Rise From The Ashes

Lori Darley's Artful Approach to Executive Empowerment

February 23, 2024 Baz Porter® Season 3
Rise From The Ashes
Lori Darley's Artful Approach to Executive Empowerment
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Picture the poise and passion of a professional dancer, now visualize that same grace and determination in the world of leadership coaching. That's the story of Lori Darley, CEO of Conscious Leaders, who joins us to share her extraordinary transition and how it's revolutionizing the leadership landscape. Lori melds her artistic sensibilities with robust coaching techniques to guide leaders towards professional triumph and whole life success. Her belief in harnessing the body's inherent wisdom, coupled with managing our internal dialogue, serves as a cornerstone for anyone striving for personal and career advancement. As we navigate the complexities of union environments and the ongoing process of conscious awareness, Lori's dual expertise in the arts and corporate spheres offers a rare, enlightening perspective.

Within the woven tapestry of our discussion, resilience and leadership emerge as paramount themes. We're reminded that happiness ensues not from happenstance but from asserting our power and cultivating inner security. The candid narrative of Candace Williams, facing adversity head-on during her pregnancy, becomes a powerful testament to this truth. With the guidance of my mentor Peter Sias, I came to a profound understanding of psychological resilience and the vitality of self-awareness. We share five potent tips to bolster resilience and bravery, underscoring community significance and purposeful work's impact. Concluding our episode is a glimpse into the Conscious Leader Circle, a testament to the transformative journey leaders can embark upon when surrounded by a supportive network that nurtures wisdom and leadership capacities.

Support the show

Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.

If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.

My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.ramsbybaz.com and schedule a coaching session.

This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!

Speaker 1:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Rise Me Up she's podcast. I am so privileged today to be interviewing my next guest. Her name is Laurie and she lives in Texas somewhere I won't tell you where this is privacy and the rest of it and she's an amazing person. She has extensive knowledge, from dancing until high in coaching. I'm going to let her introduce herself, because I'm just a little bit of a lexic Don't do well reading stuff and it's better coming from the person. So, laurie, please say hello to the world and it's a privilege, as I said, to have you here today.

Speaker 2:

It's a privilege for me to be here, baz. Thank you so very much for the invitation and the timeliness of it. It could not be better. Thank you, hello world. It's so great to be with you this morning.

Speaker 2:

I'm Laurie Darley and I'm the CEO and founder of Conscious Leaders.

Speaker 2:

We are a learning, leadership coaching development firm. I've been doing this for 24 years in all kinds of scenarios and organizations, and prior to that, I ran a professional dance company training professional dancers to execute their highest level of performance and their most authentic expression of themselves. I found that transition to be very useful in terms of the way which I work with leaders, because I believe in whole life success, that there's no area of our life that should be left behind, and that includes the health of our body, our awareness of the 4 billion years of wisdom that lives within our body, and it is an extraordinary journey and, as Baz says, it's a privilege to do this work. I'm interested in creating powerful impact in a world right now that is really in dire need of leadership strong leadership in a way that people understand the impact of their actions across sectors, and that systems intelligence that we need to bring to every decision that we make, and I love working with high achieving leaders people who are also interested in the same thing but not quite sure how to get there.

Speaker 1:

I love that distinction, especially when you say they don't know how to get there, because there's a lot of people who just discussed this before. They have a vision, they have something they want to get to achieve, but they have no pathway, blueprint, stepping stone or even sometimes a network to get there. When you started this career, transitioning from the dancing which I love, it reminds me of a spy film coming from Russia into Anna. I think it was when she was a dancer and a model and going to anyway, that's a different story. Is there is what was the what pardon?

Speaker 2:

I guess, anna, it was great.

Speaker 1:

What was the transition like for you, and was there a story that actually stands out for you, that taught you that major life lesson to go? Actually, I am done with that life. This is who I want to show up as today.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'll try to be brief. When I was 16, I read a profound book and it was strangely authored. It was actually a channel book, like Abraham Hicks and that whole. It was the.

