Corey Blake | Professional Actor Turned Business Storyteller

For a very brief moment of time before moving on to politics, law, entrepreneurship, and acting is notoriously challenging. You have to have an incredibly thick skin. What from your training as an actor helps you in the work that you do today?

Corey Blake  2:16  

Oh, I love that question. Thank you.

So I initially studied the Stanislav ski method of acting, which is about how do you break things down so you can put them back together every night on a stage. When I went out to LA I learned a different methodology called the Meisner methodology, which is all about throwing that away and living in the present moment. The work that particularly I studied in Los Angeles under that technique, that presence work I use with CEOs every single day of my life now in the work that I do. That training ground was all about supporting truth in the moment and I’m relied on by professionals to be able to be a truth teller within the context of their business so that they can

monumentally grow so they can scale.

John Corcoran  3:03  

Interesting. So this is in in is this in coaching work that you do or in the publishing work or the storytelling work that you do, because your other company is round table companies, which is a company you’ve had for the last 10 plus years or so, talk a little bit about what you do through roundtable companies. So essentially, we solve complex business challenges through storytelling. So companies come to us who have challenges with their culture where the story that is driving people is creating results that they’re not after, right? So if we revise the stories, we change the behaviors, we get different results. We work with challenges around amplification. So people might not be businesses might not be attracting the right kind of stakeholders. Maybe they’re putting out a story that’s just attracting the wrong people. So we solve for that.

Corey Blake  3:50  

A lot of amplification, right? So you got a CEO who’s had some kind of epiphany, some kind of life shift, and maybe they’ve got 1000 or 5000 employees, and they got to figure out, how do I move these people in the direction that I’m going now storytelling is a vehicle for that. So we approach all kinds of challenges from a kind of a diagnostic, what’s the story people are telling themselves? And how can we get in there and work with that in an authentic way so we can achieve results people are after,

John Corcoran  4:15  

I want to get into that how you got into this idea, or how you got into helping people with storytelling, but I have a feeling in order to get into that we need to get into your backstory, which is your acting. So tell me about how you got into acting? How you survive 10 years as a professional actor, and, you know, give it give me some stories about you know, some of these, you were in in one was acknowledged as one of the top 50 greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time. Tell us about that experience?

Corey Blake  4:46  

Yeah, I mean, there was some certainly some fun stuff that I got to do in Los Angeles that was a that commercial was a mountain dew commercial take off on Bohemian Rhapsody that aired for the first time in the 2000 Super Bowl, directed by Sam Bayer, who was internationally known for directing Nirvana Smells Like Teen Spirit amongst a whole range of music videos. So you know, it’s three days on 20th Century Fox is lot 300 extras, you know, and I’m one of the four guys playing a member of Queen. And it was it was a pretty killer experience, no doubt. And same time, we were using entertainment to encourage people to open their mouths and pour Mountain Dew down their throats. Right. And it’s a delicious beverage. the healthiest of choices, right? So I was doing things like that where I were my gifts were being used in ways that I didn’t necessarily think we’re improving the world. I didn’t go out there for that. So eventually, you know, had to come to terms with that reality. And ultimately, that eventually led to this shift towards the business world and using my storytelling gifts in different ways. But it to go back a little bit, I think which would be valuable. You know, you asked kind of about where did this originate from. And I was I was born into a Jewish household with a mother who totally doted on me, her only Jewish son, and and shown all of her light on to me, the first five years of my life, I knew I was here to do something big in the world. And then my mom hit a year long patch of depression and bipolar disorder. And so I learned to be a performer. Because happy mom was a safer mom. Right? And so that that really became the the period of my life where this gift was manifested. Not only, not the desire to perform, and to be able to emotionally move people so that it so that my life was better. But it also taught me how to how to recognize when there’s a gap between language and truth, and the language back then was everything’s fine. And the truth, of course, was was far from that. And, and the fact that I think that that my mother was healthy on both sides of the of that year, and infused into me a tremendous amount of confidence, some people might say more than, more than was necessary. I have the confidence to be vocal when I see that gap between language and truth. And that really, ultimately, is what I started utilizing as I entered that business community to be supportive of leaders.

