audio close compressed excel CS_logo_icon_solid_yellow_alt Created with Sketch. x x image insta-black menu pdf Print BTN - Shortlist Created with Sketch. Share Asset 1 word


Award-Winning Leadership Strategist & Global Peak Performance Consultant to Fortune 500s


Happy is not something you are, it's something you do.


Shade Zahrai is a leadership alchemist known for her superhuman ability to translate the latest in neuroscience and psychology research into practical and actionable strategies that drive mindset shifts and behavioural change in a systemic way.

She's a dynamic speaker who skilfully blends a wealth of experience in corporate and consulting Fortune 500s around the world, with her approach as a scholar-practitioner and her PhD research in leadership and career performance.

She's spent countless hours with hundreds of teams from start-ups to Fortune 500s, observing clear behavioural trends behind the happiest and most successful people. Now through her company, along with her PhD research in career performance, she is leveraging the latest insights in high performance and leadership into commercially sound strategies for people and companies to do their best work by putting emotional intelligence and ˜humanness at the core.

A former commercial lawyer that transitioned to a successful career in banking and strategy consulting, she has since become a bestselling author, Harvard-trained leadership coach, TEDx speaker and was recently recognised as Adweek's Careers Creator of the Year has amassed a global community of over 2.1 million followers on social media. She's been featured in Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk, Adweek, the New York Times & Yahoo Finance. She is a former member of the Forbes Coaches Council, contributing articles on career development, leadership and high performance.

She runs Influenceo Global Inc., a leadership development, consulting & research firm, that works with Fortune 500s across the globe, including McDonald's, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble & JP Morgan, empowering their teams to thrive during these turbulent times. Shade is very in touch with the human side of the business and how to drive sustained performance, and she also has a passion for delivering programs for women in leadership to maximise confidence and supercharge success. She was the season one host of Commonwealth Bank's Leading Women podcast.

Shade's deep academic understanding of the art and science of peak performance blended with her commercial acumen, data-driven content and captivating storytelling, combines to make her an in-demand global speaker. Shades keynotes are characterised by authenticity, practicality and creating lasting impact.

Shade is also a 3x Australian champion Latin dancer, so salsa lessons are an added perk.

Recently named Adweek's Careers Content Creator of the Year in the Creator Visionary Awards, a past member of the esteemed Forbes Coaches Council and a former contributor to Shade was named Mentor of the Year in the 2019 Women in Financial Services Awards, a finalist in the prestigious Telstra Women in Business Awards in 2019 and 2020, a finalist in the Women in Finance Awards 2019, a Future Business Council Scholar and Future Leader Scholar in 2017 and 2018, and a Westpac Woman of Influence in 2016.

Talking Points

Embracing an Opportunity Mindset Science-backed Strategies to Thrive during Change

During times of change, the default human response is often to experience overwhelm and to enter crisis mode'. Yet the most successful, most productive and most fulfilled professionals are those who understand how to master their mindset and focus on the plethora of opportunities that change and challenges present.

Shade Zahrai will guide you through the neuroscience research behind how to embrace an opportunity mindset, how to feel more empowered and focused, and how to more effectively influence others. She will reveal some of the latest evidence-based practices to transform your performance, supercharge your impact, and optimise team engagement.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, marketers, small business owners, anyone faced with change and transformation.

Key Takeaways:
- Understand the neuroscience behind how we respond to change to bio-hack' our internal processes for enhanced productivity and performance
- Develop a toolkit of simple mindset mastery strategies to help you thrive and navigate complex emotional states
- Learn must-know tips on how to make these mindset & behavioural changes stick around for the long term

Flourishing Minds The Art & Science of Peak Performance

We've all felt it before. Tired, stretched too thin, struggling to switch off our brains, a little concerned about the future and not being able to predict what might happen. The lives we lead can be relentlessly stressful, constantly draining our willpower. But there's also a silver lining: we have the tools, capabilities and science-based know-how to not only learn to overcome these challenges but to build our capacity to thrive in this brave new world.

Join Shade as she helps you understand why you think and act the way you do, and then implement science-backed behaviour change to flourish. She will share must-know peak performance practices to supercharge your impact.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, marketers, anyone who would benefit from enhancing their performance.

Key Takeaways:
- An understanding of the dominant emotional states of 2021 and how this impacts motivation, drive and performance
- Common anxiety traps' that keep high performers stuck and depleted, and must-know evidence-based tools to overcome them
- Actionable brain-based practices to maintain sustained high performance, focus and drive for the long-term

Keynote + Workshop: Communication Mastery High Performance Leadership Communication

The ability to communicate clearly, succinctly and with conviction is a critical business skill that many struggle to master. In this workshop (which can also be delivered as a keynote), Shade Zahrai will guide you through the science of influence, foundations of emotionally intelligent communication, proven tools to boost your persuasiveness with stakeholders and team members, and how to elevate your leadership impact. By understanding the humanness vs courage' matrix, you'll become equipped with a toolkit of science-based strategies to navigate challenging conversations and get the best of yourself and your team, supercharging your influence and enhancing your ability to lead, especially during challenging times.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, team leaders, relationship managers, anyone who would benefit from enhancing their leadership and communication influence.

