Stephen Shedletzky

Stephen Shedletzky

Speaker, Leadership Coach, and Advisor

Stephen Shedletzky helps leaders listen to and nurture the voice of others. 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, Shedletzky 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 the forthcoming book, Speak Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up.

After years on a corporate track, Shedletzky 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, Shedletzky has contributed at Simon Sinek, Inc., where, as chief of staff and head of brand experience, training, and development, he headed a global team of speakers and facilitators. Shedletzky continues to speak and facilitate with Simon Sinek helping to create a more inspired, safe, and fulfilled world.

Shedletzky 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.


Speak Up Culture

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 behaviours 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.

In this presentation, Stephen Shedletzky demonstrates that in a speak up culture, not only do leaders have the skills and attributes to hear concerns, ideas, and even voices of dissent, they also encourage, acknowledge, reward, and act upon them. This fundamental ability to create psychological safety — 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:

  • Understand the definition and importance of psychological safety and why speak up cultures are good for people and good for business.
  • Discover the two components of a speak up culture – encourage and 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.

The Infinite Game

Finite games, like football or chess, have known players, fixed rules, and a clear endpoint. The winners and losers are easily identified. In infinite games, like business or politics or life itself, the players come and go, the rules are changeable, and there is no defined endpoint. There are no winners or losers in an infinite game, there is only ahead and behind.

You’ve (probably) read Simon Sinek’s book or watched a video on The Infinite Game. This class is designed to apply these concepts to your life, relationships, and career so that you can embrace an infinite mindset.

Those of us who adopt an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, and inspiring teams, organizations, careers, and lives. Ultimately, those who live with an infinite mindset are the ones who lead the rest of us into the future.

Session takeaways:

  • Understand how we all operate in both finite and infinite games, in our work and lives, and be able to distinguish between the two.
  • Unpack the five essential practices to living and leading with an Infinite Mindset: 1) Advance a just cause, 2) Build trusting teams, 3) Study worthy rivals, 4) Prepare for existential flexibility and 5) Demonstrate the courage to lead.
  • Explore new ways of adopting an Infinite Mindset so we can choose to live more meaningful, inspiring, and impactful lives.

Start with Why

Most of us live our lives by accident, but our WHY allows us to live our lives on purpose. Whether you are an entrepreneur, leader, a team member, or are seeking greater clarity for your next transition, your WHY will lead you toward fulfillment in your work and life. This interactive class is designed to guide you through the steps to find your WHY — your personal purpose, cause, or belief. It takes a willingness to be open, to share personal stories, and to trust the process. And through it all, we’re there to help.

Session highlights:

  • Unpack the concept of The Golden Circle from Start with WHY.
  • Share tools and the process to discover your individual WHY.
  • Pair you with a partner so you can work one-on-one to write your WHY statement.
  • Conduct live coaching to help you improve your WHY statement.

Leaders Eat Last

Leadership is not about being in charge, it’s about taking care of those in your charge. Anyone can learn to be a great leader — it’s a practice and the first requirement is you have to want to be one.

This keynote will unpack and illustrate the concepts from Simon Sinek’s New York Times bestseller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. We will explore the concepts and practices that distinguish the difference between teams that stick together and thrive and those doomed to fail despite incentives, talent, and opportunity.

When leaders create the right conditions and environment for their people, individuals instinctively support one another. Caring leadership empowers teams to overcome the dangers that threaten their potential for success in today’s challenging marketplace and thrive together. When everyone feels they belong and enabled to show up together with purpose, potential is limitless.

Session highlights:

  • Define what it truly means to lead.
  • Understand how to create a circle of safety and why this is crucial for your team’s performance.
  • Examine the natural drivers that exist within us all that help make us feel inspired, safe, and fulfilled.
  • Learn how to combat the inevitable stresses and dangers that threaten your organization, team, and each individual.

Articulate Your Why

As simple as the Why concept is to understand, one of the biggest challenges an organization will face is clearly articulating its Why. While it may be felt, it can be difficult to put into words. Finding the words for our Why is the first step in being able to communicate it effectively. Until it can be put into words, it’s very difficult to put our Why into action and nearly impossible to scale.

Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Why Discovery Process, this workshop focuses on helping a team, business unit or organization find and clearly articulate their Why in simple language that inspires action. In the workshop, participants will:

  • Learn about and access the Limbic system of the brain.
  • Learn the architecture of a Why statement.
  • Explore the importance of two interrelated ideas – Contribution + Impact.
  • Take part in exercises designed to accomplish two things: 1) Articulate the first draft of the organization’s Why, and 2) relate the Why to the team, business unit or organization’s     values and guiding principles.

While the ½ day will enable participants to get a first-draft of their team, unit’s or organization’s Why statement, the full day allows for refinement of the draft and an opportunity to explore ideas for implementation.

Why Discovery Workshop for Entrepreneurs and Individuals

Our Why is the cause, purpose or belief that inspires us to do what we do. It acts like a lighthouse that guides us toward fulfillment in our career.

Associations, colleges and universities can provide a wonderful opportunity for their members or students to go beyond understanding the concept of Why by giving each participant the gift of articulating their unique Why statement.

In this intimate group workshop, participants will:

  • Learn the architecture of a Why statement.
  • Explore the importance of two interrelated ideas – Contribution + Impact.
  • Experience and participate in demonstrations of the Why Discovery Process.
  • Work in partners to help each other discover their Why.
  • Be equipped with tools and ideas to start living their Why.

Why Discovery Course

In this interactive course, Simon Sinek, the bestselling author of Start With Why, will lead you step-by-step through his “Why Discovery Process.” Simon helps you clearly articulate your unique Why Statement; learn the architecture of a Why Statement; explore the importance of two interrelated ideas: Contribution + Impact; and provide tips on what to do now that you know your Why.