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When you are born into the oil and gas industry, the wherewithal to withstand the ups and downs of this cyclical industry becomes a bit second nature. Don’t get Anne Slattery wrong. The volatility she saw growing up in New Orleans with a father who worked in the industry was certainly scary, but it was also very exciting, she said. It didn’t take long before she was hooked on oil and gas.
“I always knew I wanted to be a part of it in some way; I just did not know what that would look like,” she said. “In college, when I realized my strengths were more finance focused, I knew I would have to get creative to find my role in the energy world.”
That she most certainly did. Today she lives in Houston with her husband, who is also in oil and gas as is her sister, and her two young daughters Caroline and Mary Catherine. She serves as risk advisory director and as the energy industry eminent at audit, tax, consulting firm RSM.
“I have been fortunate to have many mentors over the course of my career, but my father really stands out as my lifelong career adviser. His advice to me is always simple and straightforward—be honest, stand by your people and keep showing up. On days when I am overwhelmed or facing a difficult situation, I default to this counsel—I show up and take one decision at a time. I have learned over time that if you are honest, make the best decisions you can with the information you have and always consider your team, things will fall into place. Beyond advice, it is crucial to watch those around you that are smarter and more experienced. Watching my dad navigate his life and career with integrity and humility has been worth more than any advice he could offer. It is up to us to take a step back and learn from others.”
“I have not always been in consulting. I worked in house on internal audit teams for eight years, first at an E&P public company and then at a petrochemical company. I was actually surprised when I was promoted to internal audit director earlier than I had anticipated. I had been head-down and focused on shaping the internal audit department into a value-added function for the organization and hiring the right team to support that goal. I was also highly focused on learning the business, creating relationships and building trust with my stakeholders within the organization. I think that my relationship-first approach allowed me to lay a foundation for success in that role.”
Worth the risk
“I am proud of myself for taking a risk and jumping into consulting after so many years in house. I had a thirst to see and do more. I wanted to work with companies across the value chain while continuing my focus in risk and controls—and consulting was the perfect way to do that. However, it was daunting to leave my comfort zone and take on a role where I was now responsible for growing a practice while navigating a new firm. Although challenging at times, I always say the highs outweigh the lows, and looking back at our success makes those challenges worth it.”
“Taking on the role as industry eminent at RSM has been the most challenging part of my career to date. As analysts, we are expected to provide industry insights that are based in our research and analysis of data and to share these inside and outside of the firm. Developing thought leadership content, speaking on industry topics, educating our teams and leading with industry in the field are all part of my day-to-day now. Additionally, taking on this role in 2020 created an additional challenge of trying to make an impact as we adjusted to the remote work environment. My goal of joining the program was simple: to better serve our energy clients, to engage RSM team members in industry focus and to further RSM’s reach within the energy industry. If I can play even a small role in enhancing our ability to serve our energy clients, then I consider my job successful.”
Resilience and confidence
“The industry is not for the faint of heart, and industry leaders must be resilient. Resilient leaders are able to maintain their confidence, stay true to their vision and pivot when needed. I am often in awe of my clients and their ability to navigate and successfully manage through uncertainty. These are the leaders that strive to emulate.”
Up to the challenge
“The past 18 months have been extremely challenging for industry practitioners and those who serve them. We, as service providers to the industry, had to really listen to our clients’ changing needs and be flexible and creative in our approach to serving them. It was important that we demonstrated our commitment to them and to the industry through the volatility. I think the most important and impactful tactic that I employed during this time was listening to truly understand what our clients’ needs were and then getting creative with how to meet them.”
Growth and experience are essential
“My leadership development has been a combination of organic growth through experiences and participation in formal leadership programs. The experience that stands out the most as shaping my leadership abilities was when I hired my first team. I suddenly felt an overwhelming responsibility for creating an environment that fostered their success and where they felt fulfilled. From that point forward, my focus shifted to the team’s success versus my own. I have been fortunate enough to work for many strong leaders. I have found that, once again, watching and learning from other leaders is the most effective way to improve your own skill set. It is also important to be self-aware, recognize your shortcomings and learn from them. My mistakes have certainly taught me more than my successes.”
Three More Things
- I was born and raised in New Orleans and love going back to ride in Mardi Gras with my high school friends.
- I love to run, bake and hang out with my husband and daughters on weekends. I also like to deer hunt with my dad.
- I love going into the office and have really missed it during COVID!