The Sales Engagement Podcast
The Sales Engagement Podcast

Episode · 8 months ago

Navigating the Dark: Our Need for Networking w/ Hang Black


Which sounds easier — summiting a mountain by yourself on foot or together with someone who already knows the way? Exactly.

We shouldn’t navigate in the dark. We should build ourselves a network.

In this episode, I interview Hang Black, VP of Global Revenue Enablement at Juniper Networks, about her experience as a first-generation immigrant and woman of color — as well as her book, Embrace Your Edge.

What we talked about:

  • The meaning of navigating in the dark
  • How Hang’s upbringing gave her the eyes of an observer
  • Ways to build your network
  • The difference between mentors and allies

Resources we mentioned during the episode:

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or on our website.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Sales Engagement in your favorite podcast player.


Heeverybody, it's Sam Jacobs and beforejumping in to what you're about to listen to I'd, be remissed not to tellyou about unly, two thousand and twenty one on May. Eleven through thirteenthwere focusing on how to win all together in the new sales era. You'lllearn new, go to market strategies, get deeper, funnel insights and actionabletakeaways for your entire organization, from revenue, leaders at high growstartups and fortune. Five hundred companies and our very special guestsare none other than Guy Ras podcaster and author of how I built this andcarry laurence. The first female figher pilot in the US Navy come save yourseat for this high energy online event at unlish. Dot, outreach Dadao, welcome to the sales engagement, apodcast. This podcast is brought you by outreach, the leading sales engagementplatform and they just launched out reach on oureach the place to learn howoutreach well does out reach, learn how the team follows up with every lead inrecord time after virtual events and turns them into revenue. You can alsosee how outretwins account based plays, manages reps and so much more usingtheir own sales. Engagement Platform, everything is backed by data pulledfrom out reach processes and customer base when you're done you'll be able todo it as good as they do had the outreachd on io on out reach to seewhat they have going on now, let's get into theday's episode, hello, everyoneand welcome to the sales engagement podcast, I'm brick WACHESTA, SDR,enablement manager here it out reak and coacheir of diversity, groups like galsand Sels, and the network internally at outreach, I'm so thrilled in honor tobe joined Aday by hang black. Hang it's currently the vpof global revenue,enablemen at juniper networks and has seen a tremendously successful career,ind, Telecomman Zass. She also just published a book titled Embraced YourAge, which details her experience as the first generation immigrant andwomen of color battling bias, ind, preconceived motions, specifically, sherecounts how learning to quote navigate... the dark has helped her break freefrom the consignes of generic formulas to become a tenacious woman, mother andSilicon Valleye leader, armed with skill, will and tenacity and better.Yet she talks about how to pay it forward and pave a path for the womenfollowing in her footsteps. So Hey it is such a pleasure to meet you and chatwith you today. How are you I'm well? Thank you thanks Tyo, so much forhaving me, I'm always very pleased to be invited. Ont Platforms that speakspecifically about women in the workplace and especially immigrantwomen, yeah yeah, absolutely- and it's it's so exciting- to see that there'san appetite to have these conversations more often these days, that's great, soyour book embraced your edge, congrats again hot off the press here in January.What prompted you I'm sure you put many months and years in the writing it whatprosted you to write and publish it this year? Well, it's been kickingaround in my head for about a decade and the reason it's so important to meis that the road was so much more difficult for me than it needed to befor anyone- and I don't know about you, but I have never been so simultaneouslybusy and Bord. I'm doing the Pitan way to put it yeah, and I thought you knowagain when we talk about navigating in the dark. Those of us who get used todoing it really scrappy but really resourceful. For me, chaos is my jam.So in the middle of this chaos, when everyone is disoriented, I am kind ofbored and I'm like what do I do with my time I'm going to write about that bookand it especially came to me when it became clear about a month into thepandemic that this was going to stick around with us for a while. So my firstfingers to keyboard believe it or not was Capril twenty third, no way youmake good time, and I like to joke that my covid book baby took less incubationtime than my real babis did, but the other thing was, as the summer wore onand we saw all of the social injustices...

