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Creating a Speak-Up Culture - with Stephen Shedletsky
Episode 3025th September 2023 • Happy Space Podcast with Clare Kumar • Clare Kumar
00:00:00 00:41:18

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Stephen Shedletsky is a Leadership Speaker, Author, and Coach. He has spent years helping leaders make it safe and worth it for people to speak up. Inspired by the work of Simon Sinek, Shed became the fourth person to join his team where for more than a decade, he contributed as Chief of Staff and Head of Brand Experience, Training & Development, and headed a global team of speakers and facilitators. 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.

I’m not sure entirely why but I’ve been speaking up for most of my life, but not everyone speaks up and not in every situation. I have been wondering about why that is and was thrilled when I learned that Stephen Shedletsky, aka Shed, was also deeply curious about this topic, especially in the workplace. Join us in this conversation as we explore why he felt the need to write this book now, how our environment can pressure us into being unethical, and the value of transitioning to a speak-up culture.


00:05:27   Why this book and why now?

00:08:37   The value of transitioning to a speak-up culture

00:10:22   Personality versus environment

00:14:07   Combatting apathy

00:15:00   Low safety but high impact

00:17:00   A bad pickle

00:18:59   Leaders who listen 

00:21:59   Environment can pressure us into being unethical

00:24:45   Human attributes rather than soft skills

00:29:30   Nelson Mandela on sitting in a circle and speaking last

00:32:30   Advice for speaking up


For active links, visit

Simon Sinek

If Your Employees Aren't Speaking Up, Blame Company Culture,  Hemant Kakkar and Subra Tangirala

Hemant Kakkar

Amy Edmonson

Happy Space Podcast episode 16 - Still in Search of Excellence - with Tom Peters

Alan Mulally

Indra Nooyi

Scott Sonenshein

Nelson Mandela

Craig Ferguson

IMAGE CREDITS (see images on Youtube video)

Simon Sinek - credit Simon Sinek website

Amy Edmonson - credit Amy Edmonson's website

Happy Space Podcast episode 16 with Tom Peters - credit Clare Kumar

Alan Mulally - credit Wiki Commons

Indra Nooyi - credit LinkedIn

Scott Sonenshein - credit LinkedIn

Nelson Mandela - Wiki Commons

Craig Ferguson - Wiki Commons

Learn more about and follow Stephen:







Speak-Up Culture Website


Highly sensitive executive coach and productivity catalyst, Clare Kumar, explores the intersection of productivity and inclusivity continually asking how can we invite the richest contribution from all. She coaches individuals in sidestepping burnout and cultivating sustainable performance, and inspires leaders to design inclusive performance thereby inviting teams to reach their full potential. As a speaker, Clare mic-drops “thought balms” in keynotes and workshops, whether virtual or in-person. She invites connection through her online community committed to designing sustainable and inclusive performance, the Happy Space Pod. Why? Because everyone deserves a Happy Space.

Believing that productivity is personal, the podcast is produced in a variety of formats so you can enjoy it in the medium you prefer:

Listen to the audio right here or on your fave podcast platform.

If you prefer to  watch video, check out the episode on YouTube.

If you prefer to read, please see the transcript below.

Ready to learn more, or want to find out more about coaching with Clare or hiring her for your next engaging event? Contact Clare here.


If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a heartfelt review as this will help other listeners discover the podcast.  Please invite your colleagues, friends, and family to listen as well. Together we can design a more inclusive world where everyone can make their richest contribution.

Want to learn more about Clare and/or her guests?  Follow Clare on Instagram and Twitter

And don't forget, everyone (including YOU) deserves a Happy Space. 😊


Audio and Video Editing: To Be Reel

Production Assistant: Luis Rodriguez

Song Credit: Cali by WatR. from Pixabay




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