Guest: Kyle Lacy, CMO @ Jellyfish

Kyle covered a ton in a short amount of time! Here’s the TLDW;
(or you could just hit play!)

Kyle Lacy, CMO of Jellyfish, shares how the loss of his Aunt Wendy profoundly influenced his leadership style and personal life, emphasizing the importance of intentionality, empathy, and open communication in the workplace.

Personal Experience with Loss
-Kyle Lacy discusses the deep impact of losing his Aunt Wendy, who was central to his family’s gatherings and known for her intentionality and care.
-Wendy’s consistent practice of checking in with family members influenced Kyle’s approach to listening and asking questions.
-Her legacy continues through family traditions and the values she instilled.

Impact on Leadership and Management
-Kyle realized the profound effect of personal loss on various aspects of life, including sleep, family interactions, and introspection.
-Recognized the importance of understanding how team members experience and cope with loss differently.
-His own coping mechanism was to dive back into work, but he now appreciates diverse responses to grief.

Navigating Grief in the Workplace
-Kyle did not take time off after his aunt’s passing, reflecting on the personal choice to handle stress through work.
-Emphasizes the importance of having policies in place to guide employees during bereavement.
-Stresses the need for managers to have open conversations with their teams about grief and provide options for coping, whether through time off or continued work.

Building Relationships and Open Communication
-Kyle shares that his relationships with his team became more intentional post-loss, focusing on listening and empathy.
-Encourages managers to build personal connections with their direct reports to foster trust and openness.
-Advocates for discussing life events early to set a supportive team culture.

Lessons for Leaders and Organizations
-Importance of creating compassionate workplace cultures that recognize and accommodate different ways employees deal with loss.
-Highlights that the responsibility of managers lies in supporting their teams well before a loss occurs.
-Encourages leaders to be open about their personal experiences with grief to create a safe environment for employees.

Empathy and Grace in Leadership
-Kyle discusses learning empathy over his career and applying it by actively listening and understanding employees’ perspectives.
-Shares how his Aunt Wendy’s intentional listening has influenced his approach to leadership.
-Advocates for managers to support their teams through open communication, recognizing that not everyone processes grief the same way.

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