Sasha Laghonh believes passionately that every individual, team, and organization possesses the tools they need to thrive when they’re given the right direction. For nearly two decades she has worked with clients from all backgrounds and walks of life to connect them with their goals through meaningful action. Her mission in life is to show anyone that no matter how complex or daunting the issues may be, they can drive change by approaching life with confidence and clarity.
As a holder of an MBA and a specialist in Organizational Behavior and Leadership, she thrives under pressure and understands how to make lasting connections. Through her work as a strategist, speaker, and author Sasha strives to make a real difference to every aspect of her clients’ goals. The end result is a holistic approach to evolving performance that’s delivered through a combination of unique insights, clear direction, and a definitive purpose. Sasha’s spiritual craft and ability to simplify the complex allows her to make a real difference to the thought processes and goal setting of clients around the world. Everything is then brought together to form a key group of tools for self improvement which are shared in-person and through digital media. Learn more by visiting Sashatalks.com.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with us. Our readers would like to know more about you. Why did you choose this career?
Sasha Laghonh: Sasha Talks was born at a time of uncertainty in my professional path. When my prior organizational commitments were getting curtailed due to the economic conditions, it forced me to reflect upon my talents and skills that were waiting to be capitalized. It was time to create services to address the market for business consulting and spiritual counseling needs. This realization came with its share of growing pains. Ultimately my purpose was born from a place of pain.
The platform historically focused on self and spiritual development services & media shows prior to additional business verticals joining the platform. I was already working as a business specialist through other entities that it made sense to merge my business acumen alongside my spiritual craft packaged through formal services, media engagements and marketing activities. I chose this career because business made the most sense to me during my academic years. It demands a sensible and pragmatic person to develop good sense to connect with the world that has many ‘asks’ which need to be addressed.
There is always a spot open for someone with a business mind to enter the space to either innovate, or improve the market’s existing conditions. It’s a career that requires me to continue growing in self and professional development to remain relevant with the times. Also I take pride in hosting curiosity about life which grants me the privilege to cross paths with people I’ve never imagined through my work.
Can you share a story that happened to you since you became the leader of your company?
Sasha Laghonh: There are too many milestones and lessons to count! I’ve been fortunate to remain focused and devoted to my work for over a decade that I started noticing the evolution of the brand as I’ve allowed myself to grow into my purpose. I’ve made on-going decisions pertaining the timing, resources, investments and personalities that have interacted with the platform.
We’ve entertained different seasons of growth as well learned to pace ourselves without feeling rushed to do anything that fell outside the brand’s initial mission – learning to be human.The investment I’ve made without being swayed by external influence is the reason why Sasha Talks is authentic in its form. It doesn’t promise cures to solve the problems of the world. It provides support in exploring why businesses and individuals are facing challenges. I’m not sitting on the throne telling people what to do, instead I’m among the crowd figuring out feasible solutions to their challenges. When you genuinely pursue your craft for the right reasons, wonderful surprises can greet you.
I’ve been welcomed by personalities and industries that I didn’t imagine when conceptualizing Sasha Talks. I don’t believe the latter circumstances would present themselves if it weren’t for making steadfast decisions by remaining true to myself. Long answer short – I believe the platform’s presence and evolving operations have positively contributed to my personal growth and business acumen.
Please share with us an outstanding woman that you have never met, who inspires you? Tell us how she inspired you?
Sasha Laghonh: Melinda French Gates. A few years ago I was asked if there was a woman I’d like to travel with and my answer was the same. I admire Melinda French Gates for her poise and demeanor from navigating the highly intellectual world to conducting her social work in the fields of foreign countries. She exhibits grace when she presents herself before audiences and it doesn’t matter if she’s educating people on health awareness or addressing questions about her lifestyle.
As someone who considers herself socially awkward, I admire how she manages her presence before people so they can witness her authenticity. Also I appreciate anyone who can enjoy a good laugh!
People who have helped us achieve success are very important to us. We should be grateful for everything they do for us. Can you share a story about how someone who PERSONALLY helped you succeed?
