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156. The Courage to Learn & Lead with Brigadier General AnnMarie Anthony

What does it mean to you to be a courageous leader?

In this episode I had the privilege of speaking with a leader who I think truly embodies courageous leadership and action. Brigadier General Anne Marie Anthony, director of the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Center, US Strategic Command shares her story, and her story is proof that true leadership requires courage. Courage to embrace one's own unique leadership style, courage to listen, and most notably, the courage to learn from those around you, even your critics.

Through AnneMarie's journey, we learned that becoming a strong leader isn't always about following the preconceived notions of what a leader should look like. But rather, about having the audacity to lead in one's unique manner, and earn the respect of those being led.


Contact Brig. General AnnMarie:

About Brig. General AnnMarie:

Brigadier General AnnMarie Anthony

Brig. Gen. AnnMarie K. Anthony serves as Director of the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Center, U.S. Strategic Command, at Offutt Air Force

Base, Neb. She is responsible for the establishment, maintenance, and assessment of deployment certification standards for the Joint Force’s EMSO

readiness, the identification, and assessment of the Joint Force’s EMSO deficiencies and opportunities to advance the mission, and providing risk assessments of the Department’s readiness. Additionally, she oversees two geographically separated organizations,

the Joint Electromagnetic Warfare Center (JEWC) and the Joint Center for Electromagnetic Readiness


Brig. Gen. Anthony is a distinguished graduate of the

Reserve Officer Training Corps program and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in

Physics from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. Much of her Active Duty career was

spent in the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb., where she flew on the RC-

135 aircraft. In 2002, Brig. Gen. Anthony transitioned to the Nebraska Air National Guard’s

newly formed 170th Group. She has commanded the 155th Force Support Squadron and the

155th Mission Support Group. Prior to her current position, the general was the Mobilization

Assistant to the Director of Global Operations, USSTRATCOM.


While it's not perfect, we offer this transcription by Castmagic for those who prefer to read or who are hearing impaired.

Teri Schmidt [00:00:00]:

What does it mean to you to be a courageous leader? Well, in today's episode of the Strong Leaders Serve podcast, I had the privilege of speaking with a leader who I think truly embodies courageous leadership and action. Brigadier General Anne Marie Anthony, director of the Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Center, US Strategic Command shares her story, and her story is proof that true leadership requires courage. Courage to embrace one's own unique leadership style, courage to listen, and most notably, the courage to learn from those around you, even your critics. Through Anne Marie's journey, we learned that becoming a strong leader isn't always about following the preconceived notions of what a leader should look like. But rather, about having the audacity to lead in one's unique manner, and earn the respect of those being led. I learned a lot from this conversation, and I think you will too as we delve into Anne Marie's experiences, the lessons she has learned along the way, and her inspirational outlook on leadership. So let's get into it. I'm Terri Schmidt, leadership coach and podcast host at Strong Leaders Serve, where we believe that leadership is about courageously using your talents to make a way for others to courageously use theirs.

Teri Schmidt [00:01:23]:

And this is the strong leaders serve Welcome, AnnMarie, to the Strong Leaders Serve podcast. We are honored to have you on today.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:01:46]:

Well, thank you so much for having me. I'm actually really excited, to have this discussion about leadership and especially talking with with young leaders and, you know, thinking back to some of my experiences and things that I've learned along the way. So I'm really looking forward to the discussion.

Teri Schmidt [00:02:02]:

Well, excellent. Well, speaking of that, I would love to get to start by getting to know you a little bit better. Just tell us a little bit about yourself, how you lead today, and some of those moments like you were just mentioning in that journey that kind of shaped who you are today.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:02:19]:

Well, so I'm a regular general, Anne Marie Anthony. I'm in the United States Air Force. And, right now, I am the director of the joint electromagnetic spectrum operation center, and I don't expect anybody to say that 10 times fast. But what that means is that I do lead a large group of people, and we are in charge of a mission area inside the Department of Defense, from the operational perspective. So, you know, one thing, you you set some questions and, you know, talk kind of like your journey and your your pivotal, you know, moments of being how I got to where I am today. And one thing that it struck me was is I did not wake up as a young adult and say, I'm gonna go out and lead people. I it was really something that I had to kind to kind of grow into. I am sure, when I was 18 looking to go to college, I, wanted to go to a really expensive college, and my parents were like, well, you're gonna have to figure out a way to pay for that.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:03:20]:

