Chief Influencer

Annise Parker is the President and CEO of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund & Institute; they endorse and financially support LGBTQ+ candidates through the Victory Fund and provide training and support to run for office and serve effectively through the Victory Institute. They also foster a network among LGBTQ+ elected officials, offering leadership programs and facilitating regular exchanges to ensure effective representation and advocacy for constituents.

Annise Parker was the first former elected official to lead the Victory Fund, serving as mayor of Houston and making history as the first openly LGBTQ+ mayor of a major American city. She gained global recognition, including being named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010. Parker has also been praised for her leadership in addressing climate change and has received accolades from various organizations, solidifying her reputation as a visionary leader.

In today's episode, Annise Parker shares her journey from electoral setbacks to emphasizing the significance of listening, understanding, and direct engagement in leadership while discussing strategies for promoting LGBTQ+ representation in politics and fostering diversity and inclusion.

  • A leader's ability to influence and effect change stems from being an attentive listener. Understanding your audience or community's experiences and perspectives is foundational to effective leadership.
  • Success often requires resilience. If you're passionate about making an impact, be prepared to face setbacks and learn from them. Your determination to get up and fight for what you want, as many times as you need, is crucial.
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must be more than performative. It should reflect your organization's core values, translated into tangible support for your team and community.
  • The willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them is a strength. Saying "You were right and I was wrong" fosters personal growth and builds trust within your team and with your constituents.
  • Anticipate potential criticisms and challenges to your initiatives. A prepared response or strategy allows you to remain steadfast in your mission and values, even under pressure.
  • Whether in public office or leading a company, having a genuine, unwavering commitment to your goals and principles will guide you through times of uncertainty and change.
  • Successful leaders are not only resilient but also adaptable. If a strategy or approach fails, be willing to analyze the reasons, learn from the experience, and adapt your tactics to meet your objectives better.

Quote of the Show:
  • “You have to be a good listener to be a good influencer. You have to understand what your audience experiences.” - Annise Parker


Shout Outs:

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.
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.