Ann Carter is the leader people love to follow. Don’t take my word for it just ask anyone who has worked with her. Ann has experienced tremendous success in the C suite and across multiple industries, Automotive, Oil & Gas, Chemical, Aerospace, and Healthcare, she sees no barriers to success and leads the charge in the area of supplier and workplace diversity and inclusion, it's her mission.
This Harvard grad has a story to tell and one that will inspire you on your authentic leadership journey. She is a compassionate leader who has the confidence to inspire, but also the humility to be respectful and encouraging.
There is a part 2 to this podcast, tune in to part 1 to find out why. I had to be vulnerable in part 2, more to follow.
02:26 – Ann’s story
12:49 – Automotive to Healthcare
14:23 – Authentic Leadership
19:00 – Aligning and breaking down silos
23:09 – The games we play in the boardroom
27:46 - Mentoring
31:35 – Advice to your 25-year-old self
36:27 – Leading through a crisis
43:16 – Employee engagement
49:25 – Fun in the workplace
53:11 – The legacy
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[00:00:00] Dietrich: [00:00:00] Welcome to the finding gravitas podcast brought to you by gravitas Detroit. Looking to become a more authentic leader. Finding gravitas is the podcast for you. Gravitas is the ultimate leadership quality that draws people in it's an irresistible force encompassing all the traits of authentic leadership, junior podcast, host Jan Griffis, that passionate rebellious farmer's daughter from Wales, entrepreneur leadership, coach keynote speaker, one of the top.
[00:00:36] 100 leading women in the automotive industry, as she interviews some of the finest leadership minds in the quest for gravitas,
[00:00:51] Jan: [00:00:51] the Anne Carter interview is divided into two parts. We did this because the first part was [00:01:00] recorded on March 5th in Chicago, prior. To the pandemic, but more importantly, it was recorded prior to the global discussion we're having right now on racism. It was prior to black lives matter, and we couldn't let this interview go out without, including that part of the discussion.
[00:01:28] So we recorded a second episode. Enjoy. My guest today has spent many years in the C-suite. She is a chief procurement officer and a well-recognized leader in her function. She's worked for Ford motor company, Baxter, healthcare and BP. She is an authentic leader and yes, she is a leader with gravitas.
[00:01:56] Please. Welcome to the show and Carter.
[00:02:07] Jan: [00:02:07] you here. And I'm thrilled to have such a senior level leader who has worked in so many different industries with so many different types of environments and influences.
[00:02:19] So I can't wait until we can get into all of that. So let's start. What is your story and Carter, where
[00:02:27] Ann: [00:02:27] it begin? Well, you know, that's a great question. And I'd like to answer that by where I am today. I used to define myself by the company I work for or the position, the title that I'd held. And more recently as I've gotten older, I started to question, is that the right way to define who I am?
[00:02:56] And so after some reflection, [00:03:00] I really focused on looking at me beyond just the company I worked for, the position that I've held. And so I'm Bri engaging with interests that I have that are not corporate related. For example, I love dancing. And I re recently became a board member of a small non-profit dance company in South Chicago.
[00:03:26] And I loved going back to something I'm more passionate about and providing the years of experience and leadership to help that organization grow and provide value and arts to a segment of the city where. It's basically an arts desert. In addition to that, I'm tapping into my entrepreneurial roots. So I'm looking at opportunities that are expanding the definition of who I am [00:04:00] beyond.
[00:04:00] Just my corporate title or the company that I've worked for. It's
[00:04:05] Jan: [00:04:05] a bit, uh, it's a real awakening, isn't it? I went through the same process where you wake up and you go, Whoa, wait a minute. And I spent all my life trying to get this title and the next job and the next position and more responsibility.
[00:04:16] And there's actually more
[00:04:17] Ann: [00:04:17] to life than this. Oh, absolutely. And my own personal story quite honestly is very interesting. Um, I'm actually half Chinese. My mother is Chinese. My father is, um, African-American. I was born in Beijing, China, and you can say immigrated or move back to the U S um, when I was four years old.
[00:04:45] And so my first language was actually Chinese, not English, and I have wonderful stories of. Strength resilience and leadership from my [00:05:00] mother who basically raised myself and my brother as a single mom, my father passed away. Um, when my brother and I were in our early teens. Um, and so that void in our lives, my mother had to make up for.
[00:05:19] And some of the values she instilled in my brother and I first and foremost was education. And so we lived in Kansas city, Missouri for some time. And my mother learned about an opportunity to go to California. And if you lived in California for a couple of years, you could have access to tuition free.