And I happened to be able to get an ROTC scholarship. And so an ROTC scholarship allows you to become an officer in the military, which is a leadership position. And so I kind of was like, well, sure. It's a good way. I'll I'll serve my time, and then I'll get out and I'll I'll do something else. And in ROTC was kind of that first moment where I got got in there, and I was like, hey. I really like leading groups of people. Mhmm.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:03:48]:

I'm actually pretty good at this. And so then, you know, I went into, the air force and was doing well. I was enjoying my time. I spent my younger years as a navigator. So I got to fly and travel the world, and that was great. And I worked with with great people. And then kind of the second thing is, I think it's a good trait, but I I like to be in charge. And so the military is absolutely fabulous at providing leadership training.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:04:19]:

Whether you're unlisted or you're an officer, they start you at a very young age, and they give you appropriate leadership training, which is great. So for me as I was, I think, 26, 27 years old, I went to what's called squadron officer school. So it's like your your first level of professional military education. And I said, well, I'm gonna go there and and I'm I usually just take over it, get in charge of everything. I'm just gonna be a good, you know, kind of follower. I'm gonna really work hard at being a good follower. And at my midterm kind of feedback, my instructor was like, what are you doing? And I was like, well, what do you mean? And he goes, I feel like you're holding back. And I said, well, I'm just trying to really work on my followership.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:05:03]:

And he said, Yeah. I need you to lead. And so that was kind of the second thing that happened that made me say, hey, maybe this is what I I should be doing. Mhmm. And then kind of the the the final thing that really set me to maybe really realize that this is where my strengths lie and this is what I should be doing is is leading groups of people was in the military, kind of a lot of officers will say in the air force, the the pinnacle of their career, the best time they ever had was being a squadron commander. Then that's where you're that first line leader of an organization. You have a lot of responsibility. You get to interact with people direct and work with the direction the organization is going.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:05:45]:

And so I became a squadron commander, and it was I just found that I was working long days, but I I just loved every minute of it. And and so that was kind of the point where my husband was like, hey. You you really like this. You know? Stop questioning it and just go for it. And so again, just, you know, for, folks who are kind of at the beginning of their leadership journey, you know, it wasn't like I woke up and and knew that this is where I was going to be. It was just along the way. I just had to come to the realization. Hey, this is this is what I like to do, and and and it's and it's a good fit for me.

Teri Schmidt [00:06:25]:

Yeah. Yeah. And what I hear in your story, I love because I think it relates to so many of our experiences is that even though you might've been a reluctant leader, you listened to, I would say, 3 critical sources of data. You you listened to, you know, your leader who said, you know, why are you holding back? You listen to those close to you. So you listen to your husband who said, you know, this is what lights you up. I can tell

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:06:53]:

Yeah. You

Teri Schmidt [00:06:53]:

know, this is what's bringing you energy. And you listen to yourself too. You know? It it sounds like you did some inner work, some reflection to finally realize, you know, this is what I'm meant to do, and and this is how I need to show up in the world if the world is gonna get

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:07:09]:

the best of what I have to offer. Yeah. Absolutely. And and, you know, one thing about about my journey that is unique is that I'm actually part of the Air National Guard. And so for 15 years, I was working what they call part time. And and you used to hear on the, you know, 1 week in a month, 2 weeks a year on the eighties commercials. It's a little different these days, but that gave me an opportunity to work out an industry. And so really being able to compare and contrast that some very, you know, industry versus the military, they're different.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:07:43]:

And to find out that even in industry, I was gravitating towards leading teams. I led a large software development project, and I absolutely love that job. And so Mhmm. Kind of piecing those altogether. And so I think it was helpful to go into a a different industry, I guess, for lack of a better word and to a different line of work and then find that I still was moving towards the same type of things that I did in the military. And then I just got lucky that I was able to come back to the military and lead full time. Mhmm.

