About Annette

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By all accounts, I was not one of those natural-born charmers who at age 8 could approach anyone with an audacious request and magically entice them to say yes despite their better judgment.

I was so shy it hurt. Couldn’t speak to more than one person without hearing drumbeats. My parents were delighted when I made it through high school without incident.

I didn’t know it then, but my leadership style was Ms. Idealist. Natural caretaker and true believer who never stops hoping? Yes, that’s me. Asking felt contrary to my instincts. I’ve always been more comfortable making sure everyone else is comfortable. Why rock the boat?

 

This was my story— but it began to change around the
time I decided I wanted to change the world.
(Or, one tiny piece of it, anyway.)

The year was 1987 and I was the 18-year-old fundraising coordinator for a nonprofit called The Hunger Project. It didn’t take long before a light switched on. In my quest to reduce world hunger, I realized that my ability to ask for things was the single biggest success factor in my relationships, in my earnings, and in building an effective organization.

So, I got good at making requests fast. I worked with several mentors, received a communication-public speaking course scholarship, practiced and practiced until I could speak from my heart rather than from my mind.

Not only did this lead to The Hunger Project raising $85,000 in one year, but the ability to make irresistible requests has since allowed me to:

  • Build a profitable business my first year returning to work after spending 5 years as a stay-at-home mother
  • Increase retention 10% over 9 months for a client’s organization, leading to an annual savings of over $1.5MM.
  • Lead programs for an international training and development firm, facilitating and managing leadership programs for over 50,000 people.
  • Align with management to create a paradigm shift in the culture of a call center, from one of compliance and monitoring bad behavior to one of breakthrough performance development.
  • Develop strategies and programs focused on creating potent connections with customers for Fortune 500 companies such as HBO and AT&T, as VP of training and quality assurance for a national marketing firm.
  • Mobilize top performance among call center representatives, for AIG and American Express, as well as quality and service managers in several industries including financial services, advertising and non-profits.
  • Consult and lead trainings for Ogilvy & Mather, FedEx, and Bright House Networks amongst others.
  • Sell $700,000 worth of business in 2010 for a client

The belief that opened doors for me? Discovering I could serve others through making the right requests. The request itself became a vehicle for personal transformation. I became more courageous and more confident.

It turns out these qualities of nurturing and love and intuition not only made me an effective idealist, but they could make me an effective leader, too.

Of course, being an irresistible requester means you’re always ready to hear “no.” But there’s something magical about making the request anyway. That expansive feeling stays with you. This feeling has changed my life. I can’t wait to share it with you.

It’s so exciting to watch women realize that when they make a promise, a real commitment to themselves and others, something happens that causes a fundamental shift — a massive change of direction.  So that they can BE someone they’ve never — and I do mean never — been before.  Ultimately this leads to doing things and saying things that they’ve never done before.  Sometimes it’s scary. Sometimes it’s exhilarating. Sometimes it causes them to stretch as they have never stretched before. Their words have such power.