[00:05:45] College, especially junior college. So when we were in our early teens, she packed up our bags and moved us to California so that we could take advantage of that quality education and [00:06:00] propel our careers forward. So I, the values that my mother brought to the table. And instilled in me or some of the things that shape who I am as a person, as a mother, as a wife and as a leader.
[00:06:17] Jan: [00:06:17] And then what happened? You moved to California,
[00:06:20] Ann: [00:06:20] right? Correct. So in California, I, you know, I actually blossomed in clout, California. I that's where I took up dancing and I also studied chemistry and I was like, I guess a unique combination. Yeah. Dancing and
[00:06:36] Jan: [00:06:36] chemistry, or this sounds a little
[00:06:37] Ann: [00:06:37] strange, but I love the for chemistry.
[00:06:41] I love the idea of. Understanding how molecules fit together and how the reactions. Could create something different. I went to UCLA undergraduate and finished my career or my degree in, um, [00:07:00] um, in chemistry. I was also a, um, cheerleader on the dance squad at UCLA, which combined my passion for dance. Um, as well as I guess my knowledge passion for chemistry.
[00:07:13] Um, and after graduation I worked for a variety of industries. Um, As a chemist, but then I quickly realized that my personality was more geared towards working with people than working in a lab, running tests. And so I was working for a small, um, uh, aerospace manufacturer in Inglewood. And I said, I need, I need to do something different with my career.
[00:07:45] And I said, I gotta go back to school. So I looked at what I could do. And at the time I said, well, I could go to medical school. And then I said, Hmm. So I can go to law school. [00:08:00] And I say, Oh, let me see. What's another thing I can do as a business school. And I chose business goal for at first it was a two year program and it was fordable.
[00:08:10] And so that's how I ended up applying and, um, And humbly, I would say I was selected to go to Harvard business school, which was a dream come true. Um, and that's where I moved from California to the East coast and, and, um, um, started my studies at Harvard business school.
[00:08:31] Jan: [00:08:31] Oh, I'd say that's quite a story. I didn't realize that we had the, uh, the China piece in there.
[00:08:36] So yeah, China to the U S so Harvard business school. And then what happened?
[00:08:41] Ann: [00:08:41] So at Harvard, um, I learned so much, I meet some of my closest friends to these days, um, at, uh, from Harvard. And, um, I also met my husband at Harvard. He was a second year student. I was a first year student. [00:09:00] And, um, after graduating from Harvard business school, that.
[00:09:06] Education really opened the doors in terms of the opportunities from my corporate career standpoint. Um, I actually did a year of banking because I lived in New York city. Um, before I moved to, uh, or before I took my career to BP chemicals, which is where I started understanding the nature of supply chain and, um, supply demand, path planning, um, managing relationships with.
[00:09:37] Uh, vendors, um, from a, a, a distribution and a logistics standpoint, I had a great eight years with, um, British petroleum. Um, then I had an opportunity to join Ford motor company. Um, in Detroit and so moved pack their bags and moved to Dearborn, Michigan, which is the headquarters of Ford motor company. [00:10:00] Um, many of you guys know Ford as the, you know, premier, um, automotive manufacturer.
[00:10:06] Um, it, uh, describing Ford Ford is really a family owned business with a corporate overlay. I felt comfortable at Ford from day one and it provided an opportunity to grow for me. Um, not only in my field of expertise, but also as a leader, I've had eight or nine positions while I was there at Ford. Over my 18 years, I lived in traveled to, um, the UK twice.
[00:10:45] Um, I have been a global leader. Managing teams of 200 plus located in Latin America, all over Europe, all over Asia Pacific. And those were some of the most [00:11:00] career defining moments in my journey. So you can say I've made my way around the great lakes from Cleveland to Detroit and now Chicago. So I, healthcare is a total different animal.
[00:11:16] Than automotive, but there are so many applicable lessons learned and strategies that you can apply to the healthcare industry that I picked up in both automotive, as well as, um, in the, um, oil and gas industry. Um, healthcare is fascinating because what you're. Making or creating or, um, designing or researching and developing or devices and drugs that really do help to make the human life better.
[00:11:59] And [00:12:00] so learning about and managing in that environment. Was a real eye-opener um, in terms of the complexity of the supply chain, the extreme need for quality, um, especially for those types of drugs and devices that go into the human body. Um, a fascinating journey for me. Um, and as a chief procurement officer working with the variety of suppliers, Working to ensure the robustness of supply was critical because of the kind of, of products that we made and how it impacted people's lives.