Speaker 1:

Seth material.

Speaker 2:

It was called the Nature of Personal Reality. It was a primer in quantum physics. What our thoughts create a reality, our inner world is a reflection of our outer world, is a reflection of our inner world, and that stayed with me. And as a sort of vain dancer who wanted to be perfect and achieve a perfect line, I used it to my own advantage to really, I'll say, accelerate my own development as an artist. That led me to a career. I actually was in the Soviet Union in 1975, I toured, yeah, when I was a young woman. I can't believe. My parents let me go with my cousin who was a pianist and it was an extraordinary adventure. Of course I was never a Bolshoi ballet material and I knew it, which is why I went into actually, the more from my standpoint, ballet is more ethereal and contemporary dance, modern dance, is much more grounded like.

Speaker 1:

I am.

Speaker 2:

I'm a jumper and a turner. My leg never went up to there and I had this. My early career was a reflection of my passion and my ability to connect, and I've always been a performer, so the transition for me was really about becoming in essence a performance coach, recognizing I had the incredible privilege of working with Dr David Zelman, who recently had a.

Speaker 2:

His second book is out. What's next? Get clear and get going. And I worked with him at the Transitions Institute. He trained me, I did his, train the trainer. And after recognizing that my career I was not going to transition from becoming a dance teacher in what I call a Dolly Dink dance studio in the Strip Mall shopping center. I was not built. My strengths are not about developing baby ballerinas. My strengths are with a talented and gifted. I'm a maximizer in that way and and so I essentially euthanized. My dance company was called Dancers Unlimited Rebuttory Company and it was like losing a child. There was grief, certainly, but it was the beginning of my own journey, my own inner development. At the same time, I hung up my shingle as a transitions coach and recognizing that it's all about our own internal conversations, their source, which are source from our, from our, which source our actions, and then we get the results that we want. Right, most people think that our actions are a function of will or a function of belief or commitment.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

But it's all coming from our own way of responding and we're all very highly habituated and we identify with the conditioning that we were born with and from our own personal experiences gets us so far, it doesn't get us to really where we want to go, and so my development personal development was parallel to the work that I was doing, landed a corporate gig, worked inside the railroad for 15 years and got a lot of business experience, very practical experience, worked in union environments, which was a real eye opener. And but what I really learned through all those years is that, first of all are the evolution of our own conscious awareness is a lifelong journey, and if I'm not doing my own work, I certainly can't do the higher level work with other people, and so that's been my commitment and it's been with me. It's changed and shifted in terms of the name of my organization, which I rebranded in 2015 to conscious leaders, and now I'm also curating a conscious leaders wisdom circle, which is a developmental journey that takes a year, and the transformation happens in community.

Speaker 1:

I love that and I want to get. I want to learn more about that in a few minutes, Is it? Do you call us as a mastermind or as a group coaching?

Speaker 2:

both.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

So think leadership journey, leadership development journey, meets mastermind, meets peer support group. So it goes beyond the vis-stage kind of focus on the business. Yes, absolutely. But the master mining can be about business, or it can be about what I've. Just I'm bumping up against this internal conversation and I can't seem to shift it, or I'm limiting the content of my playground.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

I want to expand my playground, but I'm up against even my own and my ancestral program.

Speaker 1:

I love that. What makes your company so unique and you've got a lot of background in, obviously, business, corporate world, transitioning from being a professional dancer as a young age. That's a hell of experience, what skills and what makes your company so unique that you can provide that level of awareness, support and also all forms of intelligence, emotional, down to the, the best, the brass roots of it, the primal of it. What is it that makes you so unique? Your company stand out above many others.

Speaker 2:

That's an intimidating question.

Speaker 1:

I like to ask these questions.

Speaker 2:

I think there are a lot of things. One is I'm a somatic coach. So, even though not everyone is ready to consider the fact that they, that they exist just from the neck up, yeah.

