Who is Kyle?

In the Fall of 2014, Social Media marketer Petra Rentrop suggested a cartoon video to represent the average new supervisor for a supervisors conference I was planning. The idea took root and soon I had prepared over a dozen videos with Kyle as the central character. The equally important other character in these videos is Barb, Kyle’s coaching boss.


Kyle represents every supervisor I have ever coached during a period of over 30 years. He is a conscientious, inherently smart and talented person whose eyes seem to say naive and vulnerable, but whose heart is caring and  strong.

Barb is a mash-up of three of my best coaches: Shelley Brierley, a teacher who entered my life at a vulnerable time for me – a significant career change; Eileen Stewart, the best, most-caring and supportive boss in my 37-year career; and Evelyn, my mom, whose astute wisdom took her to the top, most influential, position in the RCA Victor company as the CEO’s secretary in the ’60s.

The difference between a good leader and a great leader is in their Right Brain. It’s in their ability to care and feel. Shelley taught me the importance of attitude and framework; Eileen taught me the values of care and empathy; and Mom taught me to respect and acknowledge the contributions of those around me.

I hope you enjoy The Story of Kyle and benefit from his lessons as he becomes a Workplace Champion supervisor. Kyle is my inspiration. I trust he will be yours too.

John Smithman, founder

Champions in the Workplace Training & Development Inc., Vancouver, Canada.

The Kyle Videos

Introducing Kyle – KYLE1400-Introducing the Story of Kyle (0:40)

Kyle’s Promotion – KYLE1401-Kyle is Challenged as a New Supervisor (4:46)

Kyle learns EMPATHY – Kyle – Empathy is in his Hands (6:25)

[Pending] Kyle Hires a new employee with TASTE