping companies become fluent in the new grammar of higher value benefits sustainability, human health and employee engagement.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I actually started writing when I was in grammar school, around the age of nine. I was the reporter for the Toney Tribune, which was our little newsletter that we had back then, run off on a mimeograph machine. I have a passion for words. I believe words matter. I believe they have valence. They convey emotion. They explain things that are complicated. They help people grasp big ideas.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“By the time I got to college I was enchanted with the idea of being a journalist. It offered everything I needed: to be passionate about ideas; to explain things clearly; to use the power of words to move people and move society. That lasted up until I figured out how much journalists actually made! Then I decided, there’s got to be a better way to do this.” A female mentor at American Red Cross introduced her to the world of public relations.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I believe you have to have desire, and understand what that desire really is. It’s not enough to just want to have money. Money allows a lot of other things to happen, but it’s just not everything. You have to find ways to serve your passion, doing work which keeps you solvent. You have to understand that the end result isn’t what you’re after, it’s just a means to an end that you need to get to.”
Steps to Success from Judith Webb
1. Understand what your desire really is. Know yourself.
2. Don’t do it alone. Find mentors and supporters.
3. Choose a career with your own happiness in mind.
4. Be intentional about knowing where you’re going.
On Her Bookshelf
The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability, by Paul Hawken
Top Tools on Her Browser
Social media and fast access to knowledge are crucial to Judith’s work, but she cautions that the Internet is not a replacement for human interaction. “Sometimes it’s a lot easier to go ask somebody that was there, who can explain to you what was going on in the moment. Context is everything.”
Connecting With Judith Webb
Subscribe to the Podcast Free: