Episode 8

Published on:

20th Mar 2023

Interactive, Dynamic Fun

What if we didn’t call it “play”? Jay Guilford has been guiding the growth of leadership and teams for over 20 years. And yet, like so many before me, I was first curious about his roots in the circus. Does “play” have a branding problem? We talk about play in the DEI space as well as the legacy of the circus.

GUEST: Jay Guilford

Jay Guilford once worked with a bunch of clowns. Literally. Long ago in a land far far away, Jay  ran away with Cirque du Soleil. There, Jay created Cirque’s corporate training program – SPARK. With SPARK, Jay strapped executives into apparatuses and flew them high across Cirque du Soleil theaters and training facilities. These “playful” activities helped groups experience trust, teamwork, and healthy risk taking in new and innovative ways.  

Currently, as founder and managing partner of his own leadership consultancy – CoWorks – Jay  infuses elements of play in his training activities. In 2023, CoWorks will launch a series of play based teambuilding sessions called ARTWRK. With ARTWRK, groups will learn and experience  collaboration, communication, and trust through performing arts. ARTWRK sessions will be  facilitated by Jay and other Fortune 500 trainers. ARTWRK activities will be taught by performers from Marvel, Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, and STOMP.  

Jay has over a decade of experience in leadership and team building. He has designed and  delivered training sessions for Google, Uber, Microsoft, Mastercard, The Empire State Building,  Procter & Gamble, Kmart Australia, SwissLife, Club Med Punta Cana, SABMiller Brewery Latin  America and other companies.  

Jay holds a BA from Emory University and an MA from Columbia University.


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About the Podcast

Lead with a dash of Play
Re-claiming space for compassion and creativity in the workplace
Looking to build innovation, strengthen organizational culture, and develop greater confidence? Try play. Seriously. Play builds empathy, sparks creativity, and allows deeper reflection and learning. Why would we not integrate it into our workday?

Speaking with CEOs, executive coaches, and other business leaders, Mary Hendra explores what “play” can look like in professional spaces, its impact on us and our organizations, and how to integrate a little play ourselves to build more compassionate and creative workplaces.

About your host

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Mary Hendra

Mary Hendra is an executive leader and entrepreneur bringing curiosity, creativity and compassion back into the workplace, into our civic spaces and into our opportunities for adult learning.

In addition to hosting "Lead with a dash of Play," Mary creates unique cohort experiences built on stillness, creativity, and compassion - with a dash of play. Learn more about Mary's work here: https://maryhendra.com/playground/