[00:12:49] Jan: [00:12:49] And when you move from automotive to healthcare. Yeah. That's a very, very different industry in each industry has its own way of being and its own way of doing [00:13:00] what were some of the differences from a leadership style or leadership model perspective that you saw as you crossed over from automotive and diesel?
[00:13:08] Ann: [00:13:08] Yes. So it's a great question. Um, generally speaking, the healthcare industry tends to be. More conservative because of the nature of the product. Um, the, the solutions, um, the products that are, are, are, um, made go into the human body. So there's a lot more, um, conservative thinking. Um, to, uh, to product development, um, R and D um, as well as manufacturing and the supply chain.
[00:13:48] So understanding the risks and mitigating the risks from a supplier standpoint, throughout the supply chain and at all. [00:14:00] Points of the product development life cycle, um, is critical. And it's not to say that that wasn't critical in the automotive industry, but it was just a different level of scrutiny and awareness because of the, um, again, because of the nature of the product.
[00:14:22] Jan: [00:14:22] held these senior level roles. As I said in the intro, you've been in the C-suite for quite some time. You've seen a lot. What is authentic leadership to you? I mean, you've seen good and bad across these industry, um, boundaries. So. I I'm fascinated to know, you know, all the things that you've learned.
[00:14:46] And now I'm asking you to put together this very short description of what you believe authentic leadership is given your experiences and given who you are.
[00:14:56] Ann: [00:14:56] So I'm going to answer that this way. I. [00:15:00] Have watched leaders, as you've said over my career, and I'm going to send, synthesize the three things that I've seen consistently on great fabulous leaders.
[00:15:12] The first one is that they are able to make a connection at all levels of the organization. Whether it is the line worker or the production worker, or whether it's their senior vice president of HR, the leaders who can make those connections and make the individuals in their organization feel comfortable.
[00:15:41] Like they are the most important person to them are the ones that I. Have seen can really rally the troops in times of crisis and also lead the troops in the good times. The second characteristic is [00:16:00] communication and I don't just mean written communication can write a good email or send out a great newsletter.
[00:16:11] It is around consistent communication that.
[00:16:20] Transforms beyond just the words on the page is when the individuals in your company can repeat the vision, the promise statement, or the goals and objectives of the organization. And that communication talent is so linked to the leader's ability to connect. And the third one. Is trust an authentic leader, exudes not only confidence in the direction, but helps to build confidence that the team has in his or [00:17:00] her leadership capabilities.
[00:17:02] And they trust that person. When that person says, this is the direction that we're going to go in and I've seen good leaders and I've seen bad leaders. And for me, The those three characteristics about a genuine connection at all levels communication that makes words leap off the page. And that trust that is engendered.
[00:17:30] Through the leader are the characteristics that I most admire. Yeah.
[00:17:37] Jan: [00:17:37] And I, I know this, that there, those are the characteristics that you embody. And I felt that the first time I met you and we talk about. Trust and connection. And I think that's something, yes, of course you work on it over time with a team, but you feel it right away.
[00:17:53] You just know it when it's there with a person and that you're almost programmed or [00:18:00] pre-programmed to figure out how you're going to respond to that person based on that initial interaction. And when I met you, we would do an, a workshop together and. You were the senior level person in the room, but you honestly couldn't tell that the moment I walked in the room, because you were very comfortable with the team, they were very comfortable with you.
[00:18:19] You know, sometimes I go into these workshops and it's the boss, you know, is sitting at the head of the table and you can tell by the way the people are around him or her, that that's clearly, you know, the one that's in charge, there was a tremendous amount of. Respect for you, but there was a warmth you had that you could feel the moment I walked into the room and it was great to see that.
[00:18:42] And then it further manifested itself. When I realized that the woman sitting next to you, ran quality for Baxter. And the two of you were in the room talking about joint goals and objectives about aligning these two teams together. [00:19:00] Often in these large corporate environments, we see silos, but you were on a mission to break down that silo.
[00:19:08] I saw it in action. So talk to me a little bit about the leadership style and methodology behind breaking down silos in some very strong conservative organizations with really deep ingrained ideas of what functions should. And shouldn't
[00:19:24] Ann: [00:19:24] be, yeah, that's a very good point. I mean, as you've pointed out, Companies who don't break down silos are going to have trouble moving quickly in today's environment.
[00:19:37] And for me, breaking down silos within a company is critical to ensuring that we not only have the best ideas, but also that we can quickly implement those ideas. And so, um, while I was at Baxter and while I was at Ford, one of my goals was to make sure that. Key [00:20:00] partnerships such as the one with quality were nurtured and developed in a way that showcased authentic relationships and how it could benefit the corporation.
