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Moxie Unleashed: Ann Tardy Rouses the Crowd at Call Center Demo & Conference 2012

"What do you love about your job?"

A conference attendee posed this question to ICMI’s Call Center Demo & Conference 2012 keynote speaker and presenter, Ann Tardy. Ann was taken aback; "No one ever asks me that!"

Call Center Demo & Conference 2012 Keynote, Ann Tardy

As President and Founder of LifeMoxie Mentoring, Ann is typically the one asking that question – to everyone she meets.

Ann has literally traveled coast-to-coast (in 2011, she rode from San Francisco to New Jersey on a bicycle!) in search of inspiration for her mentoring strategies and secrets from people in all walks of life. Along the way, Ann has interviewed the people she’s encountered to find just what drives them to be successful and passionate about their jobs. And she's quite passionate about her job, as well.

Ann began her mentoring journey while working as a start-up attorney in Silicon Valley during the mid-1990s. She discovered that mentoring her clients as leaders was a key to empowering them to manage their own success. In the early 2000s, she began co-directing an Entrepreneurial Program for 7th grade girls. It was then that Ann realized that, "if 12-year-olds can learn about how to manage, lead, and have fun doing it – anyone can!"

So, what does Ann love about her job?

"I love having the opportunity to help people become better versions of themselves," she told me. "I also love that I can change the way people think about their jobs ... that they can be influential just by going against the grain or thinking outside 'the herd'."

Motivate from the Middle

According to Ann, being in the middle of your organization can present numerous obstacles to your success. Or so we perceive. During her keynote Rousing the Remarkable: The Secret To Unleashing Moxie in a Mediocre World, she pointed out how all of us are influenced by our fears and needs. This is especially true for those in the middle – the organization managers – who often hold the freshest ideas and perspectives for innovation and success.

"Everyone wants to make a difference… to feel important," she asserts. But at the same time, "no one likes rejection." However, when it comes to leading in the workplace, these influences often clash.

Ann provided seven key steps to teach us how to break free from our perceptions and misconceptions in the workplace and "unleash the moxie" within ourselves and in our teams. These steps are:

  1. Go in with a Battle Cry
  2. Go 12 Miles at a Time
  3. Tolerate Setbacks Not Failures
  4. Set the Herd Free
  5. Reject Lookism*
  6. Clap Loudly
  7. Rouse the Remarkable

(*Basically, don’t judge a book by it’s cover!)

The effect we have on others, our influence as leaders, is at the heart of LifeMoxie’s strategies. If Ann could pin down a single takeaway from her presentation at Call Center Demo 2012, it would be that the power of influence is already accessible. She said, "As leaders in the workplace or in our daily lives, the power to influence the remarkable in people is always at our fingertips."

It may seem like a simple concept, but Ann notes how often she’s encountered business leaders who don’t realize how influential their actions are. And once they do, it enables them to successfully harness the true potential of the power that is already within their grasp.

"I help people to 'connect the dots' between their actions – or reactions - in the workplace and get them to understand how they are affecting other people."

[Editor’s note: Read some of Ann’s article here on icmi.com to learn more about managing the middle: 6 Ways to Influence People to be Innovative Instead of Fearful, 8 Ways to Ignite Innovation in the Middle of Your Organization, 9 Ways to Use Recognition to Influence People.]

What's Next?

Ann is currently working on her fourth book, "Rousing the Remarkable," which is based on her second major coast-to-coast bike ride, which she completed earlier this year.

For more information on Ann and the LifeMoxie way, visit www.lifemoxie.com.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.