Hang Black, VP of Global Revenue Enablement at Juniper Networks, on Courage and Finding Your Edge
Hang Black knows firsthand what it means to face down overwhelming adversity. As a child, she, her parents, grandparents and seven siblings fled war-torn Vietnam in the 1970s. Upon their arrival in the United States, her family of 10 was taken in by a Lithuanian immigrant family. “My siblings and I are engineers, scientists, and tech executives. We have that family to thank.”
I tell people to think about stepping into their courage. It’s okay to have skinned knees and ask questions.
Though she was always at the top of her class, a lack of courage, confidence, and access nearly cost Hang the chance to join G.A.T.E (gifted and talented education) in elementary school. Feeling it was unattainable, she let the opportunity pass her by in fifth grade. Fortunately, she found her courage and took advantage of a second chance at a magnet school as she transitioned to high school. That small victory taught her a lesson that she’d draw upon throughout her life. “I tell people to think about stepping into their courage. It’s okay to have skinned knees and ask questions.”
Upon graduating magna cum laude from the University of Texas with a BS in Chemical Engineering, Hang began her career as a process engineer at AMD where she earned multiple patents in semiconductor manufacturing. Next, at Cisco, she gained skills in product management, marketing and sales while a technical marketing engineer. After running her own sales and marketing consultancy, she led worldwide sales enablement programs at cybersecurity company Gigamon and unified communications provider 8×8.
Now as Vice President of Global Revenue Enablement at Juniper Networks, Hang’s mission is to supercharge the performance of the company’s sales force and partner communities. In her nearly three years at the company, she has developed and delivered strategic frameworks for onboarding new sellers and nurturing talent, and instituted best practices across sales programs and the technology stack.
Most recently, Hang wrote the book Embrace Your Edge, the remarkable story of her journey escaping Vietnam to hold executive roles at some of Silicon Valley’s highest flying companies.
“To this day, I advise others to surround themselves with people who love and uplift them,” she says. “Many times when I’ve been lifted, it’s because someone else believed in me.”
Some of Hang’s other keys to success:
- Nurturing diversity. Hang believes in providing a space of psychological safety where her diverse teams can challenge each other to be innovative and creative.
- Being judicious about risk. Experience has shown Hang the importance of plotting a path and leaving room for course corrections.
- Understanding enablement math. Hang has figured out the formula for driving the most impact from enablement programs.