[00:20:14] So a couple of things that I think are important in breaking down that those silos is building a relationship of trust with your counterpart. And that means. Having one-on-ones with them to align on direction and objectives and not always in the office meeting outside of the office to genuinely talk about each other's lives so that you actually know the person, um, in a informal as well as formal ways.
[00:20:50] Second thing is aligning on what our joint. Goals and objectives that the two functions have together. What can we work on together [00:21:00] to be mutually beneficial? The third one is to continue to develop that relationship of trust. So, and one way to do that is if you find information or if you get information, not to hoard it, but to share it.
[00:21:17] To make sure that your counterpart is aware of things that are going on that may or may not impact their function, but they should know about so that they can be a formed in terms of guiding their teams or providing a response to the company. And that kind of sharing of information should be mutual.
[00:21:37] And then I think what else is important is to demonstrate that type of, of joint. Um, relationship to the rest of your team. So they understand the importance of that worked working together, the teamwork, the collaboration, [00:22:00] um, In their everyday work. So that those are the things I think are really important to breaking down those silos.
[00:22:07] And it doesn't happen overnight. You have to make the investment. If you don't make the investment, you're not going to break down those relationship area. Yeah, you're
[00:22:15] Jan: [00:22:15] right. And of course, quality and purchasing and supply chain traditionally. Are always at each other's throats and huge generalization, but we, we see it play out in many different
[00:22:25] Ann: [00:22:25] companies.
[00:22:27] And especially when things go wrong, I think it's easy to fall into the trap of, okay. We have to find a scapegoat who's who was the one who allowed this issue to, or didn't spot this issue soon enough. And I, I think. When you're encountering those types of situation, you have to go back to it's a we and not a they or them.
[00:23:09] Jan: [00:23:09] Yeah. Sometimes it takes a crisis for that to happen. Right? Absolutely breakthrough. The games that we play in the boardroom sometimes. Yes. You mentioned information and sharing information.
[00:23:20] And of course that goes right to transparency. It's about being transparent and being open and honest with the information. And often we see these games playing out in the boardroom where somebody will. Hoard information or hide information. And then there'll be the one to sort of reveal to the, the executive team that, you know, this is the information.
[00:23:39] This person should have known this and should have known that, you know, they try to make the other one look bad. And these childish little games that sometimes play out in the boardroom
[00:23:47] Ann: [00:23:47] seen that. Yes. And, um, you know, the, those gotcha games. Right? That's it. They're exhausting. Yeah. Right. And I. [00:24:00] I think people play gotcha games because of misaligned goals and objectives.
[00:24:08] If there are only individual objectives and you're only being measured and rewarded based on what you do or what information you have, then it's hard to play as a team. And I firmly believe that. Companies should have individual objectives and team objectives in order to eliminate the bias towards well information that I have will get me ahead of others.
[00:24:44] Because if your team doesn't succeed, then you don't succeed as an individual is the right goal that most corporations should have in that should help with the. I'll call it gotcha. Games, which is really exhausting. [00:25:00] Yes. And nonproductive. And doesn't do anything to add value to the customer. Yeah,
[00:25:06] Jan: [00:25:06] that's absolutely right.
[00:25:08] In addition to those games. My experience in the C-suite has been that when you have two women in the C-suite, it can be awful. It can be ugly, or it can be absolutely phenomenal. Fantastic and supportive. What is your experience?
[00:25:28] Ann: [00:25:28] So my experience quite honestly, has been overwhelmingly positive and. I think, and maybe it's comes down to, uh, you know, a couple of factors, I think in general, without overgeneralizing women need to support other women in corporate America.
[00:26:04] um, We're not at a level in the numbers that would say we have to tear each other down. And I believe that the. Employee resource groups that support women help to break down those barriers and silos between women. Um, I also see that a lot of women in senior C suite positions have it as their goal to go back and reach back to mentor.
[00:26:38] Younger women in the organization or for that matter, maybe even more mature women in the organization to help them navigate this very dynamic environment that we have today. In corporate America, where competition is increasing, the speed of change is increasing [00:27:00] and we all have to adapt to be successful in this new reality that we face.
[00:27:08] So for me, my experience has been positive. That's not to say that's everyone's experience, but I do think that some of the. Infrastructure companies have put into place. The employee resource groups, the active attention towards promoting women is making a process whereby no means where we need to be for sure.
[00:27:33] And there's still biases out there in terms of recruiting women, promoting women. And certainly we know that the wage gap for women is still very prevalent. What
[00:27:46] Jan: [00:27:46] have you done? Oh, what guidance can you give to other female leaders out there to support the mentoring
[00:27:53] Ann: [00:27:53] process? I think mentoring is absolutely wonderful.
