Loren Slocum Lahav wears many hats: mom, wife, friend, speaker, author, coach, business-owner, mentor, philanthropist and leader. For over 25 years, she has been the crew director for Anthony Robbins, leading the hundreds of volunteers who staff Robbins’ live events. It was in this capacity, almost 5 years ago, that I first met Loren. It was February 2011 in Fort Lauderdale, and my first experience serving on the crew at one of Tony Robbins’ events.
Since then, Loren has become one of my most influential teachers, mentors and friends. She has illuminated the path of my journey to discovering my true self by offering inspiration, wisdom, love, compassion and, where necessary, speaking the truths that were difficult to hear but essential to my growth.
Today is Loren’s 50th birthday. In service of my desire to do something special to celebrate, honor and thank Loren for all she has given to me, I’d like to share with you some of the lessons about leadership and life that I’ve learned from this brilliant woman.
(1) Leadership Isn’t Taught; It’s Modeled
If you visit Loren’s website you will not find blog posts about the qualities of a leader or guides on “how to be a leader.” She doesn’t promote herself as a speaker on leadership. She doesn’t offer online courses on leadership.
Loren doesn’t “teach” leadership in the traditional sense; she models it.
People will watch your actions and remember what you do more than they remember what you say. They will emulate your behavior even if you told them to do something different (if you have kids, you probably know this to be true). Actions speak louder than words, and Loren lets her actions set the tone for her team.
This is one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned from Loren:
Real leaders don’t talk about leadership; they lead by example.
(2) The Power of Congruence
Loren knows who she is and owns it. She radiates authenticity and honesty. She brings her full self to every role; she doesn’t allow others’ expectations to define who she should be.
Loren is the embodiment of congruence.
What does it mean to be congruent?
It means that your decisions, actions and behavior are in agreement with your values; they reflect who you are in your core—your true self.
Many people use the expression “walk your talk,” but I think congruence is deeper.
Congruence is not simply that “you walk your talk;” to be congruent means that your walk and your talk reflect the truth of who you are.
Because owns who she is and is willing to stand in her truth, she commands attention. She engenders trust and leaves an impression on others. Her message resonates.
(3) The Importance of GOYA
Loren advocates the power of having a clear vision and creating vision boards to keep our dreams in front of us. There’s a belief in some circles that a vision board and intense focus on that vision are enough to “manifest” your dreams into reality.
Loren preaches the essential practice of GOYA: Get Off Your Ass.
A magnificent life cannot be manifested; it happens only when you Get Off Your Ass and put in the hard work to make it happen.
As she often says, you’ve got to “do the do.”
(4) Leaders are Not Martyrs
Like many people wired for service and contribution, I can easily fall victim to “martyr syndrome:” putting everyone else’s needs first and settling for whatever scraps were left at the end of the day.
Loren reframed my perspective on this. She taught me the importance of taking care of myself first so that I can fully serve others. Leaders recognize that we cannot give from an empty cup. We take time to fill our own cup; we also recognize when others need to recharge and allow them the opportunity to do so.
We often hear that “to be a leader you must be able to lead yourself.” I believe that this lesson is the essence of “leading yourself.”
Effective leaders take care of their needs first; they don’t settle for the scraps.
(5) Leaders Create Leaders
Many high achievers believe that being a leader means proving you can “do it all.” We can fall victim to the belief that shining a light on someone else diminishes our own worth.
I have learned that Loren’s confidence and strong sense of self-worth emanate from a true knowing of exactly who she is, the gifts she brings to the world and from the fulfillment of helping others become who they really area.
As a crew member at Tony Robbins’ events, I’ve had many opportunities to take on a role that, at the time, I thought was beyond my capability. Each of those moments was a huge catalyst for my growth: they expanded my perception of my identity and helped me uncover more facets of my true self. Although I was the one who was “doing the do” in those moments, I knew that Loren had played a role in creating those opportunities for me to step into my greatness.
This is the culture of the environment she creates, and it is one of the most profound lessons I’ve learned time and again:
The greatest gift that you can give another is to create an opportunity for her to prove to herself what she is capable of doing.
This is a gift that naturally pays itself forward.
This is how you empower others. This is how you create leaders. This is how you create a legacy.
Loren is also the author of several books, including: Life Tuneups: Your Personal Plan to Find Balance, Discover Your Passion, and Step into Greatness.