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CEO Magazine


Focus on Employee Mental Health — Everything Else is Secondary


“An emphasis on mental health, especially in the wake of a global pandemic, is likely to be the driving force of success for companies this decade. This starts with empathy at the executive level. CEOs, CTOs, and other executives need to accept that optimizing wellbeing is part of an employers’ responsibility.”

In this article, Malika dives into the changing expectations of the new generation of workers, the responsibilities of employers in the mental health space, and what it takes to create a caring company culture.


Learn the following, based on Malika’s experience both as the CEO/Founder of Kingmakers and years of our work with leaders across industries:

How did the pandemic impact how we think about mental health at work?


How can a leader be proactive in culture development?


When should you not ask for the opinions of your employees?


What is wrong with a “work is family” mentality?


What is the value of play in the workplace?


Read the article below!


CEO World Magazine


formatted Zoom images of Malika and Nikki

Women Thriving in Business, Hosted by Nikki Rogers


Episode 502: Culture of Success – Focus on Your Team | Malika Jacobs


  • “Different companies have different cultures and that is fine. And hopefully, you attract the people that best resonate with your company culture.” – Malika Jacobs

From Women Thriving in Business:


“A company’s success is often in the hands of its leader. And to be a successful and effective one, you must first learn to value your team, their skills, and opinions.

There are different types of leaders and employees but for sure, each one of them has the same goal: To succeed. Despite the fact that leaders must learn how to lead, leading from behind can also be a great strategy to gain the trust of your employees and allow them to bloom on their own as individuals. By learning to embrace change, you can welcome growth.

Having teamwork allows the company to build trust, enhance relationships, improve morale, foster creativity in the workplace – yes even virtually!

In this episode, we are joined by Malika Jacobs, founder, and CEO of Kingmakers, a company that offers virtual, board game-centered experiences through their Team and Enterprise Solutions. Malika shares with us the story of how Kingmakers started, the vision of the company, the challenges they faced, and how they were able to adapt and evolve during the pandemic.

Malika discusses the importance of building a team that supports a vibrant and supportive company culture, her W.A.T.E.R. framework for employee engagement, and so much more.”




Your people are your biggest cost but they’re also your biggest investment. – Malika Jacobs


You can’t build that company culture overnight. Like that’s not going to be there when the whole world shifts and you have to figure it out. – Malika Jacobs


As leaders, every moment counts, and it’s not the big grand gestures, it’s really how do you act day by day, moment by moment and that builds trust. – Nikki Rogers


You might not have a megaphone, but you do have a platform. – Nikki Rogers


Often businesses don’t give themselves the advantage of hiring the best. – Nikki Rogers



About the Podcast: Women Thriving in Business, hosted by Nikki Rogers


Women Thriving in Business features candid unscripted conversations with entrepreneurs, business experts, authors, and academics aimed at contributing to business success. This weekly show provides interviews with business leaders who have built, grown, and are thriving in business. Nikki A. Rogers, host of the show, also discusses achievements, lessons learned, and advice for aspiring business owners to develop the mindset, strategies, and connections necessary to thrive in business. Whether you are just starting or you have been in business for decades, WTiB offers inspiration, strategies, and resources to help you THRIVE in business.

Connect with Nikki Rogers:

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The Great Resignation & The Future Of Work: Malika Jacobs Of Kingmakers On How Employers and Employees Are Reworking Work Together


As a part of Authority Magazine’s interview series called “How Employers and Employees are Reworking Work Together,” Malika Jacobs and Karen Mangia talk about the Great Resignation, employee care, and evolving expectations for what the future holds for work.

An Excerpt from the interview:


“What advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?” – Karen Mangia




Read more here!


Authority Magazine

The Power of Play and How to Build Trust in Your Team


Into The Wild is a podcast by Renee Warren geared towards early-stage female entrepreneurs and those looking to grow their business including side hustlers, mom entrepreneurs, and day/dreamers.

Tune into Episode 102 ‘The Power of Play and How to Build Trust in Your Team’ to learn:⁠

✨ How businesses are using the power of play to harness the limitless and unstoppable strength of joy and connection
✨ Why team bonding is so important to your business and what you could be missing if you don’t practice team bonding⁠
✨ The best time to engage in team-bonding activities


Listen to an excerpt from the interview below.


Listen here!


