Chief Influencer

Anne Rancourt is the Communications Director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, otherwise known as NIDA, where she oversees communication of the world's largest investment in research on drugs and addiction. Joining Anne is special guest Host Dr. Liesl Riddle, Dean of the George Washington University College of Professional Studies. Anne shares the importance of listening in every communications plan, why communicators should adopt a long-term view of their messaging and tactics, and how to be a great mentor for your team.

  • Despite all of the technological tools available to modern communicators, the most important is listening. Communicators should be listening to their audience from the start of an initiative and at every successive step of that initiative.
  • Anne highlights a great example of why listening is so important when recounting the impact of hearing from the community who are working on the frontlines of the drug overdose crisis. Through listening, Anne heard ways that NIDA could better assist in addressing overdose and drug addiction. This also highlights how leaders can give a voice to those without a voice by listening intently.
  • Often, the feedback that is hard to listen to is what can inspire the best ideas and solutions. Pay attention to harsh feedback when you get it because that is when you will hear the truths and real information you need to succeed.
  • Communicators should adopt a more iterative approach to their messaging and tactics. Recognize that executing the tactic is not the end goal and treat it like an ongoing process that can be adjusted over time to improve results.
  • In a post-pandemic world, the impact of showing up to events and meeting people in person is now more effective than ever. Showing up in person is a powerful symbol of how important a person or meeting is.
  • Leaders need to show up as their whole selves. The best way to lead and communicate with your team is to be authentic to who you are. Don’t feel you need to take on an archetypal role, just be yourself.
  • As a leader, it is essential to provide mentorship opportunities to your team. Encourage them to step into new and unfamiliar situations, providing them with the necessary tools and support, while also instilling trust and belief in their abilities. This enables them to grow and prove themselves, ultimately fostering a strong pipeline of talent for the future.

Quote of the Show:
  • “It can be tough to hear feedback, especially when it's not glowing, but that's really when you have to pay attention because that's when you get the real information on how you can do a better job” - Anne Rancourt

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Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Anne Rancourt
Anne Rancourt is the Communications Director at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, otherwise known as NIDA, where she oversees communication of the world's largest investment in research on drugs and addiction.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.