Teri Schmidt [00:08:12]:

Well, what a great diversity of experience. So like you said, you can compare and contrast and reaffirm that feeling that leadership was really where you are meant to be. Yeah.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:08:22]:

And it's and it's I'll tell you what, it's scary to take that that leap. You know, you don't know what's gonna happen. And I I'm very glad I did. You know, I think some of sometimes your biggest growth points come when you when you take those chances and, you know, and there's there's calculated chances and then, you know, so I'm not saying.

Teri Schmidt [00:08:41]:

Yeah. Being being smart about those those chances that you take Correct.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:08:45]:

Like that.

Teri Schmidt [00:08:45]:

Yeah. Definitely. Well, I wanna dig in just really quickly to one point you made about when you were trying to be a really good follower and work on your followership skills. Do you find that even sometimes as a leader, you do need to follow, or how does followership work into your leadership?

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:09:06]:

You absolutely as a leader have to to be a good follower. And so one thing, you know, I was kinda looking over some of the, you know, discussion point that you had sent and thinking about it. One thing I've had the opportunity over my career, and I would recommend any young leader is I took leadership test, personality test. However, I did a bunch of them. I would never ever say, hey. This is the one that's gonna give you the answer. But what I found was interesting across that continuum is that there were consistencies in my leadership style. There were consistencies in my strengths, and there were consistencies in my weaknesses.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:09:44]:

And so really understanding what my weaknesses were were is important because as a leader, that's really where I have to follow. I have to understand that I am not the best at this, And I have found that my t I work really well when my deputy my my second in charge, they have strengths where my weaknesses are and understanding my weaknesses. I I right now, I have a a great deputy. He compliments his leadership style, compliments mine very, very well. And so I know that when he says, hey, this is the direction we need to go. So he's leading. He's leading the team. I need to follow that direction because this is an area where, you know, I'm just not as good.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:10:29]:

And so I think that's where I really focus my followership. The team I lead right now, I have absolutely dedicated intelligent professionals that have 20, 30, 40 years in their field. They are technical experts. And so I need to understand I'm not the technical expert. And how do I follow the advice that they have given me and make sure because as I, as I am. My job is to guide the team in the right direction to get to those goals to get to that end state that we're supposed to do. And so again, I think, you know, just kind of having being a little bit humble that you're not the final, you know, you don't have all the answers, and and you have the reason you have a team behind you is they're the ones that are helping give you those answers and helping you get in that direction. So

Teri Schmidt [00:11:21]:

Yeah. Exactly. You know, what I appreciate about what you've said is going through all those assessments and discovering your weaknesses was not so you could say, okay. I'm really gonna hone in on those and keep working on those and and not really worry about my strengths. But instead, you're gonna use those to help yourself and others realize the value of being on a team. The fact that, you know, we are not everything and to everyone, it's not all about us.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:11:49]:

Right. And I think too it's often, you know, there's some, like, leadership things will say, hey. If you have this personality, you're a born leader and that's what you should do. I don't think that's true. I think that when you understand your strengths and you understand your weaknesses, you can use your strengths to lead a team, and then you fill in where your weaknesses are. So I guess so so anybody out there who's like, well, I took a test and it said that I'm not, you know, be leading or something like that, or I didn't feel that I got the answer I wanted that I feel as a leader. I just I just don't think that that's true. I think every group of of traits of strengths in a person can help that person be a good leader.

Teri Schmidt [00:12:29]:

Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah. We all all lead in our unique ways with those strengths, and and that leadership could look very different depending on what our strengths are.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:12:38]:

Oh, yes. And and different teams need different types of leaders, and that's that is you know, I found, my strengths work very, very well in the military. There's probably other groups that if I went to lead, I may come off as overbearing and not and not be able to motivate the team where they need to be.

Teri Schmidt [00:12:55]:

Mhmm. Excellent point. Well, speaking of your leadership journey, I'm curious. Do you have a 1 or 2 favorite leadership experiences from your past? I'd love to hear the stories.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:13:06]:

I do. So one was when I was a squadron commander, and I, so I was squadron commander. I was the 4th support squadron commander. And and for your audience out there, I was in charge of human resources and a bunch of other things, but this has to do with working with my human resource folks. I walk in and the 1st month on the job and and morale is pretty low. And other people from the organization that are not in my organization that need to utilize HR services are like those people. They're just your folks are so mean, and they're they're you know, it was, like, unwelcoming, and they yell at us. And and again and I'm looking at my team, and they're just lacked morale and and just look they weren't happy to be there.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:13:52]:

