Beyoncé’s wildest creative and corporate visions come to fruition thanks to Parkwood Entertainment GM Lee Anne Callahan-Longo’s perfectionistic drive
The mahogany-framed mission statement that hangs behind the desk of Lee Anne Callahan-Longo reads loud and clear: “Get Shit Done.” Obviously, steering the global brand that is Beyoncé demands eternal to-do lists, but when it comes to signing the dotted line, every deal must be innovative.
“We don’t hear any idea if it isn’t unique or different,” says the Parkwood Entertainment General Manager, who flipped her New England radio publicity beginnings into consecutive marketing tenures at Atlantic and Columbia Records before landing at the Matthew Knowles-helmed Music World Entertainment. “Don’t bring in no ‘this is what so-and-so did.’”
Nestled behind the frosted glass of her Manhattan corner office, the Boston College alum who helped broker Beyonce: Life Is But a Dream and that lucrative Pepsi partnership lays the law on running a world-class operation. —Nicole McGloster
BE FIERCE (NO SASHA)
"If you’re afraid you can never really achieve what you set out to do. Be fearless, especially as a woman. I find myself in conversations with men who’ll say I’m getting emotional. No, no. I’m not emotional, I’m angry. The balls that people still have to say that to a woman is amazing to me."
NO, NO, NO
"Beyoncé doesn’t want a bunch of people around her that just say ‘Yes, you’re great.’ We have very intense discussions—sometimes people are on different sides of an opinion—but the best [ideas] usually come out of those."
LOST & FOUND
"Keep seeking something that really excites you. At one point I thought I wanted a normal nine-to-five, so I became an agent. But I don’t get off on making the deal; I get off on making someone’s goals and aspirations come true. You can always change your mind, but it took that kick in the ass to realize I had it all wrong."
"Today’s receptionist can be tomorrow’s president, so return every phone call and treat everybody with respect. Work hard and do what you say you’re going to do. More importantly, let people know if you can’t do something. "
"The entertainment business is truly going through an innovation. It’s not going to be the same in 10 years; everyone knows that. It’s difficult when you can’t look to your past to plan your future but you have to be brave and interested in finding a new way."