Mike Sedam talks to Lynda Sunshine West about her journey from the corporate world, through 49 jobs, and to her calling.

She talks about how learning something new can be a major driver of behavior. She discovered that she had value to offer others through the help of a coach.

She previously believed negative things about herself and it held her back.

Lynda has taken these lessons to transform her career and her life to "follow her dream and passion to help other people."

She taught herself to recognize and breakthrough hear fears.

During her journey, she has learned to use a network of mentors to help herself grow and then to use those relationships to help others grow.

For more about Lynda, visit www.livingliveinc.com or read her book: The Year of Fears available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2P2SG61


Mike Sedam interviews Joshua Spodek about leadership.

Joshua is the author of Leadership Step by Step: Become the Person Others Follow. It is available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2WPc4WQ. Joshua has a new book called Initiative that will be released in May.

Joshua discusses relationships and leadership. He does a great job of explaining the need for practice to build leadership capacity and that leadership skill cannot come just from books, but also requires skill-building that comes with practice. Joshua's book and courses provide exercise leaders can use to improve their capacity to lead. 

Find out more about Joshua at www.joshuaspodek.com

To contact Mike, visit www.crucialtalks.com. 


In this episode, Mike Sedam talks with Glenn Garnes about one of the biggest issues people face today: isolation.

Even though we may have the technology to connect, people can still feel isolated. Communication is the key to countering isolation.

Glenn also talks about how people can live their best life by becoming self-aware and taking action to reach their goals.

Glenn has provided a free resource for Crucial Talks listeners at: www.tipsforsuccess.com

Visit Glenn at: http://expertsonstage.com/ or http://sbceo.com/

To contact Mike, visit www.crucialtalks.com


Chris Milburn talks with Mike Sedam about storytelling.

Counter-terrorism and culture is discussed through the lens of storytelling to show the value and power of stories to human behavior and decision-making.

There are many lessons in this episode for leaders, business owners, and others. Chris discusses his studies in counter-terrorism from the Naval Postgraduate School and how his analysis of terrorist groups proved how storytelling has been used.

The hero's journey is also discussed as a way for people to perceive difficult times they may encounter.

Follow Chris on Twitter at: @chrismilburnnps

visit www.crucialtalks.com


Sam Anthony Lucania talks to Mike Sedam about his journey from addiction and the importance of self-awareness, taking responsibility, and mentorship to self-transformation.

Sam is open about his past addictions, time in jail, and his new goal and drive in life to help others in need.

Sam also discusses his book Hands Like You're Praying, available on Amazon:https://amzn.to/2F6O8qz

More about sam can be found at: www.samanthonyspeaks.com

Please feel free to contact Mike Sedam at: www.crucialtalks.com.


Mike Sedam talks with Deb Falzoi of Dignity Together about workplace bullying and workplace abuse.

This is an epidemic in organizations that can have a major impact on workplace experience. As a result, people can feel marginalized and isolated. Organizations can see a lack of productivity, an increase in health-related issues, and can even open themselves up to liability.

People are the most precious resource a company has, and understanding the issue of workplace bullying is the first step in improving the workplace and protecting employees.

Visit Deb at www.dignitytogether.org.

For more information from Mike, visit www.crucialtalks.com

The Crucial Talks Podcast will also be broadcast by www.safetyfm.com from 11 to 3 pm Eastern Time.

This is a rebroadcast of Jay Allen interviewing Mike Sedam on the Safety FM Podcast. Visit www.safetyfm.com/podcast

The Crucial Talks Podcast will soon be broadcast through SafetyFM and will be available on their website, app, and Amazon Alexa.

Regular episodes of the Crucial Talks podcast will still be released every Sunday. I didn't want to interrupt that schedule and the great guests we have coming up that is why this episode is being released mid week.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com 

Dolores Hirschmann talks to Mike Sedam about the importance of clarity, people, and ideas.

In this episode, we talk about the boundaries set within our own minds. This makes us stay within our safety zone which doesn't help people meet external success. Getting beyond those "fences" helps us excel.