John Corcoran  7:09  

It’s interesting, because in the world of acting, the difference between language and truth, we’re talking about performances, we’re talking about improving performances, talking about entertainment, ultimately, when you’re talking about the business world, when it comes to speaking to a CEO, who may be as, as you said, 1000 5000 employees, it can be more painful when you deliver that criticism. So is it hard for you to speak to maybe a very accomplished CEO, who’s used to telling others what to do, and then having to tell them, that there’s this big gap between the truth and the language that they’re using?

Corey Blake  7:50  

There are certainly moments I think, where where it would be dishonest to say, it’s not an intimidating experience that I do anyway, right, because that’s what I’m being hired to do. But oftentimes, first off, our branding is very strong. So people who are not interested in that kind of personal development growth are not going to, they’re going to be repelled right away from the way that we brand our company. So I think that’s a key piece, I’m attracting people who are interested in that kind of work. And yet, you know, we are we are throwing out the kinds of truth that are sometimes hard to swallow our blind spots that, that bring up embarrassment shame for people, right. So there’s a, there’s a delicate nature to it. And doing it without judgment is certainly a key aspect. And that’s something that I’ve developed throughout my life, really being able to suspend judgment, recognize the humanity and in all of us, even some of the horrible things that we all do. And I talked openly about some of the things that I’ve done in my past I stole from my first employer, right, like things like that, just in an in an effort to help us recognize our mutual humanity, as opposed to the hierarchy that is typically created by human beings in the business world, right? Who’s farther along than who who am I how am I compared to other people? When we get into this human stuff, we we find the quality, and I can have a conversation with another human being there in a different way than I might be able to if there’s this, you know, hierarchy of position.

John Corcoran  9:17  

Right, right. It sounds like for you there reached a point with your acting career where you became a little disenchanted and you had to recognize your own truth. And you had to rebrand yourself, redefine yourself to the world. What was that process like when you finally hit a point where you said, I’m going to change and you by the way, now you live in Deerfield, Illinois, and then the North suburbs of Chicago and you’re with my business partner, Jeremy lives. So you left la came back to Chicago, what was that experience like?

Corey Blake  9:47  

It was painful. It was I call it my three year temper tantrum. I mean, I I truly didn’t, didn’t go lately, I was smoking a lot of pot in LA because I was unhappy. The world was, was telling me that I was living the dream. And I was being really well compensated, particularly for this kind of commercial work where there’s a lot of airing and you know, a lot of big fortune 500 brands. And yet I felt invisible. I felt like a crown and other people’s cram box, I wasn’t really I was a guest at other people’s family dinner, so to speak, like I come in for three days when people have been working together all year long. So there was never this sense of belonging. So when I finally left, it was out of a sense of feeling kind of miserable within what it had become, and recognizing that I was using my gifts in ways that weren’t necessarily improving the world. So it was a three year transition, I started my company out of necessity, and in a very practical way, it was not started as a creative company. It quickly became that because of my background. But I had a tremendous amount of identity crisis if I’m not an actor, I had no idea who I was. I certainly didn’t relate as a business person, I had zero business training, have a degree and make believe from a theatre school.

Corey Blake  11:04  

so so there was there was a fair amount of therapy during that three years, a lot of self reflection, and, and a lot of hustle. Because I wanted to make something of myself and and starting the practical business was a way to at least give myself something to do and, and some things to learn. And thankfully, it turned into a creative business quickly. But then I had to learn how to be a leader because I had more business than I could handle. I had to learn how to hire people made a mess of that for years figuring all that out. So it was it was not a simple transition by any means. Eventually, though, particularly the 2013 2014 when I found the conscious capitalism movement, there was a pretty, pretty huge shift that occurred in my life around my recognition of what was I here to use my gifts for?

John Corcoran  11:50  

I want to ask you about that about your alignment with conscious capitalism. What that is for those who don’t know what it is, you and I were introduced by Paul Edwards of the influencer networking secrets, podcast, networking is important, whether in Hollywood or the business world. What was networking, like in Hollywood? And how did you change your network deliberately? Maybe, maybe, unintentionally, maybe by happenstance, as you made this transition?

