Having worked with teams for over thirty years, including C-suite managers, she brings deep experience from many industries to the consulting arena. With a track record for driving successful and efficient large enterprise initiatives, the people she works with are assured of a dynamic outcome, leading to profitable growth, transformation, or product innovation.
Anouk is also a highly sought-after motivational speaker who coaches entrepreneurs where she teaches and encourages entrepreneurship through a unique blend of mindfulness and strategy. By helping aspiring and experienced business leaders gain a greater perspective, she inspires them to get the job done efficiently, get it done right and assume a positive outlook. This doesn’t just help productivity; it improves morale throughout the organization. Over the years, it’s been evident to Anouk that people respond best to those who work hard, get things done and take a task from beginning to end efficiently – which is something she prides herself on doing. Besides working with Fortune 500 companies, Anouk works with colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, and her community as well to help more people reach their potential.
Global Millionaire Magazine recently caught up with Anouk to discuss her journey in the industry, and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started?
My grandparents reared me in Shreveport, Louisiana. My grandmother was a very strong and wise lady who taught me the value of hard work and the importance of building, nurturing, and sustaining relationships. She also instilled in me that I can do ANYTHING. Early on, I cherished learning new things. I love a good challenge, and I establish short-term and long-term goals. I started my professional career in the oil and gas industry. Now, 30 years later, I have been afforded the opportunity to work across several different industries and perform in various capacities. My focus has been on building a diverse background and being a flexible asset. There have been several times that I had to reinvent myself. I have an accounting degree, and I started my corporate career in accounting.
I now work as a VP/Senior Partner for IBM, where I am responsible for the global strategy, organization, and business performance of Blockchain Services. In this Executive role, I partner with client and industry leaders, global consortia, and venture firms. I am focused on delivering accelerated client value in the advisory and creation of new business models coupled with intelligent workflows powered by blockchain AI and hybrid cloud. As a proven COO and serial innovator, I am known for driving global businesses and strategic growth initiatives in a profitable and scalable way, inspiring change, and delivering brand breakthroughs for clients. I have significant experience helping teams and people reach their full potential, creating a growth culture with delivery excellence. I have successfully created, led, transformed, and delivered various CEO-focused programs and businesses across my previous executive and leadership roles in sales, delivery, operations, consulting, account management, and business transformation. I have built winning and empowered teams whose results are recognized by analysts as market-leading and market-making. I am active in various global diversity initiatives and mentor a large talent population.
I help businesses grow with my cross-industry and cross-domain background. I thrive off of starting and recovering organizations and businesses. I am most passionate about helping others; therefore, I spend a lot of time mentoring and coaching people. I also do a lot of community service and participate in various nonprofit organizations.
How would you describe your leadership style?
That is a very good question because I have to admit that my leadership style is different now than it was 20-25 years ago. My current leadership style prioritizes focusing on people since they are our biggest asset. I spend time getting to know my employees so that they can see I sincerely care about them as individuals. I drive with simplicity and clarity and empower people to do their job responsibilities without micromanaging. I challenge people to be the best, and I have high expectations.
What factors do you consider when defining long-term goals?
I have ‘personally’ learned it is important to ensure goals should not conflict with your values. And throughout life and life’s seasons, your values may change, so it is important to know that you can adjust your goals along the way.
So the key factor I consider when defining my long-term goals is my values.
What is your method for shaping a company culture?
I bring my authentic self to work every day. It is important that everyone brings his/her authentic self to work every day. We each must strive to be our best version of ourselves. We should all come to work as an original. Be ourselves because everyone else is taken anyway. If we all do this, we help build the culture. We help build a diverse and inclusive environment. We help to be the catalyst for the change.
What is the most difficult decision you had to make in your position?
Companies are around to drive profitable revenue growth and to serve their clients and their employees. I had faced times when I had to be bold and take risks to ensure my employees were being treated fairly. I have had to stand up for them. I had to be their voice. I had to speak up in some very sensitive situations. I had to be an upstander. I had to do the unpopular thing at times and be willing to be misunderstood, but I was okay with that when I knew in my heart of hearts that I had to do what was right by my employee at all costs.
Secondly, I also have had to be an advocate for my clients at times to make sure we are listening to what they wanted and/or needed and not trying to sell them something that they did not want or need.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I really love spending quality time with my family and friends. I love to laugh and have fun. I really enjoy reading, traveling , and exploring new and different things. I am recently engaged to be married and love spending time with my finance’ and am looking forward to building a life with him.
What are your greatest professional strengths as a senior partner?
Building meaningful relationships with the team and our clients is my biggest strength. I have also mastered how to keep things simple while staying focused and driving client outcomes to obtain strong business results.
It is all about serving. I pride myself on being an outstanding servant leader.
What does success mean to you?
Helping others. Paying it forward is success to me. I have benefited from so many great mentors and sponsors along the way that I feel compelled to make sure I am benefiting others as well. At this juncture in my career, I am most concerned about helping others obtain their goals… which is success to me when I can pay it forward and help the next person.
What motivates you to succeed?
I feel very motivated when I think of all of the sacrifices my grandmother made for me. She is my driving force. She passed away some time ago, but I want her to look down and take pride in the little girl she reared. I know that I can, I will, and I must, which is something that I keep at the forefront of my mind. I have a saying posted in my room that says, “This Girl can DO IT.”
How do you deal with conflicts in your workplace as a senior partner?
It is important to pick your battles. Not every battle is worth fighting. Not every battle is worth fighting immediately. When there is a battle I determine that must be addressed; I address it directly with facts and without emotions.
What would you consider your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement is that I have the privilege to be in a position to help my family, friends, and community.
What advice would you give someone who wants to follow your footsteps?
Know yourself, Be Your Self, and Surround Yourself. Let me dive into each of these. Know yourself is where you make sure you align to your values. Be Yourself is about being authentic. Surround Yourself is to remember that no one gets there alone, so build your network of mentors and sponsors and ask for help when needed.
Know that you can do it. When I was little, one of my favorite quotes was, “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you will be amongst the stars.” Set goals, and then just do it and breathe and enjoy the journey. And on the journey, give grace to others as God gives it to us!