Into the Wild Podcast

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In Her Own Words: Malika Jacobs plays board games for real


As the stress of the Omincron variant of Covid exacerbates, many women return to the strategies they used earlier in the pandemic. Malika Jacobs took her team-building business virtual and strengthened her own team in the process.


Read an excerpt from the interview with Ellen Sherberg below.


“Teams that trust each other can do amazing things. We have always been fortunate to employ a stellar group of people who are motivated by each other and the work we do. I’ve always known my biggest job as a leader is to align folks around a common goal, guide, and mostly get out of the way.


In March of 2020, we had a uniquely qualified team, including two recent hires tasked with developing the corporate team bonding aspect of our business. I couldn’t have asked for a more emphatic, creative, and hardworking bunch. Everyone showed up authentically for each other and for Kingmakers, allowing us to create and innovate our way to where we are today.” – Malika Jacobs


Read More!


Biz Women

If you don’t want to spend the next 6 months hiring, use these 3 ideas to build stronger social connections at work and reduce frustration. – Veronica Combs, Tech Republic


Jessica Strauss, Kingmakers Director of Innovation and Experience, shares the Kingmakers perspective in Tech Republic’s “Why you have to care about employee experience and how to improve it.”



Make online socializing less awkward


It takes effort to accumulate and preserve social capital, but it can be done in virtual settings. People don’t have to work together in-person to be creative or collaborative. One way to accomplish this is to make online social events effective instead of awkward. Kingmakers can help with that via online board games and a host to guide these team bonding events.


Jessica Strauss, director of innovation and experience at Kingmakers, said that guides run the game to match the personality of the group, which can be competitive, fast moving and focused on the goal or slower, more conversational and only mildly interested in the competition aspect.


“Our game guides know how to read the Zoom room: if someone is feeling uncomfortable, embarrassed, or hesitant for any reason, they know how to redirect and reframe the situation,” she said.

Read more!



Malika Jacobs of Kingmakers: “Support Networks”


It’s always an honor to see one of our own make waves across multiple industries.


In this interview, Malika, Founder and CEO of Kingmakers, talks about her identity as woman founder, how Kingmakers has shaped her life, and who has helped her on her journey.

Excerpt from the interview with Candice Georgiadis:


Candice Georgiadis: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?


Malika Jacobs: There is a lot of talk today about how female founders lack access to capital. I didn’t have savings, my family has always been supportive but didn’t have additional money to invest, and a loan isn’t available unless you have some assets to back it.


Two older women who I love — long-time family friends — both single at the time, coincidentally, so they didn’t have to run their decision by anyone — gave me money. One floated the cost of our liquor license, which allowed us to open immediately and the other gifted me start-up cash and has never once mentioned a return on her investment, aside from getting joy from knowing that I’m happy in my day-to-day work.

Read more!


Thrive Global

We are delighted to announce Kingmakers Founder and CEO Malika Jacobs has been accepted as a 2021 Tory Burch Foundation Fellow!

Each year, the Tory Burch Foundation selects a cohort of 50 women entrepreneurs to empower through mentorship, building connections, and grant funding.


On so many levels, it is true that people are what matter in a business. Kingmakers wouldn’t be the forward-thinking, human caring business it is today without our leader Malika. Malika’s insistence in building a company people want to work for makes us uniquely qualified to shift the narrative of company culture.


Congratulations, Malika!


We could not be more proud of the way you support this team, drive the growth of Kingmakers, and make our lives brighter one Zoom meeting at a time.

Female Founders: Malika Jacobs of Kingmakers On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder


It’s always an honor to see one of our own make waves across multiple industries.


In this interview, Malika, Founder and CEO of Kingmakers, talks about her identity as woman founder, how Kingmakers has shaped her life, and who has helped her on her journey.

Excerpt from the interview with Candice Georgiadis:


Candice Georgiadis: This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?


Malika Jacobs: This may sound cliche and basic: representation matters. You cannot know something is even an option until you see people like yourself doing it. You can’t benefit from experience and mentorship until people like you go and do the thing, then come back and share their learnings with their community. You can’t change the structures-that-be to make it easier for other people like you unless more people like you start doing the thing; it’s a chicken or egg issue.


If the question is more — should entrepreneurship be enticing to female founders: yes! Business is an effective way to drive innovation, solutions, and progress. We should all be terrified if half our brain force is being excluded from utilizing that tool.