WEST LAFAYETTE – Toyinda Wilson-Long has proven herself to be a leader, first as a student-athlete as a Purdue University track and field All-American and a member of its athletic Hall of Fame, second as a leader within her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated and then in the education field working at Purdue for 14 years, many of those in leadership positions.
Wilson-Long is now aiming to help other individuals and “teams” achieve the same level of success as founder of Leadership Strategy and Consulting, LLC. In March, she took what she called her personal “leap of faith” to start her consulting business.
The Gary, Indiana native said she felt she has been working most of her adult life for this moment, starting at Lew Wallace High School when she joined the track and field team there.
“I liked being part of something positive, goal focused and uplifting,” said Wilson-Long. “I had a lot of opportunities to join clubs, organizations and teams. I liked the bigger picture of a group moving together toward one goal. That was exciting for me and kept me motivated and driven.”
Leadership Strategy and Consulting is about equipping individuals and teams for personal and professional growth by applying practical and proven leadership strategies as well as identifying and using personality strengths that allow individuals and then groups to operate to their potential. Wilson-Long, a certified trainer, coach and speaker with the nationally-renowned John Maxwell Group, has adopted the National Curriculum and Training Institute’s Real Colors systems to help individuals become impactful influencers.
“Real Colors is about improving personal and professional interactions and recognizing that there is diversity in information processing.” Wilson-Long said. “It can absolutely work for any person and any team because it teaches positive communication which leads to increased connections which leads to stronger and more valuable relationships.”
“I’m using the word team in a broad sense. A team can be husband and wife. It can be a group of youth. It can be a student group, a nonprofit or an organizational department. We can equip anyone for personal and professional growth. Being an effective team member is really about understanding and then operating within your strengths 100 percent of the time and Leadership Strategy and Consulting can lead individuals through the process,” Wilson-Long added.
Wilson-Long’s personal story exemplifies much of what she is now passing along to others. After graduating high school, she was asked to walk-on to Purdue’s track and field team. Over the next four years, she became an All-American throws athlete, voted by her teammates as team captain in 1999 and helped the Boilermakers capture the Big Ten Conference track and field title.
She also was named to the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the Purdue Intercollegiate Hall of Fame. Her leadership after her athletic career led her to be honored by the Times of Northwest Indiana as the Top 40 most influential females in athletics, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority’s Aurora magazine’s Top 30 Under 30, and the Purdue Black Alumni Organization Young Alumni of the Year Award.
“When I was voted by my peers to be team captain of Purdue’s track team, I just didn’t know individuals looked at me in that light,” Wilson-Long said about one of the times that piqued her interest in leadership. “When we won the Big Ten title, it was a time where we were all working in our strengths, we had a connection with each other and influenced each other to pull together and work as a unit. I know that was one of many experiences that lead me to eventually starting the company.”
Wilson-Long has already lent her leadership ability to various groups with her community involvement, which includes the Purdue Black Alumni Association’s board of directors, the Lambda Psi Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, Harrison High School as an assistant coach, the Greater Lafayette Indiana Black Expo, Lafayette Adult Resource Academy’s educational opportunity’s advisory board and the leadership team member with the Manifested Power International Ministries.
Wilson-Long said she is currently rebranding herself, so that the community and public see her as a business owner and consultant.
“I worked at Purdue for 14 years, many people still associate me as an employee of the university,” Wilson-Long said. “I’m trying to increase awareness in the media domains about my shift. Right now I’m working within my strengths, doing a lot of community outreach, and showing people what I bring to the consulting table.”
Wilson-Long said individuals, groups and companies interested in booking her can find additional information about her services at her website: Leadership Strategy Consulting |.