Great Leaders Empower People to Be Their Most Authentic Self with Anne Chow

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Dustin Odham

Thought Leader for FranklinCovey Education
When I was a kid, my favorite Crayola color was sky blue, and my mission in life was to become a professional basketball player. I pursued that dream right up until I learned I was “not fast or quick, but determined and a great team player.” Yes, that was a real evaluation I was given during my AAU days. I decided to play to my strengths instead, and retired from the prep basketball scene with what I feel was a tasteful lack of fanfare. Since then, my mission statement has been to make a positive and lasting impact in the life of every person I meet. Every single day. I have spent my career trying to help unleash greatness in everyone I am privileged to work with and for. My commitment to that mission statement became more nuanced when I began teaching high school math at a school with a significant achievement gap. I was learning just as much as my students were, and there were certainly rough patches at the beginning. But in the end, our students outpaced the entire district in academic growth. Repurposing that childhood dream, I also coached girls basketball and regularly demonstrated that I had not, in fact, grown faster or quicker with age. It was during this period that I won St. Louis Region Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for a National Teacher of the Year award. As I continued to look for ways to make a positive and lasting impact on my community, I took a job as executive director of a teacher training program. My team increased our teacher pool from 75 to 200, impacting hundreds of schools and thousands of students. Then, as a turnaround specialist with St. Louis Public Schools, I helped create our Office of Innovation, enabling our lowest performing schools to get accredited. In the private sector, as a turnaround performance consultant, I led projects with district superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals and teachers to help turn their student academic performance around and transform their school communities. It was also during this time that I really perfected my karaoke version of “Friends in Low Places.” I continued this work at FranklinCovey Education as a Client Partner, where our team partnered with educators to unleash the potential of thousands of administrators, teachers, and parents – impacting tens of thousands of students in hundreds of cities across three states. As a Managing Director for the Southeast United States and Canada regions, I now support our client partners as they work to do the same all across North America. This is a far cry from a career as an NBA superstar. But I’ve loved my life, and all the people in it – most especially my amazing wife Ashley and my three boys Luke, Noah, and our baby, James, who was born in the middle of the pandemic. Every twist and turn has led me here, and I am grateful for each of them. My favorite Crayola color is still sky blue, and I’ve finally found a sport (golf) that does not depend on speed or quickness. I hope this podcast is a force for lasting, positive change for the guests, and for anyone who tunes in. I’m honored that you’ve taken the time to tune in.

Anne Chow

CEO of AT&T Business
Anne was appointed chief executive officer of AT&T Business in September 2019. She and her organization of over 30,000 employees are responsible for serving nearly 3 million business customers in upwards of 200 countries and territories around the world, representing over $35B in revenues. AT&T Business customers span all industries, including the public sector as well as nearly all of the world’s Fortune 1000 companies. She is the first woman to hold this position and the first woman-of-color CEO in AT&T’s history. With decades in the industry, Anne has led many global organizations through major transformations, developing and executing innovative growth strategies while building role model relationships. She’s passionate about education, diversity and inclusion, advancing women in technology, and cultivating nextgeneration leaders. Anne’s experience is diverse in both breadth and depth. She has held leadership positions in engineering, direct and indirect sales, sales operations, marketing, customer care, international operations, product management, and strategic planning. She’s known for building world-class teams, developing model leaders, and having a passion for excellence with customers and constituents. Across AT&T, she championed and sponsored progress through efforts such as AT&T’s Women of Business Employee Network and AT&T’s Women of Color program. She’s also an avid blogger, winning Best Standalone Blog voted by employees at AT&T for the past nine years. Anne Chow THOUGHT LEADERSHIP Coauthor of The Leader’s Guide to Unconscious Bias © Franklin Covey Co. All rights reserved. BNA2060513 Version 1.0.1 She currently serves on the Board of the Directors of Franklin Covey Co. (NYSE: FC). Anne is a member of the Committee of 100 and the co-chair of Georgia Tech’s Parent Board. Her many contributions to business and the community are widely recognized. A few of Anne’s awards and accolades include Most Inspiring Woman in Comms by Light Reading and Gold Stevie Award as Female Executive of the Year — Business Services. She was recently named to Fortune magazine’s ‘10 Powerful Women On Your Radar’ list and Future 50: North Texas Innovators, and Disruptors You Need To Know. Anne holds a Master of Business Administration with distinction from The Johnson School at Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell. She is also a graduate of the PreCollege Division of the Juilliard School of Music.
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