And, so I'm kinda looking around and and it dawned on me what was happening is that HR's customer service based, organization that you're in. So people were coming because they needed HR support, Either they needed to add a dependent. You know, I had a new baby. I need to make sure that they're registered in the system. You know, any type any type of thing. So they would walk in and they'd have their paperwork and they'd be walking around and then they'd get yelled at. Well, there was no reception desk. So these people are coming in and they're trying to figure out where they need to go.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:14:29]:

Well, why are the people so why are my folks, you know, quote unquote yelling at them? They're dealing with sensitive personal information from other people. They're trying to protect that personal information. Like, what are you doing here? I have stuff you have no business knowing about. Mhmm. So both sides were right. And so I was able to basically, we did a reorganization. I hired receptionist. Everybody came in.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:14:51]:

They checked in with the receptionist, got them to the right personnel specialist, HR specialist that they needed to see, And it turned everything around 180. And the reason I liked that it was, you know, it was really neat to see the turnaround.

Teri Schmidt [00:15:05]:


Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:15:06]:

And then it also made me realize that when you have those tensions, both sides are probably right. And so how, as a leader, do you figure out really what is the problem there? Because there is a problem, and then you need to go about and fix it. So that was, you know, just very rewarding. My, my second, one is I'm I'm standing up a new organization, at the joint, center. And the reason this has been so rewarding is when I came in and started leading the group that I'm in, we had, you know, just to kinda genericize it. We had a product line that we very much believed in, And we were trying to get the highest levels to understand why this product line should have its own organization and its own focus. And we were eventually able to be successful, and I was actually talking with my deputy yesterday a little bit about this and in preparation for this podcast. And we were talking about, you know, kind of the journey that we went on, and it really came to I think as you are, you know, if you're a young leader and you're out there and you're like, hey.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:16:20]:

I have got a great idea. We need to implement this idea. I think it's first of all, you know, obviously, you you can't give up. I was along the journey with this team for a little over 3 years. A lot of the folks who were working with me were on the journey for about 10, so they had to stay very dedicated towards what they truly believed in for a long period of time. Mhmm. But what my deputy and I were talking about and the reason that we were successful was, you know, not necessarily all the good ideas are successful. And so we really made sure that we listened to the questions, the criticisms, and then Mhmm.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:16:57]:

You know, thought really thought about them, took them not as you're just a roadblock to what I want to do, but as, hey. Is this a blind spot we have? Is this something we hadn't thought about? The second thing that we did is we had our statistics down. We had a a really good analysis that happened that really painted the picture as to why what we were doing was so important that resonated with the decision makers. But it was an analytic assessment that everybody could clearly see, which helped us be successful. So what I learned from that is if you're, you know, pitching something new or you wanna stand up something new, you first of all, you go and find your critics.

Teri Schmidt [00:17:42]:


Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:17:42]:

You may find out that what you're trying to do does need to be revised. It's not quite right. And we did make revisions to what our responsibilities were going to be along the way as we took in more and more feedback. And the second thing is, is to make sure that you have your analytics, every organization, every business is, you know, you have to have a return on investment. Right. And so you need to be able to show that. And so for me, just working with just such a great group of professionals and getting it across the the finish line was very rewarding.

Teri Schmidt [00:18:13]:

What a great story. And I come from a data background. So you when you're telling your story, I'm hearing again those kind of different sources of data so that, you know, find your critic. That's that's about collecting data as well. And it's also about being open to what the data says. I love how you said, see that criticism or whatever the critic has to say, not as necessarily a roadblock, but as important information for how you can move forward most effectively or not move forward. I guess you're moving forward, but maybe not moving forward with that project.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:18:49]:

Well, I haven't moved forward with all of my projects. So Yeah. But but I think I have to acknowledge it's hard with you or believe in something, what do you mean, you know, sort of thing. So I won't for folks that are listening out there, I I acknowledge that I've been through that journey of, you know, hey. Take a deep breath. Take a step back. What are they saying? And they they probably truly are trying to help you.

