Stephen's Story – Shed initiates the conversation by sharing his core beliefs that guide his career and personal life.
Toxic Positivity – We do not have to enjoy every part of the day to love it. Mentioning that Shed explains the concept of toxic positivity.
Blind Faith and Optimism – Shed differentiates between blind faith and optimism. Moreover, he emphasizes the critical nature of hope in our lives.
Culture - If your workplace has a toxic, detrimental culture, your commute will deteriorate. Shed expresses his views on culture by stating that.
Manager vs. Family Doctor – Shed believes that our relationship with our immediate supervisor impacts our health more than our relationship with our family physician. With that, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive work environment.
Multi-Directional Power – Even if you have wonderful, well-intentioned, high-performing, and trustworthy leaders, Shed discusses the critical role of middle management.
Leadership – Shed shares his ideas on leaders and leadership in a mind-blowing manner, elucidating why too many leaders in roles are more drivers than leaders.
Leading Yourself - You cannot lead others effectively unless you understand and practice authentic leadership. Shed outlines several excellent practices that you can integrate into yourself.
SpeakUp Culture – Defining the SpeakUp culture as the culture where leaders foster an environment where people feel comfortable raising their hands, sharing their thoughts, concerns, and even disagreement, Shed dives deep into that concept.
Listening – Sharing his personal experience, Shed explains why he believes listening with compassion and sincerity is the key to making people feel important.
Coming Soon – Shed shares about the book he is currently working on, in which he discusses why leaders must genuinely listen if they want people to step up.
Connect with Stephen:
Mentioned in the episode:
Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life:
Man's Search for Meaning:
White Right: Meeting The Enemy:
I hope that you enjoyed that conversation. I know that I was scribbling notes the whole time. This is always difficult, but here are my three insights for thriving:
I loved Shed’s advice to articulate your values as verbs, as actions that you can take. I think that this takes something that can feel conceptual and turns it into something that is tangible.
Leaders own their impact, whether the outcome is intended or not. This one really stuck out to me because I think about how this applies in all areas of our lives. In some fashion, we are all leaders. Are we truly owning the impact that we have, or do we sometimes use the “that’s not what I intended” as an easy way out? It pains me, but I know that I have. It makes me think about if we are really living our lives in a way that is important to us? Is it fully aligned with what we value and who we believe ourselves to be? There’s a quote by Disney that I saw nearly 20 years ago: We judge ourselves by our intentions; others judge us by our actions. I keep that quote handy as a reminder to test if my actions are matching my intentions because if they aren’t, then it’s time to change.
Our purpose lives in what we are overcoming or overcoming and then carrying that message to others. I’ve heard this called the hero’s journey and when I think about the purpose this way, it makes me emotional. There’s a shocker! But, I think what I love about it so much is that it gives our experiences and our challenges a bigger purpose. I’ve always said that I don’t think that God is a practical joker or that he just likes to throw things my way; I think that there is a reason for every experience that I’ve ever had. I first felt this way when I was 14, and my mom had had a very bad day and had flown into a pretty terrible fit of rage. I had to run from her and hide. I was terrified. As I was hiding, I remember asking God: why? Why is this my experience? And the answer that came back to me was that it was to prepare me so that one day I could help others. To this day, I can still remember the peace that settled over me when I thought about it that way. And to this day, it still keeps me motivated.