Key Takeaways:
- A deepened understanding of the foundations of emotional intelligence and tools to better connect with stakeholders and coworkers to facilitate collaboration and expedite outcomes
- An increase in confidence in how to be persuasive in your communication through a toolkit of proven strategies
- How to confidently handle challenging conversations and provide feedback with a focus on growth and transparency using the brain-based humanness vs courage' approach

Workshop: High-Performance Teams Mindset Mastery, Self-Leadership & Unified Vision

High performing organisations require high-performance teams. A pre-requisite for high performing teams is high performing people who understand how they support the organisation in achieving it's overarching aims.

Shade Zahrai will take you through the characteristics that give high-performance teams (HPT) the edge', including the mindset essentials required for success, self-leadership strategies for optimal performance and the three key drivers of team cohesion: clarity of purpose, solidarity in the face of external challenges, and strong relationships focussed on candour and collaboration.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, marketers, anyone who would benefit from enhancing their leadership and performance individually and as part of a team.

Key Takeaways:
- Learn the mindset essentials required for success including the neuroscience of how the brain responds to pressure and effective self-regulation strategies
- Understand application of the psychology-informed HPT framework to enhance team cohesion around a unified strategic vision
- Develop a toolkit of evidence-based strategies to both unlock and optimise focus and supercharge individual and team performance

The Brilliance of Cognitive Resilience Actionable Strategies to Navigate Uncertainty & Improve Wellbeing

The pandemic has disrupted the way we work. During unforeseen and unprecedented change it's all too easy to become swept by the undercurrent of disruptions outside your control and to succumb to feelings of overwhelm. Building capacity for cognitive resilience will help insulate your mindset and shift your focus to what you can control, allowing for better problem solving, clarity and emotional resilience.

Shade Zahrai will leave you with a renewed understanding of the meaning of cognitive resilience by tapping into your emotional intelligence, leaving you empowered with a toolkit of must-know resilience strategies to enhance your wellbeing and elevate your performance.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, administrators, marketers, small business owners.

Key Takeaways:
- Understand the elements of wellbeing to build cognitive and emotional resilience and combat overwhelm
- Develop a selection of research-backed and actionable wellbeing hacks' using emotional intelligence tools
- Learn essential evidence-based tips to enhance focus and & supercharge productivity

Evolving Leadership: The missing trait to Transformational Leadership

World 4.0 requires a new conception of leadership. Shade Zahrai examines the core development fundamentals necessary to be a transformational leader of impact, unpacking the three core areas of mindset, method and mastery.

Referring to leadership & psychology research, she shares how this missing trait' isn't what most of us would think¦ it's Happiness-in-action!'. Without this foundational quality, leaders' influence will always be limited. In this informative and inspiring keynote, audiences will learn how to embody happiness-in-action', why it plays such a crucial role in leadership and specific ways to develop it to step closer to becoming a transformational leader during times of change.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, small business owners, aspiring leaders, anyone in a position of leadership.

Key Takeaways:
- Understand the Four Is' of being transformational', and their practical application as a leader
- Explore the evidence supporting the missing trait through the GAS Framework' for transformational leadership
- Develop simple leadership-hacks to become more transformational in your approach, to effectively lead your team and to maximise engagement and productivity

#ChooseToChallenge: The case for embracing gender (and cognitive) diversity

Inspired by the story of her refugee family who narrowly escaped severe persecution for their beliefs in gender equality and the elimination of prejudice, Shade demonstrates how deep-rooted beliefs about gender bias affect our perceptions and how we view our own potential.

In this optimistic and empowering keynote, Shade Zahrai shares insights around how equality is not only good for women, it's good for our economic wellbeing and prosperity. She'll share learnings of how teams that embrace and leverage diversity are more innovative, more strategic and more likely to achieve commercial success.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, entrepreneurs, marketers, small business owners, women's events, IWD audiences.

Key Takeaways:
- Understand the psychology of exclusion' and how minority (gender) stereotypes are reinforced
- Develop a Diversity Leadership' toolkit of strategies to better embrace difference
- Learn tips around how to better utilise and contribute unique strengths and differences
After a big year of change and transformation, we recognised an opportunity to tap into the power of mindset across our leadership team, inviting Shade to facilitate at our first completely virtual Leader Summit. Shade was a dream to partner with on this project. From inception to delivery, she was completely invested in understanding our needs and our people, and designed an incredible workshop that met all of our needs and more. Shade's delivery was highly engaging, inclusive and interactive. She radiated warmth and forged connection, despite the usual roadblocks of virtual delivery, leaving our highly tenured leadership team hanging onto her every word. She was relatable, articulate, obviously extremely credible and authentic. In all my years of running leadership events, this would have to be one of the most successful yet. It has been fantastic seeing the positive sentiment pouring in - and, importantly, hearing how leaders have taken active steps in their communication, self leadership and leading high performance teams. I would highly recommend Shade to any organisation looking for a mindset breakthrough - and I can't wait to partner with her again soon! Optus

I worked with Shade on a large national event series (online) where she was our keynote speaker. She was incredibly proactive and professional. Also, her presentation hit the mark perfectly. I believe that is a credit to her top-notch presentation skills, but also to the amount of preparation and content tailoring she did.

