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Building the Story, Tied to Community: Grant LaCorte

Updated: 4 days ago

Welcome to Superstruct. I'm thrilled to be joined by Grant LaCorte, a profound storyteller and visionary from InkJoi. Grant has been an invaluable support and partner with Star Strong Capital, and has played a crucial role in our collaborative ventures.

Rache Brand: Grant, you’ve been a tremendous force in shaping the narrative and enhancing our voice. To start, could you share a bit about your unique approach to storytelling and learning?

Grant LaCorte: Absolutely, Rache. Storytelling, for me, is all about connection—connecting deeply with people's emotions and experiences. It’s about understanding who they are, which I believe starts with a strong emotional intelligence or EQ. My approach involves getting to the heart of people’s stories and then amplifying them in a way that engages and inspires action.

Rache Brand: I know from our work together that you have a knack for leveraging AI to enhance these connections. Can you dive a bit deeper into how you integrate technology with human psychology to optimize storytelling?

Grant LaCorte: I see AI as a tool that amplifies our human capabilities. By understanding the audience deeply—what draws their attention and engages them—we can use AI to craft and deliver content that resonates on a personal level. This isn’t about replacing the human touch; it’s about enhancing it, making our efforts more effective and reaching more people with messages that matter.

Rache Brand: And speaking of effectiveness, I understand there’s an exciting project on the horizon—a webinar in June. Could you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect?

Grant LaCorte: Definitely! The upcoming webinar will explore the interplay of AI with human creativity and how businesses can use this to their advantage. We’ll discuss practical tips on attention hacking and using AI as a growth accelerator, all while maintaining that essential human touch.

Rache Brand: It seems your work not only impacts the individual but also shapes communities. Can you share how your personal experiences have influenced your professional approach, especially in terms of creating authentic connections?

Grant LaCorte: My personal journey through various cultures and communities, from studying deep yoga in India to engaging with Western psychology and therapy, has shown me the universal need for authenticity and understanding. In my professional work, whether it’s crafting a narrative for a brand or leading a retreat, I strive to create spaces where people can be their true selves. This authenticity is what connects a story to its audience and makes the communication truly resonate.

Rache Brand: You mentioned a focus on wellness. How do you see these areas intersecting in your future projects – I am specifically interested in how AI is integrating with wellness.

Grant LaCorte: The intersection of wellness and AI is fascinating. Wellness requires an understanding of the human condition, and AI offers tools to enhance this understanding and reach. For instance, AI can help us tailor wellness programs to individual needs at scale. My aim is to use AI to enhance our human-centric approach, making wellness more accessible and effective for everyone involved.

"By understanding the audience deeply—what draws their attention and engages them—we can use AI to craft and deliver content that resonates on a personal level.
This isn’t about replacing the human element; it’s about enhancing it, making our efforts more effective and reaching more people with messages that matter." – Grant LaCorte

Rache Brand: Switching gears for a second, I know you spend a ton of time hosting retreats and celebrating tribal community amongst your male counterparts. Can you explain what men’s groups are and what prompted you to get involved?

Grant LaCorte: Your right, it is something I am deeply passionate about. Men’s groups are essentially safe spaces where men can come together to discuss and share their experiences, challenges, and thoughts in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. My journey into these groups began from a very personal place — witnessing mental health challenges within my own family. I realized the profound lack of spaces where men felt comfortable expressing vulnerabilities without fear of judgment or stigma.

Rache Brand: What are the core activities or practices within these groups?

Grant LaCorte: Our activities range from open discussions and storytelling to structured therapeutic exercises, like guided meditations and group therapy sessions. We also incorporate physical activities to foster a sense of camaraderie, such as hiking or team sports. Retreats are a big part of what we do too, which involve deeper work over several days, focusing on themes like accountability, vulnerability, and leadership.

Rache Brand: That sounds impactful. How do these activities help participants?

Grant LaCorte: They're designed to build trust and openness among participants. For example, through storytelling, men are able to see reflections of their own lives in others, which can be incredibly validating. It breaks down the isolation many men feel regarding their struggles. The physical activities, on the other hand, help to release tension and build bonds in a more casual setting, which is just as crucial.

Rache Brand: You mentioned retreats. Can you share more about what these involve and the opportunity for male founders and entrepreneurs?

Grant LaCorte: Our retreats are intensive experiences where we bring together men from all walks of life to engage in deep, transformative work. We host these in various locations around the world, providing a fresh backdrop where participants can step away from their daily routines. These retreats are significant because they offer time and space for profound personal growth and reflection, which can be hard to find in everyday life.

Rache Brand: What changes do you often see in the participants?

