John Moncrief grew up hearing the exhilarating stories of wildcatters and their successes and failures from his grandfather and father, and this legacy inspired him to follow in his family’s industry footsteps.
“It is because of how extraordinary these stories and accomplishments were that I am honored to carry on the adventure of my family’s legacy. That is why I am especially excited to be involved in an industry that is in a state of evolution and innovation,” he said.
As president of Clear Fork Royalty LLC, Moncrief is a key player in the acquisition and management of oil and gas mineral rights and royalties in more than 30 states, some of which have ties to his family going back three generations.
“Becoming president of Clear Fork Royalty [is a career milestone I reached sooner than I planned]. I owe a great debt of gratitude to a mentor, boss and friend who taught me the intricacies and mechanics of what is required to be successful in a highly competitive and complex industry. Not the least of these lessons were the importance of always being open to new ideas, continuously learning, exploring innovations, the ethics of hard work and always being considerate in the effective management of personnel resources.”
“I am fortunate to be surrounded by great leaders, both personally and professionally, that constantly challenge me to be a better person and a better leader. I have always pushed myself to learn as much as I can, to entertain other points of view and to explore other cultures and ways of thought as a way of broadening my own personal horizons. I read a minimum of two hours per day, alternating between literature specific to my field, books for personal and professional growth, and novels purely for recreational purposes to continue to help me broaden my horizons.”
Resilience, patience, integrity and transparency are the qualities Moncrief identifies as necessary for a good leader.
“I have been around the industry long enough to see people and businesses come and go. The booms and busts are extreme and can be seen as measures of the practitioner’s aptitude and resilience. It is very easy to lose it all. A good leader needs to envision the fluctuations inherent in this business and consequently be patient enough to cautiously take advantage of the good times but be prepared and resilient enough to weather the bad times.
“Our industry has its share of unscrupulous characters that have tended to give us all a bad name. Specifically in the mineral space, I have come across too many that either bend the truth in their favor or flat out trick people into leasing or selling their minerals. The traits of a good leader inarguably include integrity, honesty and a dedication to honor. If we are to build trust throughout our communities and within our profession, we must work in a manner that reflects these traits in its transparency.”
Advice to young professionals
“Strive to work harder than anyone else in the room. At the same time, learn everything you can from everyone in that room. Put in the time and the effort to be the best and constantly push yourself to excel. If you can apply this mindset to every aspect of your life, you will be successful. Whatever is being done, it can be done better.”
“To thrive in the future, or even survive, this industry must be dynamic. It is under constant political pressure, community pressure, pricing pressure, and [it] faces challenges that were nonexistent mere years ago. We must be able to work with new technologies and priorities and find common ground that is beneficial to this industry and to the environment of the future. For example, COVID-19 has forced many of us to work from home. Companies have had to figure out how to maintain productivity while having lost their physical infrastructure. This may be a good wake-up call to how all of the industry needs to reimagine their business model in the future.”
“The traits of a good leader inarguably include integrity, honesty and a dedication to honor.”