Loretta Cella is an instigator of change, influencer of possibilities and a conscious globetrotter. She’s an advocate for young women’s education and leadership development, and over the last 15 years has worked in human services within 10 countries. Loretta holds a background in child and youth counseling and a Masters in Leadership. She’s also an ICF trained coach and a certified change manager. This PowHERhouse has worked tremendously hard supporting thousands of people including young women through her charity Passion Foundation, and we are so thrilled to share her portrait with you!
Describe your Mission. What’s it all about for you?
The last little while I’ve been diving really deep into understanding this “mission” business. I realized that my mission has always been to create and provide tools and resources for people to thrive in a meaningful and sustainable away. However, what I’ve discovered more recently is that when I really focus my efforts on assisting people to develop their leadership from the inside out BIG things start to happen for them. That creates an unbelievable amount of joy for me. I really believe that the more on purpose and conscious people are, the more happiness it creates for them and in our world. For me, it’s really about shifting all the anxiety, depression, fatigue, and scarcity in our world, that result in inhuman acts, to creating more awareness, mindfulness, understanding, and abundance in all areas of life especially in business. And it’s about assisting people to see the possibilities and creatively engineering the three most important categories of their lives: Self, Community, and the World.
What is your ultimate dream for your Mission and where you’d like to take it?
I want to take the Leaders for Humanity initiative global within the next few years. I want to see people from all walks of life feeling empowered and accountable for their own happiness and assisting each other to experience greater life satisfaction and success in a meaningful and sustainable way. My ambition is to take this educational platform from townships in South Africa and slums in India to the public and private sector and everything in between so that we can create a giant network of people who are thriving and shifting their communities in a positive way. This mission is something I’m already acting on.
Describe what success looks like – complete fruition.
You know, success used to look like the ability to take something I loved doing out in the world to support people to thrive. That’s it. It was simple. However, when I was creating the Leaders for Humanity initiative, I did a few informational interviews with established and well-known people in Vancouver. One particular gentleman told me he thought that what I was creating was incredible; however, he felt the majority of people were not ready for such a developed state of being, both in business and in their personal lives. It was disheartening to hear this from someone who is evolved and forward thinking. However, I got it: I’m a visionary and I see things as they can be and don’t always see the huge gap from where we are. That comment fueled my mission’s definition even more. Now success looks like getting people pumped up to take action; people from all walks saying “I’m ready to have more impact” and overcoming whatever was stopping them in the first place and then doing the work to get there. It looks like a network of people across the globe who are shifting their leadership and making impact in our world in a positive way. And it looks like a team of people globally making that happen. If I can get even one uninterested people interested in being a leader for humanity, I would say this is successful.
Describe your success strategy in one sentence.
Easy. Get in front of as many people can I can and share the possibilities.
Biggest highlight in your career/journey thus far?
Just one?! There is no way I can pick just one. But if I had to highlight something, it would be the moment I realized how a little person in the world like me could have so much impact in the world. While I was doing my Masters degree at Royal Roads University, I came to the understanding one day that I was already doing what I seeking to do in the world. For 7 years I had been teaching girls and people about authentic leadership in a very powerful way and although I knew I was making an impact, I didn’t realize the real value of it or myself in the process. Basically I was teaching a simpler version of my degree instinctively, and when I walked across that stage in June of 2015, with this realization and the rewards it gave me, it was like I had given myself the “badge” I needed and craved for years.
One thing that you feel has been most pivotal or useful thus far in your career/journey?
One of the most pivotal parts of my journey so far has been my decision to get really curious about what all this [life] really means for me and acknowledge that who I am impacts the world greatly. Although this work is really for the rest of my days, it has allowed me to see everything and everyone differently. It allows me to be open to more possibilities and choose a different path in life.
How would you describe what brings you the greatest joy in your current role?
The greatest joy for me is seeing all my clients thrive. There is NOTHING more exciting to me to be able to offer others a container in which they connect to and establish their service in the world, and as a result they are happier and healthier. Their business thrives more, their employees are happier and more productive, and their customers are more satisfied. And with my charity, Passion Foundation, it’s when I see the girls raise their own bar, reaching for their fullest potential, not only in service to themselves but to others.
What would you like women to most understand or consider – on a higher level – with regards to your role and your mission.
I would like women to understand that they are enough.
What they have inside of them matters BIG time, and that they can create whatever they want. I also would like them to consider that the world needs them to thrive, to collaborate not compete, and work toward “fighting” less and being more. I’d like women to know I’m in their corner and if they are ready to do the work, I’m able to assist them to make it happen.
Best advice you ever received…
Fight less and be more. Stop trying to prove yourself and start being who you really are.
What would be your top three tips for women regarding walking their talk and courageously approaching what is most important to them?
- Firstly, stop. Stop trying to be everything to everyone.
- Secondly, pause. Pause every day, listening to yourself. Even starting with 5 minutes in the morning. Just listen to you. Your voice, your feelings, your questions about your life.
- Thirdly, start. Start taking what you are hearing and doing something with it. You don’t need to do it all at once, baby steps.