[00:27:57] I think mentoring, when you mentor some [00:28:00] one year also learning, um, and I would say younger women tend to. Gravitate towards me and ask me questions. I'm very open. I have an open door policy and I make time on my calendar to have coffee or to just chat with women who seek me out. And I think that willingness to share your story, your journey.
[00:28:31] How you make decisions is important because the ones that are coming up are facing the same type of dilemma or crossroads in their lives or choices. And oftentimes they feel like they're alone, but they're not. And oftentimes they're encountering the same crisis of confidence. Or as we talked about earlier, the imposter [00:29:00] syndrome or any number of challenges, personal or career, they just need advice or someone to talk to, to say, am I going in the right direction?
[00:29:10] Should I be doing something different or should I stay the course? And I
[00:29:13] Jan: [00:29:13] think that you're in a very, um, influential position. You have the ability to do that, to touch the lives of so many younger women coming into the corporate world, because you're there, you know, you've, you've reached these very high levels in the corporate world to these big companies.
[00:29:32] And, uh, it, in order to become something, we have to be able to see it. And, and, and understand what it looks like and feels like. So having women in these high level positions are so important for younger women coming up through the ranks, they can go. Ah, and now you being the leader that you are, you're open to these discussions to say, Hey, come on, come talk to me.
[00:30:00] Ann: [00:30:00] that. Absolutely. I, I think giving back. In that sense of being open and candid about your successes or your failures, and then sharing that is so important. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to think about it. Should I start a blog on, you know, how do you navigate some of the decisions and challenges, you know, at all stages of your career, but I think.
[00:30:28] I always, one of the things I tell young women is there are no truly right or wrong answers. It is really your answer that works for you at your stage in your life. At your point in your career. What I try to do is open up our, open them up to all the possibilities, meaning there's really no door closed.
[00:30:57] You may not like the door, but [00:31:00] there's really no door closed. And that perseverance, grit, resilience are the foundational aspects of what moves you up in your career. And so for me, I would say you're going to make the right decision for you because. That's who you are. That's what has gotten you this far?
[00:31:29] What you need to do is broaden your horizon of what are the possibility of all the answers that you have, what advice
[00:31:35] Jan: [00:31:35] and would you give to yourself at 25 years of age in today's environment?
[00:32:01] And I really didn't get, uh, I'll say, grow myself confidence until I was in my thirties. Now maybe it's just an age thing, but I would, I would definitely, um, tell myself to have more confidence in my capabilities. I was already someone who. Looked for opportunities. And if they opened up, I jumped at it. So I wasn't afraid to try something different or try something new.
[00:32:33] Um, and the second thing I would do would be to tell myself, to get a mentor because in some ways, I didn't use outside resources to help me make decisions. And I could have benefited from an other's perspective in making the choices that I made, but I, I loved what I did in [00:33:00] my twenties, so I wouldn't change it for the world.
[00:33:03] I some great experiences. And, um, but you know, those would be the kind of messages I would give myself.
[00:33:12] Jan: [00:33:12] Yeah. And I think it's important too, to know that your mentor is not your boss and should never be your boss and mentor is somebody who sits outside ideally outside of your function. And I always like to see somebody actually positioned outside of the company even.
[00:33:29] Um, sometimes it helps if they're in the same company because they understand the, the politics and the way things operate.
[00:33:35] Ann: [00:33:35] Well, I, yeah, I definitely agree. And I definitely support both mentoring formal and informal. Yeah. Because advice can come from a lot of different sources, but it's gotta be sources you trust.
[00:33:50] And it has to be sources that you connect with, um, cause connection and, and, and really being able to. Trust that that [00:34:00] person giving you advice is coming from a genuinely authentic place is important because you don't want to take on bad advice. But at the end of the day, I always say again, whatever advice you're given, whether it's from me or others, you've got to make it work for you.
[00:34:18] Um, you know, I may say, okay, you need a dress in blue, but if blue is not your color, Pick the color that's right for you. Yes.
[00:34:25] Jan: [00:34:25] Yes. And I love the idea of reverse mentoring and I wrote a blog on reverse mentoring. I've been in a reverse mentoring relationship with Danielle Leoni, uh, for quite some time. And we often talk about it publicly.
[00:34:39] And the unexpected benefits that came from both sides is in a mentoring relationship. Sometimes the most senior level person, you know, it's this idea that they're going to impart all this wisdom. To the younger person and they, then the person has to sort of suck it all up and absorb it and off they go.
