July 8, 2019

Letter to DC Council from Barbara Lang

Dear Mr. Chairman: Re: Sports Betting & the DC Lottery Contract As you know, I have a strong history advocating for small businesses in this city. As Vice President & Chief Procurement Officer at Fannie Mae for 10 years and more than 12 years as President & CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, I know first-hand how important these businesses are to the District and the civic and economic impact they have on our city. Since leaving the Chamber in March 2014, I have stayed completely out of the DC political environment and advocating for or against business interests. […]
April 18, 2019

Reflecting on Five Years of Lang Strategies

With change comes opportunity. But the uncertainty that comes with change can often cause anxiety and even fear, yet no one I know has ever succeeded without some discomfort along the way. When I left the DC Chamber of Commerce more than five years ago, I felt some of that discomfort as I packed up my belongings and turned the lights off in my office for the final time. There was also some anxiety as I wondered whether I made the right decision to venture out on my own. Before my 12 years at the DC Chamber, I had worked […]
March 25, 2019

Creating a Culture of Women’s Empowerment Beyond March

I am a woman, and proud of it. I say that not in a defiant way, but it happens to be a fact of which I am very proud. The challenges and obstacles set before me as a minority woman throughout my life have not discouraged me, but empowered me to be not the just the best woman I can be, but the best person, professionally and personally. March is Women’s History Month, which is important because it highlights the female leaders today and throughout history who have contributed so much to business and society. But let’s be very clear: […]
February 27, 2019

Partnerships Are Built on Trust, Loyalty, and Difficult Conversations

Contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. Sure, when it comes to partnershipsand building relationships with clients, it is vital to align with their business goals and objectives.But they hired you to work with them on what is the right course of action, and that is whatrelationship management is all about.They key to building relationships that can last for years and generate further businessopportunities weighs on your ability to truly serve as an extension of your client’s mission.Sometimes this means more listening than talking and asking questions to learn more about theorganization and its culture and why […]
January 24, 2019

Only You Can Determine Your Success as a Leader

2,017! That was the magic number. The DC Chamber of Commerce’s membership was stagnant. We had 1,400 members and we were bleeding. For every member brought in, we must have lost three or four. That was not a sustainable business model. I was the new President and CEO. It was my job the plug the leak and to figure out why a once proud membership base was jumping ship. As I spoke with key staff and did my research, it came down to one word: Value. Members were not seeing the value of the money they were spending. It was […]
December 20, 2018

DC’s Light Shines Bright for Those That Live and Work Here

As I sat on the city bus headed to school, I knew I was in the “wrong” seat. There was no way a little black girl should be taking up space in the front of one of Jacksonville, Fla.’s, most popular modes of transportation. But I didn’t care. I had as much right to that seat as anyone. Unfortunately, not everyone saw it that way. As we made our way past city blocks, we stopped, and a larger man boarded the bus and curtly told me to move. I didn’t acknowledge the order, then he demanded again that I move. […]
November 20, 2018

When You Start Your Own Business, You Write Your Own Story

I turned off the light and refused to look back into the dark, empty office I spent thousands of hours in over the past 10 years. There were several reasons I closed the door gently and quietly walked out with two of my longest tenured employees. It was surreal, and I felt a mix of emotions including sadness, pride, excitement and apprehension, but I felt no regret leaving the DC Chamber of Commerce. There was no looking back because after 13 years and two locations at the organization. I was ready for my next challenge. I admit I did shed […]
November 16, 2017

My Faith Restored

After last week’s election, my faith in the American people has been somewhat restored! Like many Americans, particularly women and those of color, I had become increasingly concerned and despondent at the threats, vitriol, and divisive rhetoric we saw during the 2016 presidential campaign and the first year of the Trump Administration. The name calling of friends and foes alike, insulting our allies, the disrespect for American tradition and American institutions, the disparaging of women and people of color, the support of white supremacy and just engaging in issues that should not be for a US President to engage and […]
October 14, 2017

How Personal Branding through Customer Service – Can Be an Anomaly or an Impact

In American society today, we have opportunities to leave an indelible mark. We are fortunate. In some societies, people must focus on mere survival, worried about securing life’s bare necessities. Among the most impressive ways to leave a mark is through personal branding. Customer service is not synonymous with personal branding, but it should be. In a word, customer service is an anomaly. It shapes your career as well as your personal and social life. How you serve others reflects on you. Customer service is not difficult, although it is often overlooked and underappreciated. Customer service is not complicated and may be easily applied to our daily […]
October 14, 2017

Leading from the front

We have all witnessed over the past year an absence of strong leadership, effective communications, and compassion for others – whether it be the national dialogue on race relations in our country, the heighten saber rattling in our interactions with North Korea, or just dealing with colleagues on the ups and downs of running an effective organization to achieve common goals.  Added to this:  making substantive change in the midst of chaos and confusion.   There was a recent incident at an air force cadet training facility where 4 young African American cadets were singled out with racial slurs.  See […]