Larvetta Loftin has made a personal and professional commitment to assure that the leadership of women does not go unnoticed. Her definition of leadership is “being able to fill in the gap for a friend or someone who needs your help.” For Larvetta, leadership ranges from buying groceries and doing laundry for an ill friend to executing marketing campaigns for large companies. Leading Ladies International is undoubtedly about celebrating women who have devoted time to lead with and for people they love.
It seems clear that being a leading lady is not a calling that allows for a tight schedule or quick fixes. I was curious about how do leading ladies SMARTLY endure. Larvetta stated, “you have to be pressed and squeezed and put into some uncomfortable situations to elevate your game…..like grapes that are turned into wine, the pressure allows it to be a timeless drink.” Speaking of drinks, life is about having a glass half full for Larvetta. She also acknowledges that the glass does sometimes get half empty and that’s when you must take action. When you find yourself in neglect- lots of mistakes, not getting the proper rest, and when you are not operating in a stabilized community (i.e. daily routines), that’s when you know you’re half empty. Larvetta says this is when you have to take accountability, keep your end goals in mind, and do what is NEEDED to fill the cup back up.
To understand someone’s success, I always like to know more about their personal fiber (character in plain English but its way more than that). Our interview hit home for me when I asked, “What moral challenges do you face in your career or daily life that make you think about the phrase:“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment”(Ralph Waldo Emerson)?” With no hesitation Larvetta replied, “Kindness is the greatest gift you can offer to your life and to your business.” In the words of Larvetta, kindness is about listening and being present, not taking interactions with others for granted, and treating others how you want to be treated. Kindness is also a way to stand on your brand. I needed to hear that of course, and have since been working more intentionally on being kind. Another great strand of Larvetta’s core is her stance on honesty and integrity. She considers these the core competencies of her business and self.
Because so many of our interactions with people are online today we must be conscious of how we represent our brand, including our core competencies. Larvetta provided sound advice about how to manage your online reputation. Larvetta stated that, “it is important for your web presence to show that someone is present. It reminds me of a relationship, if your site is outdated, I feel like you are not investing in our interactions. I like to go to websites that help me see things different.”
My interview with Larvetta provided me with an example of a woman who is confident in the lessons of her experiences. Larvetta has found a way to validate the nature of women and our varied experiences as a valuable leadership quality. Boundaries are pushed each day because of Leading Ladies International through the vision of Larvetta as a personable, fun, and dynamic individual.
More on Larvetta Loftin:
What is one of the biggest issues you see plaguing communities? What is your personal commitment to alleviating this?
Making sure that our children are exposed to the arts. The arts gave me the confidence and self-esteem to perform. In school I used my artistic acumen to really understand.
What is a good read that you would recommend to people working on personal and or community development?
“Boundaries”- as women we love to say yes. We say yes to everybody else but we sometimes do not pursue our own passion and success. Learn not to be everything to everybody.
“E-myth Revisited” – for people in business.
“Tipping Point”- helps you understand who you are. When you understand who you are it helps you be a better sound person.
What are some community assets and resources that you would recommend to others?
- Community does not mean where you live, it is the community of people who you share interest with. It is important for you attend conferences that are about empowerment and professional development. These are the communities that you should get involved with.
- People should also attend their local library. Look at and understand different trends and read a variety of magazines. Using the community to help to learn- the more you learn the more you earn.
- Attend intentional networking events. If your community is small business owners you may want to attend program geared toward that. Program the dates in your phone and go every year.
- Eliminate debt within 12-18 months in order to create wealth. List of all my bills and checking them off.
- Come out of sole proprietorship and come into an S-Corp – by October
- Be more smart with my time and make sure my time is being vested in my SMART goals.