Speaker 2:

There is. I have tools and skills. We have tools and skills that really support a little bit different way of relating to our the emotional territory of leadership. Right, most people identify with the triggers that they have, and they are just triggers. They occur as a function of our own experience and our own patterning and conditioning, and everybody gets triggered. Everybody doesn't know that. They think, oh, I'm the only one who gets triggered in that way. And no, it's not the case. But true leaders, I think, and evolved leaders get triggered too. It doesn't last a lifetime or even a week. They know how to identify it, center and ground themselves and shift into what matters to me most right now, what's most important, right, that work may occur in the background, informing me in a coaching conversation, but it could also be I'm going to have you stand up, I'm going to have you inhabit the leader that you want to be.

Speaker 2:

I often encourage people to step up into their avatar. What is it? I have an avatar. She's a 10-foot-tall Celtic warrior with a massive sword and her name is Lore, and that gives me an energy that it may not be available to me if I'm in my head. So our brain, our thoughts, they inform us, we can strategize, we can use our thinking in a much more productive way.

Speaker 2:

Right, and the other piece I think is I have I will not quit my day job, but I am a student of comedy, particularly improv, and improv has one very foundational principle that I know everyone is. If you're not aware of it, it's the practice of inclusion, entertaining, seemingly polarizing ideas. Right, it's called yes, and we mostly go through our life denying and debating and we don't understand how to bring and to go with contrary views. And it can be very freeing to do that in a play setting, but then in a serious, even in serious meetings, when people are opposed to that, they have a practice of leaning in, getting curious, being more specific or even searching for the value that isn't present in that automatic, instantaneous response.

Speaker 1:

That response and this is partly why I asked that question, because I have different answers all the time and that tells me a lot about a person and how they respond to things like this. Is there anybody in your career that you have helped you become who you are and there's probably thousands of people on this journey but is there anyone that stands out to you that you can show? You just thank you, because it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Speaker 2:

So many. Number one is my husband, love of my lifetime, second time around, just just, I can't say enough. He saw aspects in me that I had no clue.

Speaker 2:

And as a matter of fact, my teacher, David Zelman Dr David Zelman, who is now a dear friend. He was officing with my husband and Larry would come home and he was officing and he was also providing him, Larry, with a lot of coaching, and evidently what advice or coaching I would give my husband would be almost identical to what David had said. And I was like, are you kidding me? And I was like, huh, maybe I need to consider this. I hired a coach towards the end of the dance company because I thought I had founder syndrome and all that kind of stuff, and I just I just realized that this was going to be my life's work.

Speaker 2:

And so, David, he's a very rigorous kind of guy, probably a lot like you, and when the work is being done, it's eye opening. Right, you need that grandmother stick up beside the head to wake us up. And I have a friend who actually has the same birthday as my mother her name's Leanne, and Leanne has brought me into scenarios and experiences that have literally changed my life, and I thought she was the most the smartest woman that I ever met, and when she asked me to step up onto the platform or onto whatever pedestal I had put her on. It was very humbling. And yeah, so there are so many more people, but yeah our biggest challenge is our relationship with ourselves.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I completely agree and I like the way you said humbling, because it's important. I think, no matter where we are in life, we remain humble and remember to remain humble because on the journey and I've experienced this many other people have we can get ahead of ourselves and ahead of our stations, but it's reminding ourselves daily to remain in gratitude and remain in service to others and staying in that heart-centered space of I'm here because and remembering that consciously to level us up. So I love that. Now, this is all about resilience, courage, overcoming adversity, et cetera. In your own words, what would you describe and what is resilience to you?

Speaker 2:

A quick answer is our capacity to bounce back but, I, would say more accurately, to bounce forward.

Speaker 2:

Resilience, for me, is about shifting our relationship to our own identity. We think about ourselves as static, thick, and we're so much more than that, and in our world right now there's a prevalence of this sort of victimhood mindset and oversensitized to what other people are thinking, and I don't feel safe. Right, excuse my language, but I won't fuck that noise, no one. The harshest lesson I ever learned was the world is not set up to make me happy. Get over yourself and start producing and being the person that you wanna be and step into your power. I often talk about make your own safety. Bring your own bubble of safety, create your own safety. There's all kinds of energy work that you can do to make that happen.