Corey Blake  12:19  

Man, that’s a pretty

John Corcoran  12:20  

loaded question. We have

Corey Blake  12:24  

a lot of juice for me, recognizing that for me, networking and Hollywood often felt toxic. It was so much jockeying for position, so much hierarchy, so much mental chatter, in my own mind, that I would show up in ways that were in authentic to myself, I was, I think networking for me was about showing other people what I thought they wanted to see to help me get where I wanted to go. And when I switched over to the business community, I think I did that for a number of years. And then 2013 2014 had a pretty tremendous shift, where I went from blind on with, you know, such dedication to goals that I had set, that it was the only the only things I could see. And I was good at achieving what I was going after, but I was missing everything else. And, and 2014, I think those got those got ripped off. And I started living from a place of being willing to lose the need for specific outcome, being able to lose agenda and show up in the moment and see what happens. And so much dramatically changed. And networking went from this uncomfortable experience, where I’m trying to prove something right or impress somebody to, to sharing of myself in a way that people who really dug who I was just came running at me and people who were not my people and belonged in a different sandbox, literally physically would back away from me if I was within 10 feet of them. Hmm.

John Corcoran  13:48  

Interesting, they could tell that they were not for you, or is that how it worked?

Corey Blake  13:53  

Well, something about something that I’ve always done is I’ve always, since my la days, I like to be the person throwing the party. Right, so that everyone was was coming to me throw the best party and see who comes and then have a great time with whatever shows up, I was essentially doing the same thing in the business world. So I would be somebody who would, who would find his way up on stage and share something super authentic, and to people who thought it was too authentic. You know, when I came within 10 feet, that they would zero eye contact literally turn their bodies away from me, whereas other people were fighting to have a conversation. That way, I didn’t have to impress anybody in a one on one conversation, I didn’t have to try to manipulate, you know, the energy or yada yada, like I just shared who I was. And then it was about being present with whatever was being drawn to me. And that has been a tool to build relationships that have been incredibly powerful in my career.

John Corcoran  14:46  

Right. And and you chose vulnerability as the topic for the TED talk that you did tell us a little bit about that?

Corey Blake  14:53  

Well, I’d say in essence, it did choose me. I mean, it was one of those experiences, right? So we’ve been we’ve been working on as a storytelling company are the bulk of our work for many years was helping people write the book, they’re born to write, not an informational book of what I’ve learned, but like, here’s who I am here, the moments that have created, you know, the reason why I am championing this conversation. And in that experience with people, what they would share with us at the beginning was very different than what they’d start sharing on the third month, by the six month, they were telling us things they’d never told their spouse before. By the ninth month, they were saying things out loud that never said to themselves before. And we recognize that the more that we created a trusting environment, the more that people shared what they needed to share. And we would always surround them with john non judgment and love while they were going through that. And when that happens, people eventually got to a point where the thing that they had been voicing, and the kind of transformation just it became inevitable. Right. So it’s like, you know, in some ways, you could say we were surrounding them with the with a lot of mirrors to reflect back a real generosity and kindness as they were experimenting with new language, who they were what they stood for. So eventually, they just owned, that’s who they were, that process has a tremendous amount of vulnerability. And as we kind of unpacked how it works, we recognize that there is a sexiness to it, not the act of being vulnerable, that’s not sexy at all. But witnessing the courage that it takes to voice something that makes you shake from your insides. Right, when you’re witness to that it’s just a profound light turning on to, to bear witness to that. And so that topic has seized me for many, many years. And we’ve studied it pretty deeply. And we work now with organizations to help create environments where vulnerability is more available, because it is a delicate thing in a business context. We’ve also learned where is it dangerous, and then where’s their value of getting to the other side of the danger? So it’s, it’s been a quite fascinating journey about that. But the TEDx talk was a big culmination of me, putting together the methodology or unpacking the methodology that we had been using in a way people digest quickly.

John Corcoran  17:01  

Maybe I missed it. But where did the transition happen? So you’re you’re acting then you you start the in the business world, you make the transition three year tantrum as you met, as you described it? what point did you start helping people to write their books? And how did that that become the next evolution?