Teri Schmidt [00:19:24]:

Yeah. Exactly. And and I think to be fair, we probably will have an emotional response. It's just knowing how to have that response kind of welcome it and then move through it to a place where you can accept what is being said.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:19:38]:

Yeah. That's actually that's a perfect way to state that I would agree a 100%.

Teri Schmidt [00:19:42]:

Well, as you know, the title of the podcast is strong leaders serve, and you in particular, I would love to hear what that means

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:19:49]:

to you. I consider it a privilege that I have had the opportunity to lead different groups of people. And so first, and foremost, when I was kind of breaking down strong leaders serve. Mhmm. I realized that as a leader, you first of all have to realize you're part of the team. You're not the team. And so by serving, you need to serve your your team members and then, of course, you need to serve the organization. And how do you serve your team members? Will you serve your team members and first of all treating them with respect? They are professionals.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:20:29]:

They all of them they're on your team because they have a unique skill set, knowledge that will help you get to the end state that the team needs to get to. So you are serving those people by bringing out the best in them, listening to them, giving credit where credit is due. Because you, again, while you may be leading the team, you are not the team. And in my mind, you're not the most important person on the team necessarily. Sometimes you may be, but sometimes it may be somebody else. And so really by serving your team is is you have that responsibility to to balance that. And then again, you also serve the the needs of the organization. Everybody, every group, every team, you're there to help whatever your organization's, you know, bottom line is.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:21:18]:

Whatever that may be, is it if you're in, you know, a church or function, you could be serving the your parishioners or your followers there. If you're in a business, you're serving the shareholders. You know? If you're, in teaching or academia, you're serving your students. So you have to make sure that you are helping guide the team to what the goals of that organization is. And so sometimes when you when you serve, that means putting aside, you know, what you may want personally. And and as I mentioned, while we had great success success and standing up the joint center, I had other projects that weren't successful and that I kinda had to recognize and say, okay, this isn't serving the needs of the organization at this time, you know, to do something else with the team. Mhmm. So I think that's that's really what it means to me is while you may be leading the team, you are are part of the team and getting towards that that goal.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:22:13]:

Great point. Thank you for sharing that. And speaking of of being part of the team,

Teri Schmidt [00:22:18]:

I know, you know, you're in a unique situation, which many military leaders in particular are in, is that, you know, you're often moving into new leadership roles, working with a team that is already intact, that you didn't get to select. So I would love to hear from you about how you go about earning that team's trust when you are a new leader coming into a group that may already be established.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:22:47]:

I think the most important thing to do is to sit down and listen. I have seen many times where when you come as a new in as a new leader, you will have what we call immersion briefings. So what does that mean? It means the different sub organizations that work for you, they come and they say, hey, this is what we're doing. These are our main projects. And I think an important thing to always ask when you have, you know, getting those introductions, what's going well, what's not going so well, and really having an open mind as to what they're saying. Know, just actually kind of back up to is is always to remember, you know, I have a boss just like everybody else has a boss. So the boss will give me direction. So I'll have that direction in my head as I'm talking and learning about the organizations, need to do.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:23:39]:

And I think the other thing too is while you're in that kind of immersion information gathering phase of your your leadership tenure is really understanding the team makeup. And if you take a step back, you can see different strengths of your team members. You can see the different experiences. And then as you take your whatever that direction your boss gave you, looking at your team and saying, hey. Am I am I giving this project to the person, you know, to the right fit? Or sometimes you also have to buy if you take the time to really understand the team makeup understand the different experiences. You also understand you may have to communicate in different ways of why are we going down this path. You know, I've had to make some decisions on moving some people around, and and some of the sub organizations were not happy that that they lost folks. But I had to sit down and and listen and and say, hey.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:24:41]:

You know, this is this is why we're doing what we're doing. I understand what you're saying. Then what I need from you is if things start to break, you start you you see yourself missing deadlines. I need to understand that because that may mean mean that I need to change course. And so I just really think it's about respect for the professionals that you get the privilege of leading.

Teri Schmidt [00:25:05]:

What a what a great way to to summarize that, just with the word respect. I think that does so much in any situation, of course, but particularly when you're coming in new to a team that has already been established, that respect through listening, through being honest yourself and open yourself about, okay, this is what I need from you and, and respecting their strengths to provide what you need from them and and to work with you together on that team.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:25:38]:

You know, I work with some amazing professionals, and to absolutely discount all of the skills and experience they bring would be just, you know, bad on me. That would not be a good leader.

