Lori Igleski: Empowering Transformation Through Heart-Led Leadership

Lori Igleski: Empowering Transformation Through Heart-Led Leadership

Lori Igleski, the Founder of Heart-Led Ventures LLC and Senior Advisor at Bravanti, is a visionary leader who has dedicated her three-decade career to shaping businesses through empathetic and heart-led transformation. Her footprint is etched across over 35 pivotal merger and acquisition integrations, driving reorganizations, process overhauls, and groundbreaking technology implementations, all of which touched the lives of countless employees and millions of customers. Her proven track record of driving results while retaining clients and talent makes Lori uniquely skilled at leading complex change.  

Blending Finance and Empathy  

Lori's journey commenced after graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in finance. She was unsure which career path to take. But after starting in a rotational training program at a regional bank, she found that commercial banking resonated most. "I liked the mix of analytical work and engagement with business owners," Lori explains. The blend of analytical work and engagement with business owners resonated deeply with her, sparking a career path that combined financial acumen with human connection.  

Walking through manufacturing facilities and seeing how everyday products are made and the stories of families using the bank's financial tools was inspiring. Over time, Lori progressed to become a division manager, building her own team and book of business. She guided clients through economic cycles, helping them adapt and thrive.  

As her longtime employer underwent mergers, Lori represented employee and client interests, honing her skills in leading change. With over 35 significant mergers, reorganizations, and implementations under her belt, she became a trusted advisor to executive leadership.  

Lori approaches change by identifying stakeholders and understanding their perspectives. "Change brings fear to many, and developing trust is the only way to proceed," she says. As a leader, she focuses on honest communication to help people decide where they belong after a transformation.  

Lori's diverse roles, like Chief Credit Officer and Vice-Chair of a childcare center, have shaped her leadership approach. Whether balancing client and business needs in banking or navigating painful challenges at the childcare center, honesty and transparency remain paramount. Her heart-led leadership steered the center through adversity, ensuring families' trust remained intact.  

In pursuit of greater control over her work and personal life, Lori embarked on two independent consulting businesses—Fifth Star Consulting LLC and later Heart-Led Ventures LLC. These ventures enabled her to align her passion for transformational change with her professional pursuits, resulting in purpose-driven work that makes a meaningful impact.  

The Heart-Led Mission  

Heart-Led Ventures LLC, emblematic of empathetic and heart-centric leadership, reflects Lori's mission to empower C-Suite leaders in navigating transformations. Influenced by the research of Brene Brown, she fosters her approach with like-minded leaders. With an extensive background in mergers and acquisitions, Lori acknowledges the diverse spectrum of leaders she has encountered. While not aiming to transform fear-led leaders, she remains steadfast in her mission.  

Heart-Led Ventures provides a range of services—coaching, organizational design, and subject matter expertise—crucial for leadership teams undergoing significant operational changes. Focused mainly on financial services, Lori's adaptable approach extends across various industries. Often, organizations struggle to guide transformations neutrally, leading to her role as a skilled facilitator in bridging departmental gaps.  

What sets Heart-Led Ventures apart is Lori's 'solopreneur-ship' philosophy. Prioritizing outcomes over quantity, she undertakes 2-3 engagements at a time, collaborating within her extensive network. Empowering clients through transformation, Lori leverages their resources, maximizing their role in project management. Her expertise in consensus-building among diverse teams stands as a gratifying hallmark of her work.  

Diversity-Driven Leadership  

Lori's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) resonates deeply through her journey. As a former Diversity Council chair in the 1990s, she navigated a landscape where gender equality was fought for—illustrated by a 'Pants Committee' to change the dress code. Her role exemplified values in mentorship and fostering candid conversations about DEI in leadership.  

Lori's values extend to her personal life, with her children reflecting her dedication to inclusivity. Her board roles in gender equity-focused nonprofits underline her determination to foster positive change. This ethos permeates Heart-Led Ventures, shaping her client engagements.  

In guiding CEOs through workplace challenges, Lori advocates a 'meet people where they are' approach, underpinned by her heart-led philosophy. She recognizes the power of data analytics in spotlighting the advantages of diversity. Balancing data insights with human perspectives, she underscores the role of diverse viewpoints in shaping successful leadership decisions.  

For those aspiring to strategic advisory and change management, Lori emphasizes the importance of soft skills—empathy, collaboration, trust, and communication—forged through authentic relationships. Lori's journey exemplifies the transformative impact of heart-led leadership and the importance of fostering inclusive workplaces.  

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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