Lang Strategies LLC

Blog

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 it is enlisting your services. Most times, there is a muchdeeper reason than what appears on the surface, so your engagement of the key players withwhom you will be working is vital to everyone’s success.In my role as Vice President, Corporate Services at Fannie Mae, I was often considered thepolicewoman

Read More »

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 there, but it was hidden, and it was my job to lead the effort ensuring we provided top services to members that helped their business succeed. I took stock of who was on the Chamber team, and realized we had no one responsible for telling our story. I hired a

Read More »

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 betaking up space in the front of one of Jacksonville, Fla.’s, most popular modes of transportation. But I didn’t care. I hadas 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’tacknowledge the order, then he demanded again that I move. I looked at him, made brief eye contact, and then lookedaway. Then, suddenly, he decided to sit down anyway, almost right on top of me. Unfortunately for him, he wasunaware that I had just sharpened four of my pencils for school that day. I angled them just perfectly and instead ofsettling into his seat,

Read More »

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 some tears on my ride home that Friday evening, but I was extremely excited to begin my role as managing principal and CEO of Lang Strategies. I would no longer be accountable to a board of directors, no longer out almost every evening during the week and weekend at events,

Read More »

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 the many distortions of the truth. These things do not represent the America I know and love. Yet if you listen to some in the media, folks in one political party and this president, you would think that most Americans buy into this view of their America. We have a

Read More »

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 lives. It is so fundamental to the core of your brand because it is a measure of a person, who makes the extra effort, the extra force to do what they believe is right, and not only for a reward or accolades. We all can remember times when we confronted a

Read More »