[00:34:55] But that's, that's a flawed view of mentoring. It is a two [00:35:00] way relationship. It's very much an equal relationship, even though the titles that you might hold. And in the experience that you have is vastly different. It has to be viewed as a two way relationship. And I learned more from her around social media and getting my voice out there than I would have learned from watching YouTube and reading books and going to conferences because she honestly, as much as I had a vested interest in her success, she felt the same way about me.
[00:35:29] And that's when the magic happens.
[00:35:31] Ann: [00:35:31] Oh, I totally agree. I, I. Value, especially today in today's world, you have to look at mentoring, not always in the traditional sense. You know, it's someone who's older, more experienced and, uh, to impart wisdom. I, the technology, the way technology is changing, the way communication people, the way people communicate is changing and the value systems are changing.
[00:36:00] [00:35:59] Having. Reverse mentoring can help, uh, you know, you adjust and as you say to invest in your success and, um, I'm a firm believer in reverse mentoring. So everyone I mentor is mentoring me. Um, and like you said, it's mutually beneficial and there's a genuine connection there. So it makes it easy. It makes it really easy.
[00:36:27] Jan: [00:36:27] There are five generations in the workforce today in some organizations, which makes that a leadership challenge. I'd like to, uh, go one step further than that and talk about what's happening in the world today, which is a crisis management. We are in a crisis mode right now with Corona virus. How do you as a leader?
[00:36:51] Take a team, this multi-generational team and lead them through a crisis. When, when we talk about [00:37:00] crisis management, I am certainly not the one that, um, supports. I'm not an ambassador for command and control. That's not who I am. Right. That's not the kind of leader that I am. However, I recognize that there is often a point in time where you have to pull that out of your toolbox and become command and control.
[00:37:16] So my question is this, how do you, how do you lead a team through a
[00:37:21] Ann: [00:37:21] crisis? Yeah. Great question. I can remember a few years ago there was the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and there are multiple companies who have faced crisis from a reputation standpoint, supply chain manufacturing, you name it. And crisis management.
[00:37:41] Yes. There's a level of command and control, but I think this is where it's also an area where you can tap into the best nature of the people who work for you. I'm [00:38:00] a firm believer when you have a crisis that you. Tap those who are your high potential and put them in charge of certain areas of the, of solving the problem and you let them go.
[00:38:21] Those individuals will figure out a way to find creative ways to solve whatever issue there might be in terms of alternate supply or. Uh, accelerated delivery or relationships with new suppliers. Um, I found that to be highly successful. The second is the sense of purpose in a crisis. The clarity of purpose, um, is very stark.
[00:38:56] It is about, especially in a manufacturing [00:39:00] industry. It's about getting supplies so that you can continue to manufacture. And so that purpose and clarity allows for very clear also communication, because we're all on the same goal. You have those tasks, you sign your high potential to work those paths, and then you watch them just shine and help deliver what you would not have thought would have been accomplished at the time.
[00:39:34] And then the second thing is around reward and recognition. It's really rewarding those team members for the extraordinary effort that they will put in when it's, uh, whether it's time. Making phone calls on weekends or in the late evenings, as they're trying to deal with family issues or the sacrifices they [00:40:00] make are, may make in terms of their personal commitments, to ensure that your company can get back up to speed quickly to manufacturer lifesaving drugs or medical devices.
[00:40:15] So the clarity, the. Putting the right people in those leadership positioning positions and letting them really shine and perform, and then rewarding and recognizing their sacrifices. Um, to me are the key leadership talents that you need to bring when it's time of crisis. Do you turn
[00:40:40] Jan: [00:40:40] more command and control in that situation?
[00:40:43] Ann: [00:40:43] I think there's a level of command and control. Um, But I think presence as a leader is important. The leader, when there's a crisis to me, the head of the house has to be engaged and present. It is not [00:41:00] enough just to appoint someone and say, okay, you're, you're, you're leading the situation. You have to be present in the room on the calls, making sure that you're.
[00:41:16] Recognizing the individuals who have the expertise in are pulling those expertise together, but providing that coaching guidance, it's not always about command and control. Do this, do that. There are times that comes out for sure, but it is trying to get the best out of everyone when you are in a, all hands on deck situation.
[00:41:40] Jan: [00:41:40] Yes. And you're right. It brings the clarity of mission and purpose is never clearer than it is when you're in crisis mode. If only we could take that, whatever it is that allows us to get that clarity and then use that in our normal, everyday working life, when we don't have a crisis, then we would really have something.