...happening. I was seeing a lot moredivision in the world and it felt like it was the right time to write forthese marginalized populations, whether they're female and whether they'reimmigrants and one of the reasons I target immigrants is because, eventhough I grew up in the deep south in endemic poverty with multigenerationalpoverty, I don't have the right to write about that, because it's not myshare experience. My shared experience is with the immigrant experience,whether your black white, gray or other or any shade of bage. It is thattenacity that, coming here with the hunger for a handup, not a handout,yeah, absolutely- And I think you do have such a fascinating perspective,because after immigrating from thiananhe mentioned, you know youdidn't grow up in the beat South Ind Louisiana, and I love how you referredit as you had the privilege of being surrounded by diverse groups of peopleand assuming kind of assuming that's normal. But later you move into newenvironments, new cities and the divide is just so much more clear and out youto be scrappy and stand for your values. I mean. How do you think that'sinformed the way you navigate corporate America today, which arguably is prettydarn, Vanilla, yeah? So you know it's funny when your child, you don't seecertain things and when you're in mercyn environment, you don't seecertain things. I happen to have the privilege of being surrounded bymulticolor people that were very accepting of me, except for this oneexperience. That was when I was seven years old that really really stuck withme and was a little bit traumatic, but me, and I learned from it and what I found was when I went back toLouisiana what I thought was homogenious, or what I thought wasaccepting clearly was not. I just didn't, have the eyes to see it when Iwas younger because of the specific...

...people that I chose to be surroundedwith and who chose is to include me now. That being said, I was literally aBrown girl in Leo growing up in a black and white world. However, that Meitmeant that I was neither implicitly included nor explicitly excluded, so Inever belonged, but I wasn't excluded and that gave me the gift ofobservation. It gave me the gift of becoming very objective, because whenyou're not part of any group, you don't have the confirmation BIASD. That onegroup is better than the other. You see the false of fallacies, the love, thejoy and the talents of every group individually. So you know, as far ashow that has helped me navigate in the dark. You know incorporate one of thethings I say is: How do you know as you're climbing up the mountain? You realize that some people have toolsthat you weren't even aware of, and some people like me who have thisdouble minority thing going on. I didn't even know I was navigating thedark, because how do you know you that you're blind, if you can't see no thegift of being Blimd, is that all your other senses rise to the occasion andI'm able to see people and, like I said talents for who, what they are withouthaving that initial bias. So, in a way, my brain has sort of unlearned thatthat immediate unconscious bias, that is set up by the Nidila to protect usto fear the differences. But if U, if what I describe it as is Ati, imagineif you have a bowl full of yellow skittles, a blue one stands out, whichis great for Brandy, but not for belonging, but in a bowl ofmulticolored candy. Everyone is the same, and so everyone is a misfit.Everyone has the same voice. Everyone has the same platform. So that's what Ilove about navigating in the dark...

...yeah, and I love that sayin an maybeyou could expand on that, a bit more like when you say navigating in thedark. What do you mean by that? Does it mention you know early in career N, youstart the basis wide and opend their minning routes up and, as you ascendyou'll notice. Some people have a helicopter to the top. Some people havea jet to the top. Some peopopl have access to tools and Shirpus. Those ofus who were just you know whether you're female or whether you're animmigrant you're, just taught to work hard work hard. You getit done, go ive,bown es down, you know, keep your head down and just just work up the mountain.Well, what? If you're working up the mountain with your head down to thepoint where you're not even looking up and knowing that you don't even havethe son above you, so that's what I mean by navigating in the dark. I can'tsee the ropes and paths that other people can see when they haveflashlights when they have guides who have trecked before them. Immigrants Don't have those guys, mymother and father. Neither of them had you know not that not even that ID theydidn't have a causeegee. They didn't have a high school degree. They didn'teven leave middle school because they were either. My Dad was the only mymother was the eldest female, which meant that they had to earn a livingearlier. So you know put that aside. Then they come to. They did well anyway,in a way they navigated in the dark in their own country without access theyleave all of that behind they come here. Their children don't have access toeducation; they don't have access to generations of financial security. Theydon't have connections. You know, because when you look at credibility,there are two things that you need: trust and competence and, as wementioned a little briefly earlier, trust is built by biologically we convene to those wholook alike, who feel the same as us.