Big ideas can overwhelm us or seem too big to tackle, but when people commit to the idea, they can overcome internal boundaries. Nothing starts big, it starts with someone saying yes and consistently taking action.

Connect with Dolores and her company, Masters in Clarity, at: http://mastersinclarity.com/


Lawrence Henderson, the author of Bridging the Gap: Life, LOVE, and Leadership is interviewed by Mike Sedam about leadership and the value of people and relationships.

The book can be found on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XlBA7a

Mike and Lawrence discuss what connects people, the importance of "human" in human resources, and storytelling.

They also talk about how to reframe what we see in order to establish a mindset that can help us succeed.

During the episode, the concept of fear, how people are "pack animals" and the transition that happens when we think about others are all covered.

Lawrence can be reached at: info@bossconsultingllc.net

His website is: www.bossconsultingllc.net

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com



Mike Sedam interviews Regina McMichael, The Saftey Training Ninja.

During the episode, Regina discusses how to create safety training that doesn't suck.

She talks about the need to have outstanding training so that we can have a positive impact.

She wrote the book, The Safety Training Ninja, to help safety professionals provide a more engaging level of training. Her book is available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2V62UV0

Regina talks about how her journey started with a tragedy and how she learned she can have a broader impact by helping others as she provides training. She's touched the lives of tens of thousands of people through her work.

Regina and Mike also talk about the danger when organizations "weaponize" safety training, the importance of understanding if training is or is not necessary following a mishap, and the need to make safety training awesome.

Regina can be reached through the following sites:




ASSP Link 20% off for members: https://store.assp.org/PersonifyEbusiness/Store/Product-Details/productId/184139336

Please visit Mike at www.crucialtalks.com


In this episode, Mike Sedam talks to Carrie Wooten about improving the workplace experience.

We've all been there. We've worked in organizations with low trust. We've worked for bosses that only understand transactional leadership that looks a lot like bullying. We've been in groups where co-workers don't trust each other, don't communicate, and don't care.

In this episode, Carrie talks to us about the need for trust and communication so that we can have a better workplace experience. One that is vibrant, creative, and trusting.

We cover topics such as the need for self-awareness, how to leverage differences, communication between generations, perspective, the importance of the lenses we use to view our worlds, intrinsic motivation, strength in teams, self-fulfillment, and emotions to mention just a few of the important concepts.

Carrie has also written a book on self-awareness called: It Starts With Me: A Daily Practice to Mastering Self-Reflection. It is available on Amazon here: https://amzn.to/2IduZZ0

You can find Carrie on most social media platforms, just search for @realcarriewooten.

Feel free to contact Mike Sedam for any speaking opportunities, consulting, coaching, or just to say hello at www.crucialtalks.com


Mike Sedam talks to Rob Howze about his great program called Campfit where he brings 50 kids together for eight weeks. Rob and his team provide these kids with a wonderful gift: the vision and capacity for success.

Rob has been shot (yes, with a bullet) and has worked as a personal trainer, minister, speaker, author, etc. He has done what a lot of us do as people. We take everything we have learned, extract the good parts, and learn from them.

Rob has taken his experience and continues to build a legacy that he can pass onto these kids to make the world a better place.

This conversation, not only gives us insight into the Campfit program, but the importance of the "why" and the "how" using relationships, vision, and a focus on bringing value. There are powerful lessons behind the "why" of Campfit and the "how" of networking.

Find out more about Rob at: www.robhowzespeaks.com and more about Campfit at www.campfit.tv.

Please visit Mike Sedam at www.crucialtalks.com.




Mike Sedam interviews Melinda Kelly about her journey with self-reflection, self-awareness and honesty.

Melinda took a deep dive to find the right coach.

She learned from her experience and put what she learned into her book: Finding Your Coach, Diving Deep Within. On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FShcVp.

Her experience shows us the importance of trust and honesty with yourself and with others.

For more about Melinda J. Kelly, please visit: www.melindajkelly.com

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com.

This Crucial Chat by Mike Sedam discusses what motivates people to keep going in the face of adversity.

During the federal government shutdown, Mike was able to see some federal employees that continue to work without pay.