[00:42:00] [00:42:00] Ann: [00:42:00] Yeah. It's um, you know, that, that teamwork, comradery, collaboration. Uh, breaking down of silos is never more evident than when you know, the company's life is on the line. And it's funny that you should say that because that's what most CEOs trying to drive for, which is that sense of clarity with their vision.
[00:42:28] In an everyday setting. That's why they have these mantras or these goals and the missions and the values and our goal statements and our objective statements. And, and, um, but you know, you, you can't. Have your company run on one crisis after another, that's just not the way to do it, but I do think there are other tools in the toolbox for CEOs and C-suite executives, such as, um, objectives, um, training, [00:43:00] um, relationship building that can help too.
[00:43:06] And culture, excuse me. And I forgot to mention culture that can help to drive the right behaviors in the right, um, type of actions from your team. I'm seeing
[00:43:17] Jan: [00:43:17] a definite shift in focus to those kinds of skillsets. Now, more so than ever before, people are talking about human skills. I D I don't like to call them soft skills.
[00:43:29] So human skills, human skills, collaboration, culture. Coaching. Whereas in the past we might've said, Oh, well, that's just a weak sort of HR term. Nobody wants to talk about it. Nobody wants to spend money on it, but there's a definite shift now that these things are very, very important. And if we are going to be able to handle the transformation that's taking place right now and be successful and integrate.
[00:44:06] Ann: [00:44:06] more of that? Oh, absolutely. I think, um, it, it's not always what skills you have or technical skills, um, or do you know how to do the job, but.
[00:44:23] It's more. Okay. And how can you effectively communicate? How can you effectively work with others that are important, um, to the development of your employees, um, and leaders for that matter. And part of that is. You see that in the, um, there's many companies who these days measure the pulse of an organization, how do they feel about working for the company?
[00:44:54] How do they feel about working for their manager or their supervisor, and what do they feel about the [00:45:00] culture? And that is a way to kind of measure employee engagement and are we doing the right things to motivate our employees so that. Because there's a great correlation between employee engagement and the success of the company of our company.
[00:45:18] So if your employees are not engaged, they're not coming to work, bringing their best, or they're frustrated with where their career is going to. They're frustrated with their job. Um, they're going to come, it's going to show up in their daily work and it's going to show up in their work product and. That employee engagement is so important because when you get everyone rowing in the same direction and thinking that their job have purpose and meaning, and they are appropriate, rewarded and recognized, that's going to come through in the products or services that you provide for your customers.
[00:45:54] Jan: [00:45:54] a Gallup poll out there. I think it's a couple of years old now, but it said that, and this is a [00:46:00] global poll. Only 15% of people feel truly inspired and fulfilled and fully engaged at work. 15%. That's a, that's a, that's a frightening number. Now I've seen some data recently that says that number is up.
[00:46:17] 25 to 30% range in the us, but still, if that was a piece of equipment and you were only getting, it was only doing what it needed to do when you were getting the maximum percent
[00:46:28] Ann: [00:46:28] utilization.
[00:46:30] Jan: [00:46:30] I mean, gosh, you'd go out of your
[00:46:31] Ann: [00:46:31] mind, right? Absolutely. You try to fix it and improve its output. Um, I, you know, employee engagement is, um, Interesting.
[00:46:42] And I've been practicing this for a few years. And one of the things that I try to find out about employees or people that I mentor, I say, what is it that you want? And when I asked that question, it becomes [00:47:00] open-ended, but it also invites them to really think about what is it they want in there. In their daily work.
[00:47:07] And then the second question I usually ask is how can I help you get there? And that turns the conversation around, because it's not about me, it's about them. And it's about what they. Need or want in order to feel fulfilled in their job or their career or with the company. And there've been many times where, when I've taught to someone, you know, they were asking those two questions and they go, well, I don't know.
[00:47:41] This may not be for me. And that in and of itself is a revelation to them. And to me, because if they're not happy, they're not. They're not, um, achieving for themselves [00:48:00] or achieving for the company that they're, they're employed by. And I know there's a lot of factors and okay, how do I make a career change?
[00:48:07] And how do I make a move within a company when it's so siloed? And, you know, if I want to move into HR and HR only recruits HR, um, but that's a different conversation. I think the first part of the conversation is. Understanding, what is it that you want that you think will make you happy or fulfilled?
[00:48:27] Not that I say happy but fulfilled in your career and how can I help you get there?
[00:48:33] Jan: [00:48:33] Yeah, I agree. And I follow the Simon Sinek philosophy, which is very much around this idea that we want people to come to work feel great about the work that they do, their contribution feel that they're supported, that they're trusted, that, uh, they're challenged as much as they want to be challenged.