Speaker 2:

And whatever it is that you think that people are doing to you is an illusion. You're doing it to yourself. It's your shit. It's not what's happening out here. They are actually not responding to you. They're responding to their own internal conversation. That, to me, was the biggest lesson that I ever got that I ever received.

Speaker 1:

I love that. It's the awareness, or internal awareness to be more precise, that it's not me, it's you, and that is a real conversation in a lot of ways. We've all experienced sort of trouble or hardship. One of the best responses I ever heard from it was recently online. I think her name's Candace Williams. She was on stage and she had somebody come up with a very warped view of her world and Candace just went get a helmet, I don't care, it's not me, it's not you, and I'm too pregnant for this.

Speaker 2:

And I was just like.

Speaker 1:

I love that. That was just off the cuff, it wasn't rehearsed, but there was a young female, very environmental audience where they had an opportunity to speak and she was moaning about something in her view and her way of values where there were, and Candace just went get a life, get a helmet, suck it up and I was just like great and. But the final icing on the cake was I'm too pregnant for this. And it's true. Was she actually pregnant or was she pregnant? She was pregnant. She was about seven or eight months pregnant, I don't know the exact date, but she was just off the cuff. Bam hit it home. And I think there needs to be more conversations like real conversations like that and taking people out of that comfort zone of poor, like you were saying earlier, the victimhood of where they've been positioned and made to believe that this is all there is. Because, quite frankly, you have a choice.

Speaker 2:

Without awareness, only reaction Correct.

Speaker 1:

Can we go into nurturing and growing the resilience or awareness of oneself? What's the most impactful moment for you? Coming back, falling forward and going? This is where I should be, because we've all experienced the perceived failures in life at some degree. But what was the turning moment for you? Going this is actually a good thing, not a negative.

Speaker 2:

Oh, it's such a challenging question because I've had so many setory moments. But transformation is a moment. A transition is a commitment to put yourself in situations that awaken you or expand you even more, right.

Speaker 1:

This podcast.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yes, yes, this is one. Yes, you're asking me questions that I actually haven't been asked in a while.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is why I like doing this, because it challenges, not in a negative way, but I'm here to help you shine. And in order to get to that shining moment, it's about taking deep.

Speaker 2:

I will share with you. I worked with a man in a hotel room over three weekends, just him and me. He was a contemporary of Werner Erhard. His name is Peter Sias. He wasn't a wannabe Werner, he was in the room where it happened. The whole est thing, and that is a lot of my lineage. I never did est, but in any event, his program was about legacy, and the first part was about harvesting the legacy of a life that you've lived till now. The room was covered with flip charts of what have I like?

Speaker 2:

25 responses to what have I never been, what have I never been forgiven for. 25 or 30 responses of where all the things it was a complete arc dig into my psyche. And then it was about creating a legacy of a life worth living. And in that whole process, after level one this may sound weird, but I my biggest take was that I'm psychologically healthy.

Speaker 1:

Hello, that's great I had stories about.

Speaker 2:

I was afraid that my, my gifts, my voices, my, what seemed like to many people, multiple personalities because I have that capacity to really be, to shift into other mindsets in world, the people would think I was crazy and put me away. And it was like this, pulling everything together into a congruent whole. That for me probably was one of the most powerful things and God bless his soul. He passed right before COVID. He was a dead man walking, really extraordinary human being and I'm sure yeah.

Speaker 1:

On the back end of that, if you could advise the listeners listening or watching, if there was five tips of resilience and courage that you could advise them, what would them five be, if you can name five or three.

