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Driving Equity Through the Diverse Supply Chain

Jayne Agency

Supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs through vision and promise.

The impact you make—both personally and professionally—is determined by keeping your promises in order to achieve “your vision.” LaSonya Berry, CEO of McPherson, Berry & Associates (McPherson|Berry) and fierce promise keeper, shared key insights with Beyond the Logo on how she’s currently driving her own impact straight through the industry based on her vision. 

We’ve seen firsthand how LaSonya continues to ensure equity across the diverse supply chain. From collaborating with Jayne Agency to bring resources to the next generation of emerging entrepreneurs through the National Minority Supplier Development Council’s (NMSDC) Emerging Young Entrepreneur (EYE) program, to her strategic focus on the success of small businesses through innovative human resource solutions, we’re excited to share just how dedicated LaSonya is to keeping her word. 

Beyond the Logo: Why is keeping your promise so important?

LaSonya: Keeping your promise demonstrates commitment. The key challenge in keeping promises today is competing responsibilities and distractions. However, when someone does not follow through, I have learned to offer more grace. I believe promises should not be given lightly yet should not be accepted without grace. Be prepared for gaps in expectations and allow for exceptions.

Jayne Agency Tip: Distractions can be barriersto achieving your business goals—strengthen your brand strategy to turn weaknesses into competitive advantages. List out any barriers (and/or distractions) you may have—do this inside your brand platform—and define ways to turn those barriers into strategies that allow you to overcome obstacles and move forward. 

Beyond the Logo: What is your vision at McPherson, Berry & Associates, and how did that lead to coaching emerging young entrepreneurs?

LaSonya:  My vision is to develop people and organizations to be their personal best. That applies to my business and, more importantly, to my personal life. 

The [EYE] program is just one way McPherson|Berry is in service of that vision. I saw the promise and mission that NMSDC was trying to achieve, and I saw how minority businesses in the network were mainly businesses that had great tenure. There was a need to keep the momentum growing, not just going. 

The program that I brought to NMSDC was an execution of my vision—to develop people and organizations. I get to make a deposit in the future of others, that they can keep alive and pay forward. 

Jayne Agency Tip: Within a brand platform, lives a critical, evidence-based brand asset called “brand promise,” whereas vision is more idealistic about how you operate. Solidify your brand promise to be intentional about the vision you’re looking to achieve. Keep reading for resources about how to further understand vision, mission, and values as they relate to your promise.

Beyond the Logo: What impact has your promise had on the world around you?

LaSonya: While I am making an effort to develop others, in return, I develop the potential to continue making a difference. It’s infinite and the depth of impact to be made has yet to be fully discovered. There have been numerous people that I don’t know personally, who have shared how this vision and promise has reached them. Keeping and executing on a promise has a major effect on the world no matter how small you think your influence is. It is important that we see and act beyond the benefit of ourselves to help the greater good (I am truly a giver). However, I am learning to be smarter with the talents that I have so that my vision does not get stifled by those who can’t see, and that my promise is valued.  

Jayne Agency Tip:Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror. Ask yourself—what is YOUR brand’s promise? Is it of value, or is it based on a commodity? 

Beyond the Logo: How do you contend with the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur, also while coaching entrepreneurs? 

LaSonya: There are highs and lows of life, and there are the highs and lows of business. The peaks and valleys that happen in business tend to be on stage for all to see. As business owners, the decisions you make, and their impact affects the people you have on your team and their families.

Coaching emerging entrepreneurs brings me great joy. I get to share my experiences with the intention that sharing can allow them to reduce their exposure and liability (mistakes). We should not stand back and let others struggle to get to the level in which we have accomplished getting to. No one can do business alone. We must commit to making the future better. Coaching entrepreneurs reminds me how far I have come, and to assess constantly—where am I in terms of peaks and valleys.

One thing about business is things will change, and you will need to adjust. The opportunity to be with emerging entrepreneurs is an opportunity to grow with them. We are iron sharpening iron. We all win!

Beyond the Logo: How might this insight apply to the diverse supply chain as it relates to program managing and as it relates to being an emerging entrepreneur?

LaSonya: There is a LOT going on in the space of diversity, especially for suppliers. And so much change can threaten the impact of success that has already been achieved. So, we have to keep our eyes on our vision and remember our promises. By adjusting to the changes, we will be better and stronger together. Entrepreneurs are agile problem solvers. It’s time to put our change management best practices into place and increase our innovation muscles in order to survive.  

It may look like we are in a valley. But we use this to fuel our decision making in business. 

An additional aspect of what I am focusing on in the EYE program is looking for more ways to work collaboratively, while helping emerging business owners learn how to trust one another to partner and increase their total capacity. Our mission does not change. We are in business to be selected for the opportunities, to be successful at what we do, and make an economic impact for ourselves and the communities we live and work in. 

Jayne Agency Tip: Do your research and know what’s out there!Programs like NMSDC’s “EYE” bridge a business education gap through resources that are elevating the next generation of business leaders within the diverse supply chain. 

Beyond the Logo: How do you make an impact in your space?

LaSonya: Having a partner like McPherson|Berry helps businesses in the human resource space strengthen their brands. We support organizations to be compliant, minimize risk, increase productivity, and achieve their business goals. Supporting companies to manage their talent—their greatest asset—is a tall order, and we’ve contributed to the ongoing prosperity of many small businesses, as they avoid going out of business and move into thriving mode. 

We are also developing the next generation of executives and leaders with our learning and development programs—developing talent for opportunities, and sourcing talent to be hired.

Beyond the Logo: What happens if you don’t keep your promise? What happens when your business doesn’t keep its promise? And what advice do you have for emerging entrepreneurs if they don’t keep their promise?

LaSonya: Not keeping your promise has a direct effect on your brand, personal or business. Your business could lose the opportunity to compete and win new business, and your reputation precedes you. As business owners, we are bound to make mistakes or have things go wrong. It’s about how you handle not being able to deliver, that determines how you proceed. We have to learn from our own shortcomings and turn them into our success stories. You will miss keeping a promise, or commitment, because you are human. But be intentional about the promises you make. Then let your mistakes become steppingstones for you to reach your next peak of success.

Jayne Agency Tip:Brand platforms ground businesses in brand strategy to ensure the brand promise, and drive scalable, repeatable, dependable outcomes. Clarity University has brand strategy solutions that fit any brand, any size, anywhere, on the go, or going places. Sign up and create a brand platform (your way) now by scanning the QR code or go to https://www.jayneagency.com/clarity-university/ .

Looking for additional resources on how to better understand vision, mission, and values as they relate to your brand promise? Go to https://mbemag.com/articles/how-impact-and-promise-work-together/.

© 2024 Jayne™ and Clarity University™ are trademarks of Jayne Agency, LLC., wholly owned and operated by Jayne Agency, LLC.

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