Teri Schmidt [00:25:52]:

Well, excellent. Well, as you alluded to earlier, you know, many of our listeners are new leaders. We have a lot of women leaders, and I would love to hear if you were sitting across from them at a table, what would be 1 to 2 pieces of advice that you would give them based on your experiences as a female leader?

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:26:14]:

So I I touched on one of them earlier about, you know, taking leadership test, but I'm gonna expand that a little more and say, try to really get to know your style. Everybody has a different style, and, you know, you can see the leaders that will, you know, come out on stage and cheer and clap and get everybody going. If that's not you, naturally, if you try to do that, it's going to come off forced and inauthentic and your team is going to know. And I have found amazing leaders from people who are are more introverted because they're honest with themselves. And so they will come in and they'll they'll very much be in a listening mode with the team, and they will really garner respect from the team all the way to, like I said, the the the gariest person that will cheer everybody on and get them going. I I think if you're authentic to your strengths and how you lead, you will find it natural.

Teri Schmidt [00:27:11]:


Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:27:12]:

And, you know, there's been times in my life where I've tried to, you know, oh, that's the leader I want to emulate. And it's it's not authentic to me, and and it came out forced. And so that was, I would say, you know, really think about the times where you really enjoyed leading a group, and then think about how your behavior and interaction, how did you present forward? That's probably your natural way and, again, to really hone in on that. And the second thing is in find a mentor, and I think most importantly, be open on who that mentor could be. I've been in the military for almost 30 years. When I came in, women were just really getting into all the different career fields the military had to offer, there were very, very few females above me. I actually can't even think of a time where in my direct chain of command and in my leadership chain, there was a female, which meant that if I had a mentor, all of my mentors were men.

Teri Schmidt [00:28:17]:


Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:28:17]:

And they were absolutely wonderful. They were they were mentoring on, you know, how do you do the work life balance, giving me opportunities, making recommendations. So I would find a mentor, but don't put in your head. Hey. This is what you know, this meant the mentor should check these boxes because you may be surprised on who is out there wanting to mentor and may be a very good fit for you.

Teri Schmidt [00:28:43]:

That is a good point because we have talked about mentoring, and and we've talked about, you know, different types of mentors. Like, you might have a a mentor who is in your professional field, or you might have a mentor who say you're a single mom and and is also a single mom, so knows that aspect and kind of having this, you know, group of mentors around you. But I think what I heard in your statement is just being open to what you need and and what they have to contribute and not putting blinders on when you're looking for those people, but being open to where you might find that.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:29:23]:

Absolutely. And, and, you know, I might date myself a little bit, but I don't know if anybody in your audience remembers the Seinfeld episode where they had the the whole formal mentors. And, you know, that's a very forced way to try and get mentorship, and and you just may be surprised on on where it comes from. And, you know, I had a mentor that I met 20 years ago that that still is a mentor to me. And now really is a friend. And as a matter of fact, we're having lunch this afternoon. So and and again, if, you know, you would never say, hey. That female in the military, that's somebody who should be mentoring her.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:30:04]:

But but this individual has been been instrumental and and very supportive in in my leadership journey.

Teri Schmidt [00:30:10]:

Well, that that sounds like it's gonna be a great lunch. And

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:30:15]:

We'll be talking about this podcast. I know that. Oh,

Teri Schmidt [00:30:20]:

Excellent. Well, you know, and I just wanna, before we kind of come to a close, touch on what you said in your first piece of advice as well about knowing your leadership style so that you can be authentic. You know, I I think, and we've had many on this podcast about it, but I think sometimes when people think, oh, this is what a leader is, or this is what it means to have executive presence. It means to be up on the stage, to be loud, to, you know, be projecting my voice. And not that any of that is bad, and there are situations that call for that. But I think I do hear many women who say, well, I'm not a leader because they don't see themselves leading in that way. But what you said is there are so and what we've said throughout the podcast, I think in those conversations, there are so many different ways to lead and so many styles of leadership that are needed depending on what the situation is, depending on who the team is.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:31:20]:

I I think absolutely. You just hit on a really good point of to think that one leadership style is the best for everything, I think, really discounts the teams that you're leading. You're the teams you're leading are different people with different experiences, different traits, and and not everybody will resonate to that one, quote, unquote, leadership style, which is why all types of leadership styles are needed because all teams are different.