Grant LaCorte: The changes can be quite remarkable. Many men arrive with a weight on their shoulders, and you can see a visible lift as the retreat progresses. They often leave with a new sense of brotherhood and tools to manage their mental health. We see increases in emotional intelligence, better communication in their relationships, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Rache Brand: It sounds like these groups can be a lifeline. How do you ensure the sustainability of such benefits post-retreat?

Grant LaCorte: Sustainability is key. We encourage ongoing engagement through follow-up meetings, both virtual and in-person. We also have a dedicated online community where members can continue to support each other. Additionally, we provide resources and tools for continuous personal development, like reading materials, webinars, and access to counseling.

Rache Brand: Looking forward, what are your aspirations for these men's groups?

Grant LaCorte: I envision these groups becoming a normalized part of men’s health globally. The dream is to have a network of men's groups that are as common as any other health routine. I also hope to see the stigma around men’s mental health continue to dissolve, so more men feel empowered to seek help and support when they need it.

Rache Brand: Grant, it's been enlightening talking to you (as always!). Your dedication to creating these transformative spaces is truly inspiring.

As we look to wrap up, could you leave our listeners with a final thought or piece of advice for those looking to bring more intentionality into their own lives or work?

Grant LaCorte: My advice is to start with self-awareness. Take time to understand who you are and what drives you. This clarity will empower you to make decisions that align with your values and goals. And remember, it’s about small, consistent actions. Whether it’s taking a few minutes each day to reflect or setting intentional goals for your work, these small steps lead to significant transformations.

"Every conversation, every roundtable, every men's retreat, every interaction that I can have can elevate people. And that's very exciting for me. That's a way to amplify impact." – Grant LaCorte

Rache Brand: That sounds incredibly insightful. Could you reflect on how your journey and evolution in storytelling have informed the projects you’re most passionate about?

Grant LaCorte: My journey has been one of continuous learning and adaptation. Each project brings new challenges and opportunities to grow. I'm particularly passionate about projects that not only tell a story but also create a positive impact on the community and society at large. It’s about crafting narratives that inspire, educate, and activate.

Rache Brand: Grant, your work is a testament to the power of storytelling when combined with empathy and technology. Thank you for sharing your insights and for the incredible impact you’ve had on our projects.

Grant LaCorte: Thank you, Rache. It’s been a pleasure working together and I’m excited for what the future holds.

The Importance of Community with the Storyteller

My involvement with men's groups highlights the critical need for dedicated spaces that offer emotional and psychological support for men. These groups serve as vital outlets for sharing experiences and addressing challenges that might otherwise be suppressed due to societal expectations about masculinity and emotional expression.

Importance of Men's Groups

Safe Spaces for Vulnerability:

  • Purpose: In these groups, men find a safe and confidential environment to express their feelings, fears, and vulnerabilities without fear of judgment. This openness is essential for mental health and challenges the harmful stigma that men should not express emotions or show weakness.

  • Impact: Regular participation leads to improved emotional intelligence, deeper interpersonal relationships, and a healthier understanding of one's emotions.

Community and Support:

  • Bonding: These groups create a sense of community and belonging, which is crucial for mental well-being. They provide a supportive network that is particularly valuable during personal crises, major life changes, or daily stress.

  • Shared Experiences: Here, men share strategies for dealing with various issues—relationships, parenting, careers, mental health challenges. Learning from peers who face similar struggles is incredibly empowering.

Focus on Mental Health and Wellness:

  • Awareness and Education: We place a strong emphasis on mental health, offering education on topics such as depression, anxiety, and stress management. This is particularly important as men are historically less likely to seek help for mental health issues.

  • Preventative Measures: Addressing mental health proactively within these groups helps men manage stress better and reduces the risk of more severe mental health conditions.

Leadership and Personal Development:

  • Skill Building: Through structured activities, discussions, and retreats, these groups foster personal growth and leadership skills. Men learn new coping strategies and gain insights into effective communication and leadership, applicable in both personal and professional contexts.

  • Empowerment: By taking active roles within the group, members build confidence and a sense of agency. This empowerment helps them assume greater roles within their families and communities.

Broader Social Impact:

  • Changing Stereotypes: Men’s groups work to shift cultural norms about gender and emotional expression. By promoting a more nuanced view of masculinity, these groups encourage more men to engage in emotionally expressive and nurturing behaviors.

  • Interpersonal Relationships: The skills and emotional awareness developed in these groups improve relationships with partners, children, friends, and colleagues, fostering a more emotionally aware society.

How You Can Participate

I host international retreats, like the one upcoming in Cardiff, Wales, aimed at bringing men together to foster accountability, vulnerability, and support in a communal setting. These retreats include a variety of activities, discussions, and shared meals, creating a holistic experience that addresses mental, emotional, and social well-being.

This approach not only benefits the individual participants but also has the potential to positively influence their wider communities by equipping them with tools for emotional resilience and empathetic leadership.

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