Kristy Krueger: You've Got This: Mental Health, Leadership, and You

In this episode of Inbound Speaks, we chat with Kristy Krueger about mental health, leadership, you, and of course what is happening with COVID and in our world today. Kristy shares some stories and a couple of tips along the way.

You've Got This: Mental Health, Leadership, and You

Hear 3 stories from a courageous mental health agency, a busy marketing team, and big-hearted marketers like you who are leveraging creativity and community to create a butterfly effect during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll be inspired by how others are thinking outside the box and how we can keep the positive change that's been created as a result of this new normal with VP of Marketing at Revel Health, Kristy Krueger.


About the Expert

Kristy Krueger

Kristy Krueger is currently VP of Marketing for Revel Health, a next-gen healthcare SaaS company. A driven marketing leader, brand builder and forward thinker, Kristy brings 20 years of experience in marketing development, strategy, and communications. Throughout the course of her career, she has developed multiple marketing organizations from the ground up for emerging tech businesses as well as managed global marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:00
Alright, inbound attendees, it's your boy George B. Thomas back with another episode of inbound speaks where I speak to speakers who are speaking in inbound Anyway, you get the point. And I am always excited about these interviews because without a doubt, I always learned something new. I hope you're learning something new too. But without further ado, let's go ahead and run that bumper and get into the good stuff. All right, so I am here and I'm excited because Christie is going to kind of explain to you the inbound viewers and listeners, who she is and what makes her tick, and then we'll dive into the inbound session.

Kristy Krueger 0:39
Sounds good. So I'm Christie Krueger, VP of Marketing at rebel health. I've been in marketing for 20 years. This is my first time talking at inbound. And something pretty remarkable has happened. My picture is really close to john legend on the speaker's webpage for inbound. So I'd say that's probably the highlight of my career. Career right now. But when I'm not hanging out with john legend on the web page, I typically do marketing strategy, helping to build the brand coaching teams. And right now, as I said, I'm working at rebel, which is a healthcare technology company. And so I'm just bringing some things that I've seen at rebel and different companies within healthcare that I've seen during Cova that I think will help people.

George Thomas 1:25
Christie, I love it. First of all, congratulations on your first time speaking inbound, I remember those days well, and it is definitely kind of this moment. And the fact that you're hanging out with john legend. I mean, come on, like that's baller status right there. So let's go ahead and dive into your session session, which is you've got this Mental Health Leadership and you and so one would think that it'd be leaders that should be in the room, but I still have to ask the question, Who should be in the room for your inbound 2020 session and why should they be in the room?

Kristy Krueger 2:00
Yeah, I think anyone who's been impacted by COVID-19. So pretty much everyone can listen to this session. It's meant to help people who are I mean, everyone's a leader. And that's kind of the point of some of the stories that I'm telling in this session is that leaders are stepping up and leaders can be anyone, lots of people are being impacted by this. In fact, Michelle Obama just started talking about this on her recent podcast about that she's dealing with depression, you know, during the lockdown, and I think it's really opened up a conversation about mental health. One stat that I was reading, before getting on this interview is that, you know, this year one and recently one in five Americans have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. And that was a recent survey by the US Census Bureau. Last year, that number was one in 10. So it really is impacting everyone and we see it every day. We see long lines for people trying to get food people are losing their jobs. In the healthcare space, we're seeing that more people are on Medicaid. Now. There's just more people to help. And so my stories that I tell him this session are really about leaders from all parts of organizations from Michelle Obama to a mental health agency here in the Twin Cities in Minneapolis. that's helping people in new and creative ways. And I've just, even though it's been really tough to be surrounded by all the things that are happening during COVID, I'm really focusing on looking at the things that are positive that are happening and the ways that people are recreating things even like inbound and all the amazing sessions that are coming up. And the different formats like that probably would have happened if this was live. Now it's virtual. So we have to think differently. So from every aspect from Michelle Obama to inbound to just everyday people trying to do their jobs. We all have to change And become stronger and become better.

George Thomas 4:03
Christie, I love this because I'm a big advocate of positivity. I love the fact of being able to change. I've done multiple interviews with other folks where we've talked about pivoting or transitioning. I've talked to other folks on interviews about how it would be the same old, same old if we didn't have to change and how sure there are a lot of bad things happening. But if we look at it in this other little angle, even Courtney from the inbound team, and we did her interview, look, we just had to look at it from a little bit of a different angle and go in this way with how you're going to do inbound moving forward. It's it's good to see people doing this. It's funny in your description, because my brain when I'm thinking about this and unpacking what you just said, Hey, I can't wait to hear the stories in your session. Again, the session is you've got this Mental Health Leadership and you if it's not on your agenda should definitely think about putting it on there. But Think about what's the kind of overarching problem COVID change, you know this, this difference, but then in your session description, you talk about the butterfly effect during COVID-19. And I don't know if there's a way that you can kind of unpack that a little bit more of like, how you see these things happening and what it's changing and how people are kind of changing. And again, we don't want to give away the whole farm here, right? We want people to go to your session, so maybe tease into either a little bit of those stories or the butterfly effect for us.