Corey Blake  17:18  

So I started the company in 2005, Incorporated, especially in 2006. By 2007, people were coming to me to help write the book. And they were coming for either other coaches, really world class coaches who wanted to tell the hero’s journey of the CEOs they were working with, or CEOs themselves who had had some profound experience and wanted to share essentially the hero’s journey that they’ve been on. And because of the LA background, I was in an easy, yes, people felt comfortable with the fact that we can tell the hero’s journey story. So that happened relatively quickly. 2007. And that was the focus until about 2012. That was almost all we did. And now it’s still about 50% of our business.

John Corcoran  18:00  

Okay. Now, I’m always curious about this. So at some point, you, you partner up with conscious capitalism, first of all, that term conscious capitalism, what does that mean, for those who’ve never heard of it before? Where did it originate?

Corey Blake  18:16  

So john Mackey started it over a decade ago, founder of Whole Foods, brought together a bunch of really super smart people who believed in capitalism and recognize that it has been the greatest force for good and for lifting people out of poverty. And, and yet capitalism was is has been despised by many people for quite a long time. So he’s a champion for a certain kind of way of doing capitalism, which has four pillars, higher purpose, conscious leadership, conscious culture, and a winning stakeholder orientation, where everyone in the ecosystem of a business is winning, right, which in many business cases, there’s there are winners and losers, they’re squeezing, you know, if a vendor goes out of business, who cares? We find another one. This is really about how do we support the entire ecosystem in an appropriate way. We’re profit is an important part of the equation, but it’s not everything. In addition to being profitable, we have to be improving the world and improving the lives of the people who work within this whole ecosystem. So lot of intentionality to the human and world Earth components of how businesses showing up in the world.

John Corcoran  19:17  

Okay, and did you read the book and it just shone like a light to you? What was the experience? Like? How did you become How did you become enthralled with the idea?

Corey Blake  19:25  

I had a client by the name of Jeff Spinelli, who is the founder of which which sandwiches out of Dallas, he’s got about 400 locations, fast casual restaurant chain. And we were working with Jeff on his book. And Jeff was teaching me this principle called follow the yellow brick road, which I have, you know, my language for it is that when someone that you care about and respects tells you to do something, shut up, and just try and do it. And Jeff said to me, as he was teaching me this, at some point, he said, You need to go to this conscious capitalism CEO Summit, it’s 5000 bucks to get in the door. Don’t ask me questions, just pay the bill and go. And I did. And walked into that environment 300 CEOs and presidents for two days in in Austin, at the last pines, beautiful resort, couches everywhere, really sweet seating, great food, you know, really world class service. And at the beginning of that, I’m like, What the heck am I doing here? And I think a lot of people have that initial experience. And by the end of it, I knew exactly why I was there, I felt I felt like it was this was a room full of people who had invested the bulk of their resources from an education standpoint into their intellectual horsepower. And they were very successful because of that. And they were trying to understand better, what is this whole consciousness thing? And how do I do that? How do I do it more consciously within my business. And here, I was a theater guy. So in touch with his body trying to figure out the capitalism piece. And because I had been coming from the other side, I felt like I had a lot to offer the community and I was here to be in service to them. And so I just started offering my time, up to people within the community, to the people produce the events. And they’ve been very generous with me for years and given me a platform to help be of service to the community.

John Corcoran  21:05  

Okay. And is that just evolved into the partnership that became Krishna conscious capitalism press? Because that’s, I think that’s a question that a lot of people who listen to this podcast wonder about, like, Okay, you’ve got a billionaire john Mackey, got this big community got this, you know, big business? How does you know, me? If I’m listening to this podcast? How do I form alliances or partnerships with successful other entrepreneurs, business owners, businesses, like you did?

Corey Blake  21:36  

Well, it certainly wasn’t requiring anything of them. It was, you know, on my part, I felt so compelled to serve the community, recognizing that it would serve me in return, it would serve my company in return, because these are the kinds of people we are totally in alignment to support. But I didn’t ask, you know, for anything except people a little bit of people’s time, but I had to show up and I had to bring the goods. And every time, the first time they put me stage, it was for five minutes. And I scrutinized over that five minutes, and I nailed it. And that helped them build confidence. And they gave me more time and more time. And now I’m a part of every event in one way or another, sometimes leading workshops, sometimes I travel around to chapters and do work with chapters, etc. But it really all stemmed from a compulsion on my part, and intentionality, and a dedication to showing up and showing up really well with any opportunity that they gave me. But I did have to ask, right, I had to, I had to set intention, and I had to be assertive. But ultimately, at the end of the day, I had to show up with the goods during the moment. And every time I did that, there was a, you could say, a longer leash extended in terms of the leeway that they would give me to try new things. And it became a testing ground for a lot of things that our company has gone on to do for our clients.