Teri Schmidt [00:31:47]:

Very true. And if you're in a situation where you're put in charge of a team that maybe your leadership style isn't jiving with, you know, how you can I guess I'll ask you, how do you adapt to that? Is it about, like we talked earlier where you're finding, for example, your deputy and, and finding a way that you can kind of colead, or how have you approached that?

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:32:10]:

First of all, I'll try and figure out why am I why am I not resonating with the team? There's there's a missing piece of information that I don't have. So it again goes back to if if you're gonna be a leader and you truly, you know, want to be good at your craft, that means you're gonna have to be able to take some criticism. And so when I've had times with that, and I can think of some examples in my head, I've had to go to my mentors, not just, you know, when we think about people who are older or more experienced to you, but also my peers and say, hey. I'm not quite getting through to this team. What do you see from the outside? And then sometimes, again, it is looking at my my deputy and saying, hey. I need you to take this meeting. And my deputy and I have a very good relationship. I can't imagine having a deputy where you didn't have a good relationship.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:33:03]:

I think that would just be devastating to the team. And he will he will see it too. He'll be like, yep. This is this is one that I need to take. Because, again, his different leadership style is more appropriate for whatever the issue is, whatever that small group makeup is. So when it's not quite working, you have to be able to take a step back and say, okay. What am I not able to bring to the team? What am I not bringing to the team? Because sometimes you can fill it in. But but taking that taking that criticism and doing the honest assessment, and and as we all know as humans, sometimes that could be hard.

Teri Schmidt [00:33:39]:

It it definitely can. And and, again, what I really appreciate in your answer is even as a leader, you're part of a team. And not just the team that you may be formally leading, but your team of peers. You've mentioned before, you know, your boss, and and how do you find that support around you so that you can most effectively lead those who are on your team?

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:34:04]:

Yeah. Yeah. Abs you're you're absolutely right. I I may lead a team, but I have I have colleagues. I have friends, and then, you know, I have very wonderful leaders and professionals above me that, you know, utilize your resources that you have around you. Mhmm. And and sometimes, you know, you'd be surprised if you go up to somebody and you say, hey. I need some advice.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:34:28]:

Not only will you learn something, you maybe in some cases, you've really widened your circle and your ability. And as a leader, another thing is you're you're always learning. I I there's never any time that I think that I'm gonna get a certificate that says you're done. You've learned everything about leadership. You know, you're there. It's it's a continual, continual journey, but I think that's part of what makes it fun. Excellent.

Teri Schmidt [00:34:52]:

Well, thank you so much again for your time today. Thank you for everything that you do for all of us, for our country. I have a lot of gratitude for you and for everything that you do for us. If people want to learn more about you or get in touch with you about something that you said, what is the best way for them to get in contact with you?

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:35:19]:

So I'll give you an email address. Mhmm. So it's, Anne Marie And I think that would be the best way, and, you know, people could go out. There's there's articles that I've done or panels that I've sit on, but they're very technical to the work that I'm doing. So I don't not more generally about leadership. So people could absolutely go look, but just want to acknowledge that.

Teri Schmidt [00:35:46]:

Well, thank you for that. We'll make sure that the email address gets into the show notes so that it's easy to find. Hopefully, you won't get too many emails flooding your

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:35:56]:

Oh, no. That's fine.

Teri Schmidt [00:35:57]:

I'm about it. But, but, again, thank you for your time today. I really appreciate it and look forward to keeping in touch and following your journey as you progress.

Brigadier General Annmarie Anthony [00:36:10]:

Well well, thank you so much, for having me. It really it is an honor, and it's really fun for me to talk about leadership and leading teams. It's it's really, really a passion of mine. So I there's been a lot of fun for me.

Teri Schmidt [00:36:27]:

Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation and came away with at least one new perspective or one new idea that you can take to be a more courageous leader. And join us next time as we use AnneMarie's story as a jumping off place to what it means to truly listen courageously as a leader. So that you can grow and develop, and help your people to succeed in ways that may even be beyond what they can imagine for themselves.


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