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Understand what drives people! Host: Mike Sedam

Understand what drives people! Host: Mike Sedam
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Understand what drives people! Host: Mike Sedam






Crucial Talks Episode 67: Leadership and the Hero's Journey with Brian Cunningham

Mike Sedam welcomes Brian Cunningham back to the Crucial Talks Podcast. In this episode, Brian and Mike talk more theoretically about leadership and how the "Hero's Journey" can help bring people to a new level of performance. The discussion talks about transformation, employee engagement, and emotional decision-making. The discussion includes references to Gary Varynerchuk's discussion about people that may want to try something new because they are unhappy in the workplace and the...


Crucial Chat: Sometimes You Take a Ball to the Face

Mike Sedam brings another short crucial chat with lessons about the importance of roles in our decision-making and behavior. This week as my son's second indoor soccer game. He's eight and hasn't really played before. During the game, he had to play goalie. The first time ever. He had only seen goalies play on television and on video games. As social storytellers we all use prototypes to figure out the behaviors of the roles we play. He did the same thing. He tried his hardest to exhibit...


Crucial Talks Episode 66 - Dan Oblinger Life and Death Listening

Mike Sedam and Dan Oblinger talk about Dan's book, Life or Death Listening: A Hostage Negotiator's How-to Guide to Mastering the Essential Communication Skill. Amazon: Dan is a hostage negotiator, speaker, and trainer that focuses on the essential need to actively listen to others. In this episode, the role of "listener" is discussed as something we need to do in anything we do and in any other role we play. Listening adds value to everything we do. Master...


Crucial Talks Episode 65: Douglas Vermeeren - Personal Power Mastery

Mike Sedam talks with Douglas Vermeeren about his book, Personal Power Mastery. Available from Amazon: Doug has interviewed over 400 of the top achievers of today to write his book. He has focused on people as having power over their choices. People are not always prepared to take the outcome of their lives personal. People need to "own it" and that lets them affect changes in their lives. Choice is our biggest fundamental power. Power is the ability to act or...


Crucial Talks Best of 2018

Clips from 2018 episodes of the Crucial Talks Podcast. Have a great 2019. Please stay in touch by visiting


Crucial Talks Best of 2018

Clips from 2018 episode set to music with all of the guests on the Crucial Talks Podcast. Enjoy and have a great 2019!!! Please stay in touch by visiting


Crucial Talks Episode 64: Jason Weber Trust, Relationships, and Self-Awareness in the Real World

Mike Sedam talks to Jason Weber about his enterprise-level experience in the state of Wisconsin. This episode applies to multiple industries in both the public and private sector because it discusses concepts that apply to any human-based system. We discuss the need for trust, how to build relationships, and how self-awareness is necessary to help see another person's or group's point of view. Jason is a training and development manager for Wisconsin, but also has his own consulting...


Crucial Talks Episode 63: The Communication ClausE

Santa Claus is part of the magic of Christmas for a child. Ultimately, one day, some kid will mention something negative about Santa Claus to other kids. Similarly, every day in our organizations, our businesses, our communities, and our relationships, communication is happening. Sometimes communication is about something negative. Communication is more than just sending and receiving words. Those words carry meaning and emotions. We need to be responsible for the words we say and how we...


Crucial Chat: Be The Hero of Your Own Story - Bumblebee and Optimus Prime

We are all social storytellers and can be the hero of our own story. My son and I were watching the Bumblebee movie trailer and he asked if Bumblebee could be the hero since he wasn't the leader. Absolutely he can, and so can you. Heroes are uplifting, improve the lives of others, uphold values, and protect others. Please connect with me via


Crucial Talks Episode 62: Brian Cunningham - Leadership Revolution Because Evolution Takes Too Long

In this episode, Mike Sedam speaks with Brian Cunningham about his journey from parking lot attendant to CEO and his book, The Leadership Revolution - Because Evolution Takes Too Long. You can buy his book from Amazon: More about Brian and his book can be found at: In this episode, we talk about how leadership skills have to be functional. This means we don't just need theory, but we need to be able to operationalize those...