John Corcoran  22:49  

Right? And what does creating, you know, you already have a successful publishing business? Why, you know, what’s in it for you? Why change at this point, you know, is it isn’t even worth it, to make a change your existing business to align yourself with, you know, even if you if you do like the organization? Why do that?

Corey Blake  23:10  

Well, it’s fair question, because it does stress our system, there’s no doubt. I mean, it’s like a new business within the business requires its own resources. I mean, the

John Corcoran  23:17  

biggest fear is that you know, that that kind of tension could break the business if it’s too much too fast.

Corey Blake  23:23  

And it certainly could, I think, there’s a fair amount of intentionality that has gone into it. And we have to have, you know, we do a lot of personal development work with our people. So we can have those conversations. And I’m aware, and I have to ask the right questions to ensure that that things are being taken care of. But it was something that happened, you know, by going to the community first in 2014. And all these people that I began to be in service of became very close friends, I’ve studied in very deep programs, leadership programs, with some of them, some of them became clients whose books we’ve written, and which it’s a very intimate relationship. So in falling in love with a lot of people in this community who are really trying to do big important things in the world and move the needle for, you know, for people who are challenged people who are struggling, there came a point where I recognized, there’s a tremendous amount of wisdom within this community. And so many of these people have been doing all this personal development work, which kind of, you know, tempers your ego. So they’re not picking up the microphone and telling other people how to do it, because they kind of resisting that. And I felt like I needed to be a stand. And I needed to help package the wisdom so that we could get it out further into the world and not just keep it within the bubble of people who have already bought into this, that dedication, I think became, or the potential outcome became more important to me than the fear of what could happen to the existing business, I knew that one way or another, I was going to put a tremendous amount into this and that it would have meaning in the world, and it would change lives.

John Corcoran  24:56  

It’s it’s really interesting, what you just articulated, because I feel like I come across people from time to time, who they say, you know, I just want to do my work, I just want to help my clients. And it’s almost like they’re resistant to a larger megaphone. They don’t want too many people to know about them. It’s like, it’s almost like being the world’s best kept secret is some kind of virtue. And I always argue against that, I always say, Look, you’re keeping it to yourself, you’re harming the other people who would benefit from the wisdom that you bring to this world by keeping it to yourself. It’s an act of selfishness, almost, if you take it to an extreme, but how do you convince people of otherwise if this is the way they’ve done it for a long time, and they like being the world’s best kept secret that that there is virtue to actually sharing their wisdom further in the world? Well, be it on stage, be it in a book, be it in a podcast like we do, or whatever?

Corey Blake  25:51  

It’s really insightful of you to note that that’s something that I that I certainly do see. And I’ve articulated it almost exactly that way. So really kind of stoked that you picked up on that. I think part of it is modeling. Like, right, so so the way that I show up in the world and and what they get to see me do I think, I think for some people, that’s an invitation to push beyond their comfort zone. But ultimately, it’s a, I think there’s there’s something personal that happens in people’s lives, there’s some awakening moment that happens, where they recognize, I want to I feel like I am meant to push beyond the walls of my business and share something outside of there. And and it’s a different moment. for everybody. I think there’s a sense of responsibility that I have, which really did I wouldn’t have that if I hadn’t done the commercial work where I was working for companies that I didn’t think were improving the world. And eventually that caused this this challenge to my identity because I had that, right, I had this relationship with my own responsibility to use my talent for really positive things. Someone had everyone has to have some kind of an inclusive a moment where where they own that responsibility for one reason or another. And men, it’s a matter of Okay, now that I’m taking responsibility, how the heck do I do it? And I happen to be somebody who knows how to guide people through that process if if my values match theirs?