Sasha Laghonh: I often tell people that I was raised by a village. I’m fortunate to have wise parents to guide me through leading by example. It would be unfair to name a few and leave out the rest. There is one I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to for supporting my vision since my early academic years. This is in loving memory of my mentor and teacher Mr. Ponti. Someone who knew me from the age of twelve. He was an amazing human being who made sure each person was accounted for in his path.
Each person mattered. Simple. He wanted to know who you were, what were your dreams and why you’re still lingering in the halls after school was over. If you weren’t smiling, he made sure you’d walk away laughing by the end of the conversation. If you needed life guidance, he knew how to listen and provide loving guidance to help you. It didn’t matter if you were 2, 12, 20 or 82…he knew how to work the crowds! Well…I was informed of his passing when I was preparing a special Sasha Talks segment to thank him for his service. I doubt he would be surprised to learn what became of me. I can still hear his voice telling me to run for politics. Lol
Women are more prominent in business than ever, however, there is plenty room for improvement. What can people do on their own, what can society do, and what can the government do? What are your suggestions?
Sasha Laghonh: Women have encountered great strides in the business space through exhibiting presence in leadership of organizations, entrepreneurship and by building brands that represent women. There is always room to explore more conversation for how women can better engage in the business space by having their voices recognized and ideas implemented in business planning. It’s important the value of women and their contributions are acknowledged in authentic workplaces for the right reasons.
It wouldn’t be fair to welcome women into working environments that aren’t mature and operationally compliant enough to know how to collaborate with them; instead it sets them up to fail when in fact these are high powered women who have earned their ranks. Most of us women take pride in earning our merit. Women shouldn’t have to create bandwidth for unnecessary battles when they’re constantly having to prove themselves against their counterparts in business. Organizations need to recognize women as contributors who have rights too. It’s concerning when human resources and legal resources fail to enforce organizational guidelines fairly among men and women.
Some entities do a remarkable job by catering to human beings, where as some make their bias clear through supporting men more strongly than women in business. We want the business world to be welcoming of all people. If people start fearing one another by anticipating what can go wrong with women participating, then the wrong people are running the business realm. It comes down to education then creation of bylaws that will protect women’s presence through enforcement of such reforms. There are organizations that provide education and training in the workplace to remain ‘compliant’ for legal and ethical reasons yet fail to enforce such guidelines to protect women when a woman raises an alarm for support, or at least the need to be heard.
There is no point of investing time and resources if organizations fail to enforce their initiatives fairly among their staff. Men also need proper education to better understand how women serve as competent business partners rather than a liability, or a wildcard they can’t work with. If anyone is perceived to be a wildcard, then it means the person making the assessment isn’t sure of who they are and therefore is likely insecure. A woman is a high powered source who can multi task and provide keen insights from a unique perspective. Women serve as priceless intellectual assets, evolved leaders and seasoned business partners to people in the global markets.
The wonderful evolution of women in the workspace does require education and uncomfortable conversations in how the virtues of women can enhance the morale and the business performance within organizations. Engaging people for the sake of going down a checklist isn’t the best way because it situates good women at risk of suffering at the hands of myopic leadership run predominantly by men, an inexperienced management, or merely complicit people choosing negligence. Men and women bring many strengths to the table that need to be analyzed to ensure healthy collaborations in the business space. More women are encouraged to lobby for reform in areas where gender biases exist which limit women from having a voice in the boardroom, personnel management; voting on organizational matters; etc. Women participating in business is also a conversation that overlaps with diversity and inclusion in many industries.
There are many reasons why more women should become CEOs, Entrepreneurs, and founders. Some of these reasons may be obvious to you, but I think it is helpful to list them out. So, can you share a few reasons why more women should become business leaders?
Sasha Laghonh: As I’ve mentioned earlier, a woman is a high powered source who can multi task and provide keen insights from a unique perspective. Women are hard wired to entertain multiple roles at a minimum through their everyday existence.
