January 01, 2011
Executive Connection with Connie Tang, President, JAFRA USA
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming speaks with Connie Tang, President of JAFRA USA, about leadership, her vision for the company and the challenges facing JAFRA and the direct selling industry.
DSN: What is the one thing you enjoy most about being the top executive of JAFRA?
CT: I really enjoy being a driver of change at JAFRA. Our company has a rich and long history, and it’s an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead our associates and sales force through different stages of development and growth as we take JAFRA through a journey to the next level of business development.
DSN: What has been your greatest challenge since assuming this position?
CT: There have been many, but I would have to say that the greatest has been shifting and molding a new corporate culture.
DSN: What’s been the most fun part of the job?
CT: Working with and developing the team in our corporate office and with our consultants and leaders in the field. It’s extremely satisfying to see how JAFRA truly has the power to transform lives. I love hearing stories of how individuals took a passion and built lives with JAFRA. I never tire of listening to the love in people’s voices when they express their enthusiasm for a product or their teams. I am humbled and honored each and every time a consultant shares her personal story of triumph and overcoming obstacles with me. To be a little part of that transformation that happens all across America is more than “fun.”
DSN: How would you describe the ideal JAFRA consultant?
CT: A person who has a dream and wants more, wants control and yearns for entrepreneurship. A person who is passionate about people and serving others. A person who loves to provide “solutions” to others through products and deliver results and a lifestyle option/alternative to provide the resources needed to make their dreams come true.
DSN: What is your vision for JAFRA?
CT: My vision is to catapult JAFRA USA well into the 21st century and lay the foundation for long-term growth that already started in 2009. The U.S. market is a significant market in the JAFRA portfolio. I see it as our flagship market, having significant influence on our international and new markets. We are actively engaged in making JAFRA the No. 1 opportunity choice for women around the world.
DSN: Is there one basic principle that governs your leadership at JAFRA?
CT: Walk the walk and talk the talk. We are guided by our values, in which I believe and lead by. These values are those which we feel are embodied by the individuals we work with. It is about people who possess passion, leadership, teamwork, trust, integrity and inspiration from the power of people.
DSN: Leaders usually draw on something or someone for inspiration, guidance and direction. Do you have a hero or heroine?
CT: I am the product of a first-generation Asian-American immigrant family. I draw from the dream of all those who come to America for a better life. I practice the work ethic I was raised with. I am responsible to the many great teachers who have taught me through the years. I am inspired by the individuals who have chosen to build and live the JAFRA life because they “believe.”
DSN: What’s the best advice you ever received?
CT: Listen… it’s not about you; it’s about them (the independent sales force).
DSN: What do you see as our industry’s greatest challenge?
CT: Not so much a challenge but certainly an opportunity: from the business perspective, cracking the retail and growing e-tail market penetration to continue growing our economic contribution, all the while maintaining our integrity and ethical practices and standards.
DSN: What do you like to do for fun?
CT: Music is my escape and my daughter is lots of fun. Time with her, my family and good friends equals good times.