It's just a natural we're naturallywanted to be pack animals. So anything that's different is unusual. It'sharder to build the trust competence is built by access to. Is there someone to vouchfor you? Do you have a network Dabout for you? Do you have? Did you go tocertain universities that automatically come with credibility? Do you have youknow when my parents came over again, they don't have the network and then itwas harder for them to send their children to college, so their theirchildren lack thecredibility as well. So for us, it's kind of you know. Howdo you establish it on your own? So maritocracy works for a while whenyou're navigating in the dark, because you can get up that mountain you get upthat Mounta you'd work really hard at some point. You hit a steep incline,then what then? You just keep circling and let me tell you something brook:You can circle all damn day for years, which is what I did only to realize. What I really neededwas to find the secret person that will open the secret door for me: Ito theSecret Aal and that's where networking ind brand is really important and whenyou askd me again, why did I write this book is because I wanted to pack thirtyyears of learning, of my direct experience of going to conferences ofreading books of having executive coaches and I wanted to give thataccess back to women and immigrants much younger than me or Earli en careerthan me, so that their path is much easier. So I can help you. I can bethat flashlight for you. I can't take the journey for you, but I can ACTU. Ican absolutely help define the way or yeah, and I think that is so crucialright, like you, don't know what you don't know and if you don't know howlong Ye's been circling or that other people are passing you by like Hav frustrating and like at what point?Did you realize? Okay, I have to go find the secret person with the secrettunnel like? was there specific game...

...stance or was it just like I'm sick indoing this? Well, it took time- and you know I'm stubborn like many and it took time, but it took someflashpoints to so. When people asked me, you know, when did you become Badass, Isay only five years ago my career actually really didn't take off until Iwas over the age of forty five. So when I want to tell people is that it'snever too late, but it starts with selv awareness, so then people say okay.Well, how did you get their hang well, it took the deaths of two parents. Tenyears apart, it took a divorce across country, move three layoffs and twotrips to the R. So my advicis don't wait for that. You know, because I don't recommend that, foranyone go to books and resources find and build your network in yourcommunity, it's not always who you think it is it's the people who challenge you, but they challenge youbecause they trust you and they see talent in you. There are many manydiministes out there and it's really important to understand. When is this amoment for learning? And when is this a moment of toxicity that I need to getmyself out of because for those of us who have been brought up on the besisof just work, hard and you'll get there, I can tell you it's not true, and it'sabsolutely not true the further you need to ascend yeah and, like youmentioned earlier, like finding the secret person or somebody who's alreadyin the club and making sure that you're also balancing thawt with like I don'twant to be surrounding myself with toxic people like how can somebodyrecognize like hey? This is probably somebody like, of course, you should bekind and respectful to everybody that you work with, and now you talk aboutthat. A lot of like just be helpful and kind and empathetic without expectinganything and oftentimes. It will come back, but how do you identify like theclub or the members of it, and I guess...

...attach yourself to that network, so Iwould say you know there is a misconception that you attach yourselfto someone in power because power flips any moment at Eergoo Pointin. So what Iwould say is how do you recognize someone who's a multiplier versussomeone who's? A diminisher, WIS wisman has a very, very good book around thatand, if you're serious about your career there'se some books that areabsolutely stables, that's one of them in you know I can almost I've had thisconversation so many times, and I can almost tell you the page number, but Ican at least tell you, the Teyo of the chapter in sit down and shut up. We talk abouttransactual analysis. If you start diagraming your conversations withpeople, you can start recognizing. If people take a parent tone with you atchildtone with Youre an adult tone with you, those who stay in the adult tonewith you, those are the people who are going to be your multipliers and yourcollaborators, whether or not they have power, whether they're beneath you knowaround or above you, those who tend to be in the parental state. You know yougot to measure is this normal? Is this one person or it's the wholeenvironment like that, if best the whole Environment Youre in trouble? Now,let's talk about the different roles that people play? There has been a lotof work around mentorship and sponsorship, both of which are reallyreally important. Mentors and sponsors, though, still affect a single person,so you still need to do that for yourself find those who are mentors andagain their misconceptions. That mentage are only above you, it's onlyyour boss. I have mentorship everywhere, meaning my boss, my peers, the peoplewho work for me, some of my best mentors, are people who work fomebecause they're closer to the ground of what's happening. My kids have beenfantastic mentors for me because they hold a mirror. The sponsors...