What did he see? The employees were working toward a common goal. They stuck together in their teams. They were still looking out for the mission and the people they serve.

What drives these people are the same things that drive us all:

1. People are driven by a goal bigger than themselves.

2. People are driven by having relationships. We can do more together than we can alone and we can deal with bad situations better when we feel we are part of a strong, trusting group.

3. People are driven by the esteem they get from the roles they play.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com

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 importance of self-awarness.

It also mentions Jill Christensen and her work in employee engagement.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com for more information or to have Mike speak at your organization.

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 the behaviors of the "goalie" prototype he had built in his head. As a result, he did fairly well for never having played the position before.

Later in the game he also took a ball right to the face. It was traveling fast enough that it took him off his feet. He popped right back up and wanted to keep playing. Normally, a hit like that would have stunned him and put tears in his eyes. This time was different because his role as "soccer player" was so important to him that he stayed in that role. He was also amongst his team, and we all know that being with others makes us stronger.

Finally, I learned that sometimes we take a soccer ball to the face. The important thing is we get back up and keep playing our game.

Please visit www.crucialtalks.com

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: https://amzn.to/2RGFSGb

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 listeners excel at eight different listening skills.

People should listen more and learn more from listening.

Email Dan at: dan.oblinger@gmail.com

Connect with Dan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dan-oblinger-speaks?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_profile_view_base_contact_details%3Buq20dVihRFqQkyHf57pAKA%3D%3D

To get in touch with Mike please visit www.crucialtalks.com and connect via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.


Mike Sedam talks with Douglas Vermeeren about his book, Personal Power Mastery. Available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2VvlLd0.

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 take action.

Perception allows people to see possibilities and opportunities. How we see things impacts the decisions we make.

Emotions are tied to expectations.

To connect with Douglas Vermeeren, visit www.douglasvermeeren.com

To connect with Mike Sedam, visit www.crucialtalks.com



January 1, 2019

Crucial Talks Best of 2018

Clips from 2018 episodes of the Crucial Talks Podcast.

Have a great 2019.

Please stay in touch by visiting www.crucialtalks.com


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 company, www.elements-consultingllc.com.

For more information or to connect with Mike, please visit www.crucialtalks.com

Remember, if we want to understand behavior, we need to understand what drives people.

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 use them.

The first lesson we can take from this is about the person communicating the message.

Does that person have the responsibility to communicate that message?

Does that person have the right to communicate that message?

Is the person communicating that message for the right reasons?

What is the purpose of communicating that message?

In this case, this student could have wanted to show her superiority to other students, or she was impacted negatively by hearing this news and wanted to bring other people down to her level.

This is important for us to understand. Information like this can cause someone to feel alone, to feel like they no longer understand the belief system of other people around them and one of the ways people deal with that is to bring others down to their level.

I know we have people like this in our organizations. They try to stir up negative feelings because they feel negative. Or they try to make other people dislike someone because they dislike them. This is a cancer in our workplaces and needs to be removed.

Remember we are responsible for the words we say and the meaning of those words because they have a huge impact on people and can have a ripple effect.

For more information or to connect with Mike via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, please visit www.crucialtalks.com.

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 www.crucialtalks.com

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: https://amzn.to/2BtsBq2

More about Brian and his book can be found at: http://awarenessquotientleadership.com/

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 theories.

Brian talks about the levels of leadership in a way that is not just theory-based. He talks about them while wearing a lens of reality. He lets us learn about what works in the real world, not just in books.

This is a positive, strength-based focus on leadership, from someone who is doing it every day as a CEO.

To connect with Mike or to get your own story onto the Crucial Talks Podcast, please visit www.crucialtalks.com.


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: https://amzn.to/2QY5y0G

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 and feel an emotional connection to those leaders.

We can improve engagement by helping employees feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard.

For more information from Jill, text JILL to 42828 and you'll receive her top ten tips.

Also visit her at www.jillchristensenintl.com

To contact Mike, visit www.crucialtalks.com.


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 www.crucialtalks.com to connect with Mike if you have any questions or comments.

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