DLA Piper

Thank you for running such an insightful session. It was anabsolute pleasure listening and watching you present. You give off so much enthusiasm and energy it's impossible not to get inspired.


My experience of working with Shade was excellent. We reached out to Shade to deliver a virtual keynote to business leaders. The content and delivery was highly engaging and we received positive feedback from attending customers and prospects. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Shade and I look forward to working with her again in the future.


Huge thanks to Shade for coming and talking to my teamrecently at our annual conference. Shade was able to adapt to our online approach and customize her presentation to theneeds of our dedicated team. Thanks for the insight and skills provided to the team.

Creative Activation

The Health Information Management Association of Australia (HIMAA) has engaged Shade Zahrai to present a motivational session Brilliance of Resilience' during HIMAA's inaugural Virtual Conference. The session was so thought provoking, engaging and interactive that we continue to receive a lot of positive feedback from the virtual attendees. Shade was brilliant with her extensive psychological knowledge that she presented professionally. Her advice and examples were relevant, inspiring and applicable to everyone. Shade's warm personality and fabulous presentation skills contributed to the session's success.


During the challenges of Melbourne lockdown, Shade returned to our firm to deliver a two part keynote around the brilliance of constructive resilience. It was powerful and timely to say the least. Her engaging style and impactful message, even when delivered virtually, left us with actionable strategies to help us all get through a challenging time, and an inspirational recharge we all needed. She is incredibly insightful, relatable and what makes her a standout is her commercial acumen combined with her neuroscience backed research. With overwhelmingly positive feedback, I highly recommend Shade to any company wanting to engage, educate and empower their team members.

Moore Australia

Shade hosted a webinar for the Australian Insurance Law Association titled the Brilliance of Constructive Resilience'. The webinar was practical, insightful and perfectly delivered. We received very positive feedback from our attendees. Shade was also a pleasure to deal with in the lead up to the event. I would be comfortable recommending her for any organisation looking for a first class and knowledgeable presenter in her areas of expertise.

Australian Insurance Law Association (AILA)

Shadé Zahrai delivered an insightful and hugely valuable webinar, which was extremely well received. Electrolux APAC & MEA team absolutely loved it! She offered a huge amount of value through her stories and expertise on how to demonstrate a growth mindset not only in thought, but in action. I believe that it was one of the successful webinars that our talent team had provided. As a speaker Shadé is highly engaging, articulate, passionate and has has a remarkable ability to leave a lasting impact through her relatable stories and actionable frameworks.


Shadé exceeded our expectations, kept the entire audience engaged Undoubtedly one of the best talks we have had. The feedback was extremely positive. Generally people ask us for quick talks, but in this case everyone told us that they wanted to continue listening to her. We cannot wait to invite her again!

Proctor & Gamble

Shadé captivated our audience from the get-go. She delivered a keynote for our annual Conference and although the event was virtual, the audience felt like they were in the room with Shadé. Her keynote was highly engaging, relevant and the content touched many members of our audience. I look forward to working with Shadé in the near future.

Chisholm Institute of TAFE

Her techniques for leadership and resilience were very insightful - I received feedback from employees who begun using them next day! Shadé is an upbeat, motivated and positive person. I could have listened to her all day

JP Morgan

Shadé is one of the best speakers we have ever worked with. She knows how to tailor the content to the audience and the sessions were engaging and insightful throughout. We had an overwhelming positive response with thousands signing up to listen, ask questions and learn from Shadé's experience. Shadé is amazing and knows how to keep an audience engaged!

The Female Lead

She did an incredible job! She was engaging, professional and had amazing insights through out. She was invaluable to this event and can't wait to work with her again in the future!


Shade and the team at Influenceo Global were a breeze to work with! We were very impressed with the level of professionalism and high quality of Shade's delivery, particularly since the webinar was hosted from her home!

DLA Piper

Shade was great! We have received a lot of positive feedback on the event and value she provided the participants. The event was seamless and Shade's presentation and delivery was incredibly engaging “ it's the most participation I've seen from a group here before.

Bristol Myers Squibb

Shade professionalism coupled with her expertise and presence resulted in an incredibly valuable event. Shade was quickly able to understand our needs and adapt to provide a 1-hour session that provided the perfect balance of content, participation, and evidence to really drive an impactful session.

Bristol Myers Squibb Australia

Shade' exceeded all expectations and gave our attendees real life insights and tips to improve both their wellbeing and performance moving forward. If you're looking for a keynote speaker that will 'wow' your attendees, Shade's the perfect fit.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ)

Let's talk, enquire with Vicki now

Vicki Stone

Let's talk, enquire with Vicki now

Vicki Stone

Let us know

and we'll send all the latest Saxton Global updates and news direct to your inbox
Thanks, you have been subscribed
View Shortlist