...have influence they're, not the peoplethat you're going to you know cry your eyeballs out. You know with a glass ofwine they're the ones that are going to represent you when you're, not in theroom, when critical decisions are going to be made, they're connected theretheir to other people of influence. Now, where I think the conversation needs tomove to in order to elevate marginalize communities, we need to focus more on allies androle models, because that is where will actually make impact to help elevate, awhole class of people and by the way, allyship and rolemodeling can be by Directional. I'm an advocate for white men all the time Itell people there. You know, there's no need to demonize white men. If we also expect them to help us, youknow so allyship is you know it's justdefending or representing people who are of lower population in the room? Sowhen I'm with a group of Minor Morities, there is a tendency for whoever thelarger group in the room is to sort of gang up on whoever is the smallerpopulation. So I find myself defending white men white women all the time,just as as strongly as I defend women and minorities when, as you said,there's more of a vanilla population which is ninety five percent of thetime you know. So I always talk about the civil rightsmovement. For instance, m OK, would not have been successful without JFK nodoubt, but JFK also would not have been successful without Mlk, because how canhe speak to a population for whom he does not represent the human experience?Yeah perte point you know so mlk was who gave JFK his credibility. You know-and so I have you know, open...

...conversations with White Mail leadersin my organization all the time and it's much more meaningful for to beable to speak to them in a way of you know, have you thought about this? Youknow if they implement a a diversity program and I would say, as someone whowould have been part of the population you are trying to help. I can tell youthat programis not going to work and here's. Why? Because hey were worldmeaning, but the question is: Have they formed those relationships as well? Soit's really important to form thise relationships where you contributing toeach other, and that's where I was saying, I'm hesitant to say how do youattach to a person in power? How Y? How do you identify them? How do you attachthem? I would say more of Youl, know person's inpower f they how much,depending on how much infulence they have to create impacts and to changethe game and I would say, provide value to them. Be theire trust, ed adviser talk tothem about hey, here's, some things I'm seeing. I don't know if you've seen it,but here's how I can help and remember sponsorship, Allyshit Mentorship, allof that stuff. We have to be able to help each other by directionally yeah, and I love what you just saidabout using your voice and your gift of observation. Finding ways to likepartner on products does not just mean putting your head down. I mean you knowpointing out the flaws in it and like sharing your your perspectives on it,which is chritial. That's why we're all hired right for a brains not just to belike you said heads down, I mean this conversation has been so illuminatinghing. So thank you so much for taking time of one last for funzy question foryou with the vaccines coming out and hopefully there's a very close light atthe end of the tunnel. What are you most excited for post, canbemic,international travel, you and me both yeah, I'm, like it changees Ga at fairpoints, yeah on on a plane out of the country yeah.

I miss that and you know just beingwith people and not being afraid to hug. Oh, I know I'm doing the weird way fromfar away yeah. It's very odd. You know, I don't think humans rere meat to elbowbump. So much well again, thank you so muchand if foks want to find your book, I assume they can find it on Amazon,embrace your edge and yeah. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat andhave a wonderful rest of your day. You're very welcome you can find me athang with hangcom and also on clayhouse awesome all right. Well, thank so muchthank thanks. This was another episode of the Sales Engagement podcast to helpthis get in front of more eyes and ears. Please leave us a shining five starreview join us at sales engagementcom for new episodes. Resources in the bookon sales engagement to get the most out of your sales engagement strategy, makesure to check out out reached Lio. The leading sales engagement platform seeyou on the next episode.

In-Stream Audio Search


Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (307)