Name: Loreta Tarozaite
Organisation: Loreta Today
Personal Brand and Company Presence Strategist: Guiding Companies and Leaders to Business Success Driven by Trust and Authority | Executive On-Camera & Media Coach | Story Distiller | Chaos Fixer
I help companies and their leaders UNLOCK what they want the most: visibility, authority, and impact.
I THRIVE in chaos! I see this as an opportunity for lasting transformation and impact through improved PRESENCE.
As a brand and executive Presence catalyst, I help companies and their leaders/founders achieve their business goals through cohesive and effective marketing strategies that combine the power of storytelling, video marketing, branding, digital marketing, public relations, and more.
With over two decades of expertise that started in broadcast journalism, which transformed into founding my own company, and then led to working with and inside the Fortune 500 corporations, I’m a strategic partner in navigating the complex world of authoritative presence.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Loreta's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
One of the most challenging things for me has been to let go of various project details and enable my team to be self-sufficient. My job as a leader is to communicate and set expectations and then trust that the team will meet those requirements and will execute to the best of their abilities. Once I changed that perspective, it allowed me to instead focus on solving bigger problems, finding time for creative and strategic thinking, and putting effort into inspiring people to follow my lead to work for me and with me.
I recently heard Simon Sinek say something that resonated with me a lot: "Best leaders I know are students of leadership. There's no such thing as an expert leader. That doesn't exist."
I can say that I've been on this journey of "student of leadership" for the past several years and have been experiencing a lot of growing pains along the way. I don't believe this learning will ever stop.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I don't think there was an instance where one day I woke up and realized I'm a leader. It's a work in progress to date. The one thing that helped me was to understand the difference between a manager and a leader. This understanding came only after I moved from a corporate environment where I was working for a manager to another environment where I was able to experience true leadership. Managers are inundated with day-to-day activities and managing people, whereas leaders are there to remove roadblocks and empower the teams to do their best.
I observed and started adjusting my behavior and putting things into practice that allowed me to slowly grow into the role of leadership vs. continuing to be stuck in a manager mindset.
It's an aspiration I have and a goal that I am trying to achieve every day. Hence, I cannot truly say yet that I'm the leader that I want to be. I draw inspiration from leaders around me and from those on the global stage and strive to always improve and grow.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I am a morning person, that's when I'm most productive. My morning starts at 6am, that's when I scout through emails, to-do lists, and calendars. I get a lot of important and focus-requiring tasks out of my way before noon. I try to schedule the bulk of my meetings after lunch hour so that they don't cut into my thinking and strategic work. However, none of the days are the same. Sometimes all I do is just put out fires and handle a laundry list of tasks or emergencies that suck the energy out of strategic thinking.
During the breaks, I browse LinkedIn for inspiration, comment on some of the thought leaders' profiles that I follow, or just watch some stand-up comics on Instagram to get a brain break and some good laughs. Occasionally I close the days with a walk around the neighborhood with my family.
On the evenings that I have networking events, I attend those to meet new people and build new relationships or just to get inspired by other successful entrepreneurs.
I allocate at least an hour in the day for learning - be it discovering a new tool, be it personal growth, be it how to be more effective and efficient. I love listening to podcasts or watching interviews with successful business people - that's my inspiration for growth and for becoming a better version of myself.
Recently I started focusing more on meditation and calming my mind. It's a work in progress as my brain is wired to be fast and run at 200m/h speed, so it's taking me time to learn how to calm it through meditation and by being present in the moment. Reflecting on the day, thinking big, and dreaming big are all part of the meditation that I incorporate almost daily into my routine.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Be the last one to speak in the room. Always a good reminder. I have a need for speed and tend to rush with presenting my ideas and solutions first, but I am learning to slow down and let others express their thoughts before mine. That's a very difficult task to achieve for somebody who thinks they are on a race track daily. :)
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I listen to a lot of podcasts and watch inspirational videos about leadership, those are my preferred mediums. But if I had to choose a book, it would be "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey where he teaches how you can change your life by changing your mindset that affects you personally, your professional relationships, and have an impact on the team and organization at large.
"Sharpening the saw" habit that he teaches about has become that much stronger in my life and is one of the key drivers when I assess people that I work with or want to work with.
I admire and aim to surround myself with those who invest time in their growth and learning.
With new technologies enriching (or clogging, depending on how you look at it) our lives, I realize that I have to be that much more up-to-speed with everything in order to help my clients advance and reach their business goals.
Without the passion for constant learning, we become stagnant, irrelevant, and unable to innovate. I make it a priority to every year learn something new and push the boundaries within me, my team, and my clients.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Listening is not enough, you have to truly HEAR what others in the room have to say. Relate and understand that it's not about you, it's about the team that supports you and makes you successful. I will quote Simon Sinek again: "A boss has a title, a leader has the people."
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Sharing knowledge with others who are early in their career is one of the most rewarding things a leader can do. I am naturally a communicator and sharer of information (that is engrained in me from my TV news anchoring days) and I never have given a thought about impacting other people's lives by doing so. Until one day somebody in my professional circle told me that they view me as their mentor. I recall thinking: "Wow, I'm a mentor? Am I really?" But I owned the "title" because it inspired me that much more to continue sharing my life lessons, my wisdom, my expertise with others who are aspiring to become better and who look up to me as their inspiration.