(and like laundry, rinse and repeat)
How do you balance between being an impactful community leader, a the founder and executive director of a charity, a contractor, and a business owner, volunteer and so much more without dodging your own self-care?
My self-care comes first, period. I’ve learned that the hard way. Without me feeling healthy, happy, and connected, I cannot use my super- powers for good. Like my iphone, I need to plug-in daily.
[Editor’s note: Love this! Lifestyle + Leadership, integrated.]
You must have some pretty long days. How do you keep your energy up and your focus consistent? How you stay PowHERful and on the top of your game?
Yes I have pretty long days, and have three things I do every day to keep my energy up and focused:
- As soon as I wake, I ask myself what I need and listen. Then I imagine myself receiving that throughout the day and what the feeling is like.
- I do a minimum of 15 minutes of yoga every morning. As soon as I’ve walked and fed the dog, I roll out my mat and begin my practice.
- Following my yoga, I do 10-20 minutes of meditation (depending how late I’ve woken up ;)). I have a very specific meditation practice that is very powerful and a great source of energy through the day.
What would you say your Top 3 Excellence Habits are (ie. habits that ensure your success).
Daily meditation to center and ground me, my daily service agreement to ensure that I’m being mindful and purposeful in my day, and exercise to ensure that my vehicle is strong and healthy.
Describe your Top 3 Time Management Tips as they relate to your Mission.
Oh this is one area where I fall of the wagon often. However, I know that when I schedule my calendar with alerts, check my calendar every day and start each day with a to do list which allows for “room” I’m always on time – with time to breath.
Describe collaboration and what the looks like/feels like on the ground – how does it show up in your life?
Collaboration means to work together or bring together. To me, that is really what partnership is about. Everyone I meet has the potential to become a partner or someone I will work with. This requires give and take, generosity, open communication, sharing of ideas, and creating joint opportunities. Everything I do, I try to collaborate with others on. I ask a lot of questions of what they do and how I can be of service to them based on my skills and expertise.
Describe a favourite hobby or adventure.
Travel is by far is my favourite thing in the world. Being in other cultures and experiencing other ways of being. I also love being in nature and playing in the kitchen.
Favourite energy meal or snack (healthy).
I love my almonds and medjool dates.
Favourite indulgence or treat.
Top 3 things on your Bucket List.
- Time in the Fijian islands
- Learn Hindi
- Finish my second book
What does giving back (fulfillment) look like to you?
Giving back is about leaving the world a little better each day. It’s about bettering myself every day. It’s about stepping outside of myself to assist others as often as I can without compromising my own intrigue. It’s exactly what I’m doing and why I’m so fulfilled in life.
I never leave home without my……..
Mala signature beads
Your thoughts on mentoring young women? What do you feel your most valuable lessons to pass on are?
Well, I would not have gone this journey without mentorship. I have had so many mentors over the years. The most profound experience was with a long-time mentor who passed some years ago. Without his guidance and support, I would not be doing the work I do today. Gary was a teacher I had who walked his talk. He was his own person and never shifted his character to appease others. He was strong but very kind and always open-minded. He extended himself to others with humility and never waivered in his out-of-the-box, brilliant but quirky thinking and abstract ways of seeing the world. His mentorship steered me and encouraged me but he would never do the work for me. Having that example in such a powerful way shaped my way of seeking the world. In turn, I have been a mentor for so many that I have lost count, and give the same style of mentorship. Mentoring is a gift and a privilege. It is not to stroke ego and should be attended to with humility and earnest curiosity. You learn more than you give. As one of our leaders Xubie in Uganda said, “There are so many youth out there on the global platform who want to have a voice”, and as a mentor it’s about giving someone the space to be heard and supported to bring that out into the world in a healthy and productive way. It’s about sharing our lessons and expertise and supporting mentees to learn their own path and not give them our own bible to follow. When we give people our way of doing things, we take away the ability to critically think, and that critical thinking is what is missing in so much of our world. The best lesson I can pass on is support youth’s ability to critically think.
Where do we go from here in terms of supporting and inspiring women to step-up and continue moving forward with their missions… regardless of how hard it may feel at times. #confidence #courage #connections #capital
There is still much work to do to support and inspire women to step up and continue moving forward in their missions. However, there is a clear line between empowering and powering as there is with competition and collaboration. The more we empower women with information and education and facilitate and support collaboration, the less time we have to spend healing the negative results power struggles and competition. For some reason, there is this belief in our world that empowerment means to take power. When we take power, we tend to not be in integrity with values of compassion, empathy, connection, and collaboration. Values that our world desperately need right now. When we empower (“empowHER”), we assist women to come together to support and lift each other up. If we really want to step up the game, we need to sit down together and map out how we can create a network of PowHER house women strategically enhancing everyone’s mission and actively engaging possibilities not just for ourselves but also for others!
Loretta Cella’s Fundamentals to Effective Leadership is coming up in Vancouver on April 2, 9 and 16th. Details here.
Use promo code: POWHER to save 20%. Payment plans are available. $150 down and 3 payments of $115.