[00:48:54] And that at the end of the day, they go home feeling that. Yes, you've done a good [00:49:00] day's work, but there's still enough energy left to do what you want to do outside of work, which is, you know, spend time with your children or play a sport or whatever you want to do. That's looking at the whole person as the employee, as a whole person, not just somebody coming in to do a job that starts, you're an engineer.
[00:49:17] And I think there's so much to that. If we can really inspire people to the point that they feel that way, when they come to work, we've got
[00:49:24] Ann: [00:49:24] it. Oh, absolutely. I also am a firm believer of having fun in the workplace. Um, we spend a lot of time together. As coworkers. And if you're not enjoying the journey, it can be excruciating.
[00:49:43] And you know, some ways to generate fun in the workplace is to, you know, uh, we, we had Brown bag lunch sessions where people can learn about different, um, functions, um, or hear from. [00:50:00] You know, their internal colleague about a success. We would have town hall meetings where we would ask people to, okay, why don't you talk about your project and how you were able to achieve what you achieved and that just generated such dialogue in such in compliments.
[00:50:18] And it also helped to showcase the hard work, um, that someone in competition we'd also have just casual get togethers outside of work, where it was just blow off steam type of activities, whether it was, um, a charitable. Uh, type of activity, like feed the children or whether it was a competitive type of activity, like burly ball and those type of fun things are a way to build that team in that fun, um, factor.
[00:51:01] Jan: [00:51:01] course you could dance to ACDC.
[00:51:03] Ann: [00:51:03] Of course you can dance to ACDC. And of course I'm very fond of dancing. I've seen you do it, and
[00:51:10] Jan: [00:51:10] I've seen you dance ACDC with your team in a corporate environment. I've seen it
[00:51:14] Ann: [00:51:14] happen. I love it, especially how conservative we are.
[00:51:18] Jan: [00:51:18] Yes. I remember Anne told me that she saw some of her team members dance in the room that probably hadn't moved and certainly downs for 20
[00:51:27] Ann: [00:51:27] years. Oh, absolutely. I loved, I loved challenging the team to do things into, out of the box that they would not normally do. I mean, it's freeing, it's energizing and.
[00:51:41] It also says, yeah, you can do things that you wouldn't have thought possible. Yeah. And your
[00:51:46] Jan: [00:51:46] team trusted you, you know, they knew that, right. Whatever, they knew something different was going to happen that day, but they completely had complete faith in you that it was going to be okay. And there was an end game in those something it
[00:51:57] Ann: [00:51:57] was leading towards.
[00:52:00] [00:51:59] Absolutely. And I think for the event where you presented, um, you know, one of the keys and we talked about this a little bit, uh, was that. Both, uh, my partner in quality and I, um, nominated really two people to put together this, this offsite. And we, we provided some direction on themes and, and what we thought was important in terms of going through our joint goals.
[00:52:30] Um, Having fun, having some, something that would be different that would unite us as a joint team. And outside of that, we let those two leaders decide what to do, how to do it when to do it and what the agenda looked like. And it was quite successful. I believe that there's a lot of hidden talent in organizations.
[00:52:57] And it's really the leader's job [00:53:00] to try to surface those talents, provide the opportunities for that talent to shine, and then ensure that that person is recognized and rewarded for stepping up and stepping out. Yeah, well said.
[00:53:13] Jan: [00:53:13] And kata, what is your legacy?
[00:53:16] Ann: [00:53:16] I feel like I'm too young,
[00:53:20] Jan: [00:53:20] everybody that question, even the millennials, I
[00:53:22] Ann: [00:53:22] asked that question, you know, I would like to be remembered as a leader who was genuine in developing relationship with, with people that I truly cared about, individuals that I encountered and that the work that I did.
[00:53:51] Was important, but it was really the relationships that I developed that [00:54:00] really shaped not only me, but the individual I encountered. Um, you know, it's hard to kind of define what you leave behind, but I hope I leave behind good memories. I hope I leave behind. Good friendships. And I hope I leave behind that.
[00:54:24] I really cared and that I was able to support those individuals in my life.
[00:54:30] Jan: [00:54:30] I am excited to see what happens next. When the next chapter of Anne Carter, something big and exciting is coming. I just know it and I am thrilled to be on the sidelines, watching it unfold. And with that, I would like to say, thank you very much for joining us on the podcast today.
[00:54:52] Ann: [00:54:52] Thank you, Dan, this is a lot of fun.
[00:54:57] If you
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