John Corcoran  27:15  

Right, right. Tell me a little bit about we’re running a little long here. So hopefully, we don’t have to rush rush out. But pick a couple people in the conscious capitalism community could be john Mackey, or it could be someone else. And tell me a little bit about what you’ve taken away from getting to know them from their wisdom, because you speak very highly of the people in the community. What have you taken away? What have you learned? What are the insights have you gained that you’ve either applied to your life or that you can share with the audience that they can apply to theirs?

Corey Blake  27:53  

Well, one of the key pieces that, that I would say I struggled with for a solid year, and I’m on the other side have and feeling really good about where I’ve come to is, is the recognition that no matter how well intended we are, that it’s all messy all the time. So even with an organization like conscious capitalism, there are moments where decisions that are coming from the board really frustrate me because they don’t feel in alignment with what who we say we are right or, or something will happen on stage where I’m like, Oh, that’s not us. Right. And, and that’s just the reality of growing something that matters is that there’s a fair amount of experimentation that has to happen, there are a fair amount of blind spots that just exist, you’re talking about consciousness, consciousness is a very complex subject. And I think we all come into a space like that thinking we’re on the same page about what that means. But I think I think we’re looking at the same general room, but we all have a different window or door that we’re perceiving it through. And we have to learn how to respect that each other has completely different views of the same broom. And as a result, sometimes our communication is just way off. So ultimately, I think the lesson that I walked away with is the permission around relaxing into the fact that this is messy it is it’s always going to light some people up and rile others. That’s just an aspect of really trying to impact the world at this level. And john is a key person, I think, in my own experience, I was kicked into love The Container Store, keep it keep, it’s just a tremendously lovely human being. And it just tickles me that he’s also the guy in the room, who during a really intimate moment, when someone’s sharing something, he will zipper unzip his bag with so much value. Right, like, we’re just human beings. And I think I think I’m learning constantly within the context of this organization, that I don’t have to agree with everything. But I can still be thankful that we’ve all come together, and we’re trying to do something that really matters.

John Corcoran  29:56  

That’s great attitude. What are you most excited about today that you’re working on?

Corey Blake  30:03  

Working with a gentleman named Stefan Shah, who I saw for the first time at the conscious capitalism CEO Summit in October, he delivered a keynote on stage, he saw me Get up for five minutes and talk about conscious capitalism press. And we were just magnetically attracted to each other. He’s solving the paycheck to paycheck crisis in America through an application and a holistic financial wellness model. And he’s solving it in one of these heads, slapping ways where he’s, he’s not changing the payroll system. He’s giving people access to money that they’ve earned, but haven’t yet been paid during that two to four week, you know, paycheck cycle. And, and he moved $2 billion last year into the hands of people who need that money, and who, when they don’t have access to it, they get nailed with exorbitant late fees, overdraft fees, and they have to go to payday loans. I mean, it’s a man, it’s like a 10% of their income. That’s, that is really taking a huge hit. And these are hourly workers. And he’s solving that. So we’ve, we’ve just released his book recently, we are finishing a documentary on him that will launch in the next couple weeks. And we’ve got a national media tour, he’ll be in New York, starting his media tour, two weeks from now. So just amplifying all of this, as Eric said, they did move $2 billion last year, they’ll move 3 billion this year. And this is one of those opportunities at scale to really have a dynamic impact. And he needed support with storytelling because he invented this market. But since it has become successful, there are a lot of players now who are not all necessarily approaching this from the same altruistic place that he is.

John Corcoran  31:39  

What’s the name of the book?

Corey Blake  31:41  

It’s called it’s about time, okay. It’s companies pay active. Yeah, brilliant, brilliant, sincere guy who’s who’s in this for the right reasons didn’t have to come back to work. So this company for an exorbitant amount of money and didn’t didn’t need to ever enter the business world again, could have gone the rest of his life and decided to do this

John Corcoran  31:59  

and and tell me why books. Why are books still relevant today of all the different media we have? You know, we’ve got Instagram, Snapchat, we’ve got podcasts, we got email, all these different things, why are books still relevant? Why Why Is that still the thing that, you know, there’s no question that they’re they’re not, you know, taken seriously today. But you know, why? Why do you think they still continue to be relevant for people?