Speaker 2:

Know that what has shaped you doesn't have to continue to shape you. Develop your own self-awareness beyond what you even think is self-aware. Surround yourself with others who will support you in community and rigorously hold you in compassionate accountability and recognize that, yeah, life is personal and it ain't about you. Do good work in the world, make it different and your puny self-esteem will shift.

Speaker 1:

I love them, gifts, and I need you to go back and listen to them. Pause this, go back and actually write them down, because these nuggets formed success beyond your comprehension right now, and these places that Laurie's just spoken about, you need to write them down and address them within yourselves. This is why this podcast exists. I'm going to go into something, nick, so I want to learn a bit more about your program, the Conscious Leader Circle. We did the wisdom circle. I know this is a global movement. What did it stem from? Can you explain a bit more about it and how can you share this is a long time coming ability? Is that correct?

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, it's quite astounding actually, because I've had the privilege of leading cohorts through a year-long journey, highly structured, brilliant the Stagan Leadership Academy still working with them. I'm taking a cohort through now and I wanted to build on that. I wanted it to be more.

Speaker 2:

There's an extraordinary surprise when people recognize that they're going to be better at business when they become better human beings.

Speaker 2:

And I thought for me, in my business, I wanted to do it in community, and I'm also at a stage in my career where I wanted to bring other people along so that they would experience their own transformation in community, and so that's why this is launching on March 29th and there are a few spots that are available. I have people there from various walks of life who are ready to dig in and, yes, work on their business, but also to work on their leadership and also to contribute to one another. I wanted to create the grist, if you will, and the grit for people to be able to have some of the conversations that they feel like they can have in other domains. And, yes, so it's like Mastermind meets personal development, personal leadership development meets peer supports, and it's held in a very strong container. There will be live retreats and monthly Zoom calls, so global, yes. So if you have the means to fly into Dallas, you're welcome and you need to apply, because it's a highly curated community.

Speaker 1:

When you said it starts on the March. What date? Just to come back, 29th.

Speaker 2:

Friday at 1 PM to Sunday at noon.

Speaker 1:

And how do they find you? How do they apply for this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so reach out to me you can just via email Also if they're interested and want to have an experience of the wisdom circle. On my LinkedIn I at the all my texts and videos. At the bottom of that you'll see that on March one is a workshop, a free workshop, from friction to flow, bringing your vision to life. And this is all about getting clear about what is it that you want, what is your heart's desire, what is your vision and how are you, how are all the domains of your life set up to bring you the success that you want? And you'll have an opportunity to engage with other really brilliant, heart centered people who are currently signed up and we've got some spots there If you want to have a free experience and get the flavor of what the circle can be like. And then we launch on March 29th. So my email is lori at conscious leaders, that's C-O-N-S-C-I-O-U-S leaders. Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you very much, lori. Is there anything you would like to leave the audience with other than, obviously, your email? All the links, by the way, will be in the description below and also, with your permission, I will put in Dr David's the book link as well, because you okay.

Speaker 2:

So that will be in there as well.

Speaker 1:

Is there anything else you would like to add for this to help to benefit other people? Where else to find you? Is there anything else going on? Any last words of wisdom?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, don't wait to have a heart attack. Don't wait to get sick before you choose to create your own crucible moment in life. Find ways and practices that will support you on your own developmental journey, and commit to engage on this journey because it's incredibly rewarding, fulfilling, and it's it ain't easy. It's not for, it's not for. I saw it say aging is not for poise, and neither is leadership development.

Speaker 1:

Then both statements are very true. Laurie, thank you very much for your time, your love and your energy. If you're listening to this, please research, laurie, and attend the workshop. All you've got to lose is your time, but I don't think it'll be time wasted for you, for myself. Thank you for tuning in. Thank you for downloading. Share this with somebody you may know you may change their lives. It's not about the act of sharing, it's about the act of passing it on and integrously, not knowing. Take a leap of faith. For myself, I'm your host, baz Porter. It is a privilege. It's always an honor. Until the next time, my friends, please live with purpose and inspire with legacy.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much, baz. Thank you, you're welcome. It's a privilege, thank you.

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