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Leadership Speaker, Author, and Coach

How to Bring a Speak-Up Culture to Life

As the Andy Stanley quote goes, “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say.” And, that silence is dangerous.

Poor leadership behaviors result in toxic cultures and lackluster performance. Cultures of silence lead to missed opportunities, failure and sometimes even disaster. Part of the problem is that the more senior a leader becomes the more removed they can get from the truth—the experiences of team members and customers alike. These are the very people who make their organization a success. A leader’s whisper is heard as a shout and the silence and nodding heads that often follows are falsely considered consensus.

Here, speaker, coach, advisor and forthcoming author Stephen Shedletzky—or “Shed” to his friends—demonstrates that in a speak-up culture, not only do leaders have the skills and attributes to hear ideas, concerns, voices of dissent, and even mistakes, they also encourage, acknowledge, reward, and act upon them. This fundamental ability to create a culture where it’s safe and worth it to speak up—and to view the organization and the people in it as a living, breathing organism they are meant to support (rather than as cogs in a machine to operate)—is vital to the long-term success of any organization.

Speak-Up Culture shows you how creating such an environment is the responsibility and the advantage of every leader who wants to be great at leading, and who wants to create a better version of humanity while they do.

Session Objectives:

  • Unpack the two main questions of a speak-up culture: Is it safe? Is it worth it?

  • Explore why speak-up cultures are good for people and good for business

  • Discover the two components of a speak-up culture – Encourage & Reward

  • Learn tactical and proven methods to listen to your people and cultivate a feedback rich, speak-up culture

  • Explore the destructive impact of toxic positivity and gaslighting on people, teams, and cultures

  • Unpack leaders' responsibility and advantage in building a speak-up culture

Speaker Bio

Stephen Shedletzky — or “Shed” to his friends — helps leaders make it safe and worth it for people to speak up. He supports humble leaders — those who know they are both a part of the problems they experience and the solutions they can create — as they put their people and purpose first.

A sought-after speaker, coach, and advisor, Shed has led hundreds of keynote presentations, workshops, and leadership development programs around the world. As a

thought leader on psychological safety in the workplace, he supports leaders and organizations in all industries where human beings work. He is the author of Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up .

After years on a corporate track, Shed was introduced to and inspired by the work of Simon Sinek and, soon after meeting him, became the fourth person to join his team. For more than a decade, Shed has contributed at Simon Sinek, Inc., where, as Chief of Staff and Head of Brand Experience, Training & Development, he headed a global team of speakers and facilitators. Shed continues to speak and facilitate with Simon Sinek helping to create a more inspired, safe, and fulfilled world.

Shed graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a focus on leadership, communication, and strategy. He also received his coaching certification from The Co-Active Training Institute. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two young children.

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