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In tough economic times, it pays to keep an eye on your reputation. Profile of Patrizia Torelli

29 February 2012 By Lara Nicholson

Lara Nicholson
Lara Nicholson

Profile of Patrizia Torelli (WCLP ’08) – Managing Director of Spheres of Influence International

Economic uncertainty may be driving Australia’s business leaders to damage their reputations by acting ruthlessly when dealing with others, according to LV Alumnus Patrizia Torelli.

As the founder and managing director of Spheres of Influence International, a successful strategic development, implementation and culture change management firm, Patrizia conducts 360 Personal Brand reviews for her clients.

In the past few years, as economic strife in Europe and the US has given rise to fear of a similar downturn here, Patrizia says more and more people are presenting having significantly damaged their own community standing by focussing only on the company’s bottom line.

“People in leadership positions who would normally behave quite differently – ethically, appropriately – are perhaps not functioning at that level,” she says.

Patrizia says while CEOs under pressure may encourage leaders within their businesses to be brutal in the way they deal with staff or contacts, they are not considering the long term impacts these strategies will have on their personal brand and their value in the market place.

When leaders look to move on from the company, they find themselves struggling with a bad reputation, of being difficult to deal with, or with a profile that needs work, both within their industries and further a field.

Patrizia says leaders need to balance serving their personal brand with that of their company.

“Our belief is that (leaders) need to be investing in themselves a little,” she says.

Patrizia knows a thing or two about leadership, having held leadership positions in the publishing, marketing and sports sectors.

She also spent a year in LV’s Williamson Community Leadership Program (WCLP) in 2008, where she learned the importance of sharing the responsibilities and satisfactions of leadership with others.

“Everyone wants and needs to feel valued,” she says.

“If leadership is only undertaken by one individual, it leaves the rest of the structure in limbo.”

She says one of the biggest mistakes today’s leaders make is ignoring the next generation of leaders.

“The age demographic of the active network these leaders mix in doesn’t take the future into account,” she said.

Instead, leaders should embrace and nurture young up and comers, acting is mentors, as well as colleagues and managers.

Patrizia built a network of support in her WCLP year which proved invaluable as she struck out alone and started Spheres of Influence.

“Williamson has given me access to a group of people who do reflect what I see as true leadership,” she said.

“They’ve been supportive of my business and my leadership and for this I am truly grateful.”

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Patrizia Torelli is Managing Director of Spheres of Influence International www.spheresofinfluence.com.au.

Follow Patrizia on LinkedIn and Twitter.