Corey Blake  32:27  

I think it’s a challenging question. Because I think we have a we have a, there’s a social response that we’ve been programmed into, to some degree that that a book equates to something on that hierarchy. And yet, the unfortunate reality is that most books are terrible. And in business, particularly, I see a lot of people who write books that they don’t want you to read, they just want you just want you to see them holding it up. Yeah. And I’m like you so so I’m certainly a fan of books that that are want to read cover to cover, and I feel like a different person by the end of it. And so that’s what we focused our business on helping people to create. But those books, right, those books are treasured by people. Because it’s very similar to this is kind of an odd analogy. But if you’ve ever been to a Toastmasters event, people who work within Toastmasters are fanatical, and none of them get paid. And they all show up to everything, because it’s the place where they found their voice. And a great book can be a place where a reader can find a part of their identity that didn’t have access to before. And it can become a catalyst, and they’re holding the whole rest of their life. So those kinds of books, I think, are revered. And we’re all I think on the lookout for, for those unfortunately, we really have to sift through the pile. I think there’s also an aspect of the journey of putting together a book like that is profoundly transformational. Our motto is you don’t expect your reader to change in reading your book, if you haven’t profoundly change the world writing it. That process synthesizes for people what they stand for who they are in the world. Because our our process is about really unpacking what are the moments that connect the dots to how you have been prepared for whatever it is that you’re about to step into. So that readers can have that deep sense of trust of like the universe’s, you know, brought this person to this place where man, this is what they’re here to do. I’m on that train. That process alone informs so much of their business and informs the way that they engage with everyone around them. And and ultimately, I guess it elevates their sense of identity into a greater place of wholeness, right. Like they’re owning parts of themselves they used to hide, it makes people more powerful,

John Corcoran  34:47  

right? Well, it’s clear from just talking to you today that everything in your past all the dots make sense in the work that you’re doing today. And we thank you for what you’re doing. I want to wrap things up the question that I always ask, which is we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars, the Emmys, and you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement. Maybe it’s the conscious capitalism annual awards, you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done. And who do you think are the mentors or the friends or the peers or the business partners, the role models, the authors that you would acknowledge?

Corey Blake  35:19  

There’s three that come to mind. One is Jeff’s and Ellie, who I mentioned earlier that that lesson of follow the yellow brick road has just been profound in my life. And I’ve taught it to a lot of other people. The second is someone who I’ve never gotten to meet, but he’s His name is Harold Clurman. He was the founder of the group Theatre in the 1930s. I saw a PBS special on him in college that, that set my trajectory in motion, he was known as a generator, he would bring together the talented people, and help them exceed their own expectations and do work that mattered. From a theater standpoint, he had a quote that, that really has been instrumental to me, and it’s that the truth is, is like castor oil, it’s bitter and hard to swallow. And so we use entertainment to open their mouths. And then we poured in, that has been the essence of my career trajectory. So I would thank him profoundly, even though I’ve never gotten to meet him. And the third person would be actually Rance, Dagan, who runs the state and leadership program out of Dallas. He ran conscious capitalism as the chair for many, many years. And, and he has a well established community out of Dallas. He’s put over 1000, CEOs and presidents through his program. And he is one of those folks that you were describing. In that he he was the best kept secret in leadership for 20 years. And he’s trying to push beyond that right now. And it’s not easy. And so I’ve been a part of some of that journey for him. But he’s had a profound impact on me and his community in combination with the conscious capitalism community has changed my whole trajectory.

John Corcoran  36:51  

roundtable companies calm is the website conscious capitalism.org slash press? Is that the best place? Okay, great, excellent. Anywhere else people should go to learn more about you, Cory.

Corey Blake  37:03  

They can go to round table companies com slash purpose. I offer a 30 minute guided experience for people who are trying to figure out what they stand for in the world. And I’m super proud of it. I bring it into organizations. I lead keynotes, you know, offering that and it’s at no charge on roundtable companies. com slash purpose.

John Corcoran  37:22  

Excellent. All right. Good stuff. All right, Corey, thank you so much.

Corey Blake  37:25  

Thank you. What a pleasure.

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