Kristy Krueger 5:34
Yeah, absolutely. I think people are just stepping up in unexpected ways. And that's what has really caught my attention. Sometimes I'll hear people, you know, talking about how hard it is during COVID. And I will ask, well, what's something positive that you've seen even with my family with my kids, my husband, I'm, you know, constantly asking friends, you know, what's something positive that's come out of this and everyone has a response to that. There's always something that's unexpected that comes out of it. And I think the butterfly effect is holding on to those things and keeping them moving forward. So for example, for inbound, you might find these new formats are really, you know, connecting with people and so you want to keep that going. We also did that recently for revel, we have a conference and we went virtual. And we did a five series session and we found that we could share this content with everyone and they really liked it and that that we just have to find ways to be super engaging over zoom Of course, but you know, those are business cases right of things that are happening. I think in in personal my personal life I've seen like, really amazing people step up and be leaders during this time that you wouldn't expect and I talked about some of that in the session, but one that really struck struck me was so we I live in Minneapolis as I mentioned, and right after Maybe a month after COVID was in full effect here and we were in lockdown. We had riots because of, you know, the murder of George Floyd. And all of a sudden this racial inequity was coming to light. And you know, our city was on fire, literally on fire. And so my team had a really hard time with that, because some of them lived in the areas where it was, you know, the police precinct was being burned down, and police sirens and fire sirens were going off all night. And we're launching a new website. And it was like, I don't know how to manage this. I don't know, you know what to do here. And so we all had to just be really honest with each other about what was going on in our lives and what we could do and what we couldn't do. So I spent a lot of time just talking to the team about how they were doing and what would help them as we move forward. And one of the things that I did was, I started involving my kids in lightening the mood a little bit and we started doing a creativity time with the team. We took 30 minutes every Friday, and they lead them through an art exercise. And it ended up not really being about what the art exercise was. I actually did a tic toc video too. That was pretty hilarious. But it was more of just lightening the mood and giving them a chance to talk openly about how they were they were feeling because those kind of conversations don't come out when you're talking about a timeline for website launch, or, you know, this subject. You know, this topic is due and we need to come up with a title or you know, who's going to be the speaker on this event. It was more just letting people be themselves and kind of talk about what was happening, what was happening in their neighborhood, how were they feeling about things without feeling judged, or like it was some kind of, you know, formulaic thing that the business setup where, you know, it was a zoom meeting to talk about your feelings. It was more natural and it just gave them an avenue To speak openly, and I think that made a big difference.

George Thomas 9:02
Yeah, there's so much good in that section. I hope people rewind that because the question I'm about to ask you, which is like one or two tips on how to stay positive in times of chaos, you actually gave us some of those if we were to rewind, and listen, I love that you talked about like, Look, we just had to be honest with ourselves. And, you know, we had to add a little bit of humor or and the fact that you did Tick tock, right, like those types of things are awesome. As far as like you find yourself in this position. You know, and it's not where you thought you'd be like, we didn't nobody ever mapped this out. So my question really is for you, again, maybe one, maybe two ways that if somebody is watching this, and they're gonna attend inbound, they're kind of excited for inbound, but they're still in this place of like, man, how do I turn this into something positive? What are some tips that you would give them for taking mental The the ability to transition your brain into like, an almost I would say because I don't know how else to say this Christie like, from a victim to Victor mentality and being able to pivot into this very positive positioning.

Kristy Krueger 10:16
Yeah, great question. I think back to the beginning part about mental health and that people are feeling anxiety and depression. It's the first time a lot of people have experienced isolation, or loneliness or these really intense feelings, this heaviness. It's hard to get past it sometimes. And I think the biggest thing is looking at others with with love, and just having some grace for your team members, for the people you work with for your neighbors. You don't know what's going on. You don't know what's going on in their life. You don't know what they're facing. There are layers and layers of things that people are trying to deal with right now. And it's not just COVID it's racial inequity. It's It's so many things that are hitting our nation right now. It is hard to be positive when you watch the news or these things come up. But maybe it's going to teach us to give each other a break. You know, especially at work, and just lead with grace. give people the benefit of the doubt. And just continue to try and find something positive in the really difficult times and just rise above.

George Thomas 11:24
Hi, man, I again love this love this so much. Last year, I asked this question, and I have to ask it differently this year, because last year, I'd be like, okay, so you give your talk. The audience stands up, they give you a raving round of applause. I keep joking that inbound should have sent us an easy button for like applause. So it's like, Alright, we're done. Like they applauded. So, um, how you know, you get done with your talk, they get done watching it. How do you want the audience to move forward? What do you think the big takeaway or what do you hope the big takeaway is for after people listen to your session, they may move forward. And they think this,

Kristy Krueger 12:05
I hope that they understand that

that we all face challenges with mental health, that it's not just something that somebody else faces is very common. And there's a lot of positive things that are happening right now because we're talking about it. So I would just say, to have the conversation, to continue to talk about it. And if you are feeling something you've never felt before, and it's scaring you, you'll find a safe person to talk to about it, but just continue to have the conversation and really be brave about it because we're all facing some uncertain feelings, some fears and we have to be in it or, you know, everyone keeps saying we're all in this together, right? We are. So we have to support each other and, you know, we have to lead with love.

George Thomas 12:56
I think that's a great place to stop right there. It makes Make sure that you check out Christy's session at inbound Mental Health Leadership, you, it really is going to be a good session. I think there's some great stories that you'll be able to hear. I think there's some great tips that you can use moving forward. I'll tell you, the tips that I would say out of this interview that I would lean into is love and empathy. And actually being able to have an honest conversation around the things that you're dealing with and trying to figure out a way to be in this all together. Look, while you're dealing with all that and thinking about all that, we'll be here waiting for you in the next episode.