Leadership and Loyalty: Why It Must Start Within You

A year ago this week my Leadership Chat Co-Founder/Co-Host Steve Woodruff and I met at the SOBCon conference here in Chicago.

Everyone who attends the conference knows that their career (and, in many ways, their life) will change dramatically over the next year because of the influence the people they meet will have on them during the course of the three-day event.   You see, it truly is the people in the room that make all the difference.

Last year when I was debating whether to attend the conference I asked Liz Strauss, the Co-Founder of SOBCon, “Who attends?”  Her response: “The people who are meant to be in the room.”

My heart told me I was meant to me one of those people.  Once there, the universe sat me next to all the right people over the course of the three days – people who would have a profound impact on the path I took over this past year.

The New Loyalty and Leadership

The focus for this year’s SOBCon conference, which officially kicks off this coming Friday, is “Building the New Loyalty and Leadership Business.”  In honor of the conference focus, and as a bit of a warm-up to the event, Tuesday evening’s Leadership Chat will focus on “The Leader Who Inspires Loyalty.”

As I write this I realize it’s fitting in so many ways because the 150 business leaders who enter the SOBCon conference on Friday leave on Sunday very loyal to the other 149.  I believe this in my heart.  There is an unspoken bond with those I met last year that has lifted me up at many points during the past 12 months when I needed encouragement to get past my fears and take a leap of faith.

When someone launches a new program or initiative there is unparalleled support from the conference alums that I’ve simply never seen anywhere else.  And unlike any other group I’ve interacted with, it seems those who “are meant to be in the room” genuinely want to change the world.

Going Deeper – Changing the World

So, in the spirit of thinking about a new kind of loyalty, of being a leader who sets out on an untraveled path and inspires others to join in the cause or simply to follow with unrivaled loyalty, I want to go deeper in this post this week.

I want to “throw out the idea” that to be that leader who inspires loyalty we must first look within ourselves and commit to being true to ourselves, to our passion, and to the path we are meant to be on.

We all know the saying that before you can truly love another person you must love yourself, wholly and completely, first.  I believe the same is true of leadership.

To be a great leader who engenders loyalty you must be loyal to yourself first.

This is not easy to do.  We are told we must be servants, we must put others first, we must make sacrifices.  We have demands placed upon us by loved ones that take us off course and we have a multitude of priorities that sometimes have us transfixed on “just getting through” our days.

It’s impossible to inspire leadership and loyalty like this.  Who wants to follow someone who’s not even connected to themselves?

Loyalty to Self Involves:

  • Personal Vision – knowing it and living it with conviction
  • Ensuring that our vision is tied to what makes us passionate in life
  • Committing time each day to listening to ourselves – I’ve discovered over the past few months that it’s in the quiet moments I reserve for myself that answers to questions of magnitude finally emerge in my brain…having traveled straight from my heart
  • Taking care of ourselves so we can, in turn, take care of others
  • Making decisions that are true to our values
  • Being honest with ourselves first

Go deep within yourself to become the type of leader that others want to follow and be loyal to.  Remember, you have to do the hard work – first!

Join Steve Woodruff, the entire Leadership Chat Community and me for an insightful and enlightening Leadership Chat this Tuesday evening, April 26th, at 8:00 pm ET on Twitter.  Don’t forget to use the #LeadershipChat hash tag to follow along or to jump in and participate.

~

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Thank you for reading and for being part of this community – it means so much to me.

You can find me on Twitter at @LisaPetrilli and on LinkedIn. To hire me for Visionary Leadership programs, Marketing Strategy work or for the Social Media Concierge program, email me at [email protected].

Photo is Agape by Coolm36.

Comments

  1. Lisa, you have become a dear friend and a valued partner over the one year since we met, and this week we finally get to see each other “live” again at SOBCon – which means you’re due for a serious hug! There is an amazing loyalty and pay-it-forward heart among the SOBCon alums, and I can’t wait to be back for another full-immersion time with that bunch of co-revolutionaries!
    Steve Woodruff´s last blog post ..Brand Therapy

  2. I can attest to the life-changing influence SOBCon can have on a life. From the conversations begun around tables, the genesis of Women With Drive Foundation was formed. Without the feedback, mentorship and support from the friendships I forged over that weekend, WWDF would not be a reality. When I talk to people about SOBCon, I don’t refer to it as a ‘conference’ as much as a collaboration hub. I’ve seen real leadership in action many times over as a result of my time there, and I can truly say that ‘paying it forward’ has became a central tenant of my life as well. It’s real magic.
    @mckra1g´s last blog post ..mckra1g- RT @ColetteCote- @2morrowknight- How to say PEACE in 100 languages http-owly-4FP2r cc @yokoono

    • Molly,

      I love your phrase “collaboration hub” – I think it does a beautiful job of capturing what happens in our Mastermind Sessions and in conversations around the tables you refer to. You’re so right – it is magic. Can’t wait to share this one with you – see you in 3 days!

  3. I am so so so disappointed I can’t make it to SOBCon this year. More than any other conference, I feel like it’s the right fit for me, but I just couldn’t make it happen this year. I have it in my sights for next year, but this post now has me very depressed :)
    Margie Clayman (@margieclayman)´s last blog post ..Will you help me help Big Love Little Hearts

  4. Lisa, great topic to explore. There is a HBR article entitled: Why Should Anyone be Led by You? There are 4 key points, but the one I like the most is for leaders to allow themselves to be vulnerable… to show their imperfections, but not their weaknesses. Show that you are human and approachable. This is pretty uncomfortable territory for some executives, but fits well with your “go deep within yourself to become the type of leader others want to follow”.

    I like to follow humans, warts and all. Being comfortable within your own skin, what you raise so well in this post… is a high, yet achievable standard.

    Craig
    Craig Juengling´s last blog post ..Success Breeds Success… Spin the Flywheel!

    • Thank you, Craig. Yes, we talked about vulnerability one night in Leadership Chat and it was a very controversial subject. Some equate that with weakness – I equate it will, as you say, following humans – warts and all. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here!

  5. Lisa,

    I stumbled upon your post this morning and smiled deeply when I read it, as it parallels my own thoughts on leadership and the importance of leading from within, as Lolly Daskal would say.

    Only when our outer lives begin to truly reflect our inner values are we able to effectively lead others, and it starts by honoring oneself.

    Great post!

    Sharon

    • Sharon, I really appreciate that – thank you. Yes, I am fully committed to leading from within and it really is the substance of what we get at in Leadership Chat. Our community is one of believers in this philosophy! All the very best to you!

Trackbacks

  1. […] What are your thoughts on Leaders who inspire loyalty? That’s what we’ll be discussing during #LeadershipChat on Tuesday, April 26th at 8 pm ET. And, be sure to read my co-host Lisa Petrilli’s post Leadership and Loyalty: Why it Must Start Within You. […]

  2. […] Leadership and Loyalty: Why it Must Start Within You – Lisa […]

  3. […] Leadership and Loyalty: Why It Must Start Within You | C-Level Strategies – Visionary Leadersh… Everyone who attends the conference knows that their career (and, in many ways, their life) will change dramatically over the next year because of the influence the people they meet will have on them during the course of the three-day event. You see, it truly is the people in the room that make all the difference. […]

  4. […] Leadership and Loyalty: Why It Must Start Within You | C-Level Strategies – Visionary Leadership Everyone who attends the conference knows that their career (and, in many ways, their life) will change dramatically over the next year because of the influence the people they meet will have on them during the course of the three-day event. You see, it truly is the people in the room that make all the difference. […]

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