Since starting 23 years ago, the U.S. Green Building Council has grown to 270 employees working in 150 nations with an operating budget of $90 million year. Rick Fedrizzi, co-founder and the current CEO of USGBC, has been there from the start to see the group through incredible growth, including the development of LEED. Last year, Fedrizzi published his book "Greenthink: How Profit Can Save the Planet" and announced he'd step down from the firm at the end of 2016.

In celebration of Earth Day, Stan Linhorst of spoke with Fedrizzi about his growth with the company and the ability to lead enormous change.

A lot of leaders want to continue to be the smartest person in the room, and I think that's such a mistake. I constantly try to hire people smarter than me, and it's built a powerhouse team at USGBC.

A leader needs to over-communicate and listen to their team. Advance the discussions in a way that are humble on your part... To me it's a sign of poor leadership if someone walks in and says: I'm the new leader. I've got all the answers.

You have to be willing to understand the people that are working the issues every day. What are they saying? What are they not seeing? Are they talking to the customers? What's their perception?

Then, encourage them to be the solution. Again, a good leader isn't the one that comes in the room with the answer. The good leader is the one secure enough to just force that to come from others.

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