Crucial Talks Episode 61: Jill Christensen on Employee Engagement

Mike Sedam talks with Jill Christensen about employee engagement. This includes talking about the fact all people want the same things we always have: openness, trust, purpose, and a feeling of belonging. Jill has written a great book about employee engagement that can be found on Amazon here: Put people first and the rest will follow. People that do not feel they are trusted will not go above and beyond. When employees are engaged, they trust their senior leaders...


Crucial Chat: Building Capacity with Communication

Redundancy in systems helps maintain a level of service when failures happen. In this 7 minute Crucial Chat, Mike Sedam discusses the use of a free tool we all have (communication) to build capacity in our systems. Please visit to connect with Mike if you have any questions or comments.


Crucial Talks Episode 60 Brave Leadership with Kimberly Davis

Mike Sedam interviews Kimberly Davis about Brave Leadership. Kimberly has written a book called Brave Leadership. You can buy her book from Amazon: Kimberly also runs a program called OnStage Leadership. Kimberly talks about bravery, the role of storytelling, and tools to become an authentic leader. This entire episode of full of great tools to help build the capacity to lead, to connect, to be...


Crucial Chat: Communicating from a Good Place. It Matters.

Sometimes people need to communicate negative information. This can be bad news, a mistake someone made, or discussing how someone can improve. Leaders deal with this all the time. We can come to these conversations from two different places. A good place or a bad place. People that come from a bad place feel that people are a problem to deal with. People that come from a good place feel that people are valuable. Coming from a good place gives feelings of trust and openness. The exact...


Crucial Talks Episode 59 Rick Grimes and Lessons on Decision-Making

Mike Sedam uses three clips from The Walking Dead to talk about decision-making. In this episode, there are three key takeaways about decision-making and a bonus takeaway. Bonus Takeaway: There are micro-learning opportunities in everything we do. Try to grow in ways that can help in everyday life and in our workplaces... even while being entertained. If we can learn lessons from a television show about something as ridiculous as a zombie apocalypse, we can learn from anything. Takeaway 1:...


Crucial Chat: Gratitude - Positive Social Emotion and Emotional Intelligence

Thanksgiving is a great holiday: turkey, pie, football, and...GRATITUDE. Gratitude is a strong positive social emotion. The more we practice gratitude, the more we and the people that experience our gratitude benefit. Gratitude can lead to higher levels of success, more loyalty, and increased happiness. Through gratitude, people can gain respect, earn trust, and motivate others. Gratitude also replaces and prevents negative emotions. Gratitude can prevent anger, meanness, and jealousy....


Crucial Talks Episode 58 Risk Tolerance and Building Your Personal Brand

In this episode, Mike Sedam, uses a short clip from remarks made by Gary Vaynerchuk to discuss Risk Tolerance and building a personal brand. The full video of Gary Vee's remarks can be watched here: or listened to here: Mike uses a presentation he gives to professionals in the gas and petroleum industry, power...


Crucial Chat: Antidote to Anxiety - Shift your Mindset

Mike Sedam talks about the antidote to anxiety. We all deal with anxiety. There are a bunch of tools that focus on our biology and physiology to deal with anxiety including getting more sleep, exercising, and breathing. They all focus on the physical. Shifting our mindset is a great antidote for anxiety because we are social storytellers that tell ourselves stories and because they come from such a great source, us, we believe them. We tell ourselves we aren't good enough and it causes us...


Crucial Chat: The WHY of The Crucial Talks Podcast

Mike Sedam reiterates and acknowledges the WHY of the Crucial Talks Podcast: To help people who are social storytellers that crave social belonging and social esteem. To help us experience the workplace and our lives in a way that impacts us as social beings. To help us tame the fast-paced world we live in.


Crucial Talks Episode 57 Jason Lauritsen on Unlocking High Performance

Jason Lauritsen joins Mike Sedam to discuss the workplace and how people can have a rewarding and fulfilling experience at work. Employee engagement is a cornerstone of the discussion. Jason talks about how he was driven to understand why a person would leave a job when he worked as a headhunter. He not only wanted to fill the position, but wanted to find out why the prior employee did not want to stay. The problem he saw was that he was trying to find someone who could merely survive...