Through living and exercising their many channels of being, they’re able to extract a handful of perspectives that encompass the physical, intellectual, emotional and extrasensory outlooks. A woman who knows herself is not easily deterred, intimidated nor emotionally detached from partnering with other women and men to bring great ideas to life. I’ve seen women in my personal and professional life rise in ranks through empowering other women through their own life experiences. True wisdom from women in business remains priceless from the tough love of lessons learned to tears of laughter. Leadership is a human experience.
What are some things people think about being a business leader that isn’t true? Can you give examples?
Sasha Laghonh: I believe the greater the gift, the greater the responsibility as quoted by Bill Gates. Leadership is never a walk in the park because it challenges us to actually walk the talk at times when it’s more convenient to deliver a pep talk at a Town Hall then hope the “pep” talk doesn’t wear off like a Sunday sermon. It takes a respectable amount of genuine care to ensure you are emotionally and intellectually connected with people whom you’re leading. The greatest leaders, at times, are those without the title.
Being a business leader has its perks but if you are easily phased by power and resources then chances are high that these variables will survive for a limited period of time. Leadership also needs to focus on sustainability in the context of performance — hold yourself accountable before expecting the world from others. Don’t make decisions that will lead you to pay a greater price later in time and not in a good way. Learn to build a life and don’t mix it up with making a life. Leadership challenges one’s ability to exercise and practice sound judgement, identifying opportunities, knowing when to take action and being disciplined enough to avoid the FOMO trend.
Leadership also challenges us to feel our emotions when it’s easier to park them when facing vital forks in the road. This is why I often tell people that I’m busy learning to be human.
In your opinion, what type of person is likely to be successful as a business leader? What are the specific traits that increase the chance of success? And do you think everyone is cut out to be a business leader? Can you explain what you mean?
Sasha Laghonh: I believe a person who is likable and is willing to learn will manage well in evolving into a business leader. Someone who is open to refining their listening and communication skills will benefit from all the communication that unfolds in such roles. A wise business leader is open to all possibilities by being able to think outside the box. The person should host a positive mindset with a resilient backbone to stand up and continue moving forward when the times get tough.
Don’t depend on others for validation and definitely learn to walk alone at times. There’s wisdom in investing time alone for clarity. I don’t think everyone is cut out to be a business leader although I believe each individual hosts at least one or two qualities that can provide an outlet to discover their ‘inner leader’ for their life path.
What are some things you wish someone had told you before you started your business? Why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Sasha Laghonh: I’d say:
- It’s okay to narrow down your niche markets sooner than later. I was able to do that in the incubation stage rather than the planning stage.
- Create a client screening process then refine it after the services are launched. I created a beta screening process after certain services were launched which created some confusion which was sorted out fast thanks to self-realization and clients being vocal with their inquiries.
What do you plan on tackling during the year 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Sasha Laghonh: I plan on investing more time in face to face engagements where I can witness live human emotion. Not on Zoom, not on the phone, not in writing. As for battles, I believe they are good battles that will compete for my bandwidth as the lock downs are mostly over in the United States. Fingers crossed!
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. What was the last book you read that had a great impact on you, please tell us how?
Sasha Laghonh: It’s been a long time since I’ve re-read the book, it’s The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle. It provides a clear description of understanding the concept of time and how our lives are always unfolding in the present state. Readers are educated on how our cellular memory is formed based on our life experiences and our mind’s interpretation of it. If people truly understood how much emotional baggage and unnecessary burdens we take on mentally, we’d be kinder to ourselves.
All we have is the present moment. It’s our responsibility to fill our time and space with harmonious matter. When we’re not in harmony with ourselves nor our environment, lack of alignment unfolds through a serious of obstacles that can manifest through medical issues to attracting a string of unfortunate events that are here to redirect us to our proper course. It’s a book that has taught me how to get out of my own way because the only roadblock in our path is our inner self resisting to go with the flow of life. Everyone has a different relationship with the word, ‘now’.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Sasha Laghonh for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.