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Award-Winning Leadership Strategist, Personal Mastery Expert & Author

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

An Award-Winning Leadership Strategist, Harvard-trained coach and member of the esteemed Forbes Coaches Council, Shadé Zahrai is a specialist in building a success mindset, self-belief and self-mastery for business professionals, and enhancing people-centric cultures.

Current Work

Shadé Zahrai is recognised for her superhuman ability to translate neuroscience and psychology research into practical, actionable strategies to accelerate success. As Principal and Director of Influenceo Global Inc., a leadership development, consulting and research firm, she consults, trains and coaches leaders and teams from startups to Fortune-500s, breathing life into organisational culture to enhance change-readiness for transformation, increase engagement, support the development of people-centric strategies and boost commercial performance.
A former commercial lawyer with a background in psychology and strategy consulting, bolstered by 10+ years across a top tier legal firm and Big-4 bank, Shadé is very in touch with the human side of a business and how to optimise performance. She also specialises in programs for high performing women to maximise confidence and supercharge success.

As an in-demand keynote speaker, Shadé is renowned for her ability to infuse motivation, science and storytelling with practical strategies and solutions to shift mindsets and drive positive action in audiences. Her passion lies at the intersection of psychology, spirituality and business. Shadé’s keynotes are characterised by authenticity, practicality and empathy, and create lasting impact.

Shadé is a best-selling author, Harvard-trained leadership coach, an established performer and speaker featured on TED and TEDx, and 3x Australian champion latin dancer. She's a former lawyer with a background in psychology (specialising in positive psychology) and also received her MBA in 2018.

Previous Experience

Awards and Accolades: She’s a current member of the esteemed Forbes Coaches Council and a regular contributor to, 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, finalist in the 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

A Winning Mindset for a Time of Change: Science-backed strategies to thrive during change and supercharge your influence

During times of change, the default human response is often to experience overwhelm and 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 presents.

Shadé Zahrai will guide you through the neuroscience behind how to embrace an opportunity mindset, how to feel more empowered and focussed, and how to more effectively influence others. She will reveal evidence-based strategies 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 tips on how to make these mindset & behavioural changes stick around for the long term

Level-Up Leadership: Leading in a virtual world

In our uncertain hybrid-virtual business environment, it’s never been more important for leaders to effectively connect, engage with and inspire their teams to maintain engagement, productivity and performance.

In this session, Shadé Zahrai will guide leaders and managers through proven evidence-based strategies to ‘lead better’ by understanding the psychology of human connection and relationships. The session will focus on fostering connection, nurturing team ‘buy-in’, and enhancing team culture to improve engagement and create a high performing virtual team.

Who is this for:
Business Leaders (established or emerging) or managers who have to lead virtual or hybrid virtual teams and want to improve their engagement, connection and team culture.

Key Takeaways
- Understand the psychology of human relationships and how to build rapport, trust and connection
- Learn how to create a culture of candour and create psychological safety for optimal team engagement and performance
- Develop skills in applying emotional intelligence tools to understand the pulse of the team and strategies to shift their state for greater engagement and productivity

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.

Shadé Zahrai will take you through the characteristics of high-performance teams (HPT), 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 the 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 Constructive Resilience: Actionable strategies to navigate uncertainty, improve wellbeing & boost performance

While the majority of Australian employees love working from home, a virtual or hybrid-virtual workplace poses new challenges for individuals, from issues with wellbeing and inability to focus to a lack of visibility and feeling less engaged. Building capacity for constructive resilience will help insulate your mindset and shift your focus to what you can control, allowing for better problem solving, clarity and emotional resilience.

Shadé Zahrai will leave you with a renewed understanding of the meaning of constructive resilience and will share neuroscience research around how the most successful individuals are creating new personal modus operandi that match their unique energy rhythm.

Who is this for:
Business leaders, executives, teams, anyone working in a remote/hybrid remote workplace or leading remote teams, entrepreneurs, administrators, marketers, small business owners.

Key Takeaways:
- Develop strategies to manage your energy levels for optimal performance (based on emotional intelligence research)
- Learn evidence-based hacks to turbocharge your productivity and focus for sustained periods
- Understand simple tools to prioritise wellness as an antidote to both burnout and mental fatigue, and to elevate performance

Show Up, Step Up, Speak Out - Leading as a woman of influence

Countless studies have shown that women have more of a tendency to focus on what they lack, their gaps and their weaknesses rather than strengths. By combatting self-limiting beliefs and learning hacks for greater confidence and wellbeing, women will be ready to confidently communicate their vision and leadership purpose and to have greater clarity in their goals and aspirations.

This keynote explores the research and neuroscience behind what frequently holds women back, how the female brain is wired to help us under pressure, and the tangible tools and strategies that women can embrace to have more confidence, greater presence and greater success in their careers.

Who is this for:
Women leaders (established or emerging), early-to-mid level career women, women entrepreneurs, women small business owners.

Key Takeaways
- Understand the gender confidence gap and reasons why women often struggle with visibility and speaking up
- Explore how the female brain is wired to help women when facing pressure
- Become equipped with a toolkit of strategies to enhance confidence, increase visibility and supercharge leadership potential

Evolving Leadership: The missing trait to Transformational Leadership

World 4.0 requires a new conception of leadership. Shadé 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, Shadé demonstrates how deep-rooted beliefs about gender bias affect our perceptions and how we view our own potential.

In this optimistic and empowering keynote, Shadé 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
Shadé was a delight to work with and really took the time to understand our business… She really captivates the audience and has an energy that keeps you engaged. The material truly resonated with our audience of senior leaders from across the business… from equipping our leaders with essential resources and skills to manage change with agility, to leverage it as an opportunity to thrive and to be influential change-makers transforming our teams and business…Thanks Shadé, you were awesome. Winc. Senior Leaders Conference

We invited Shadé to wrap up the event with a motivational speech on happiness. I expected Shadé to be fantastic, as her reputation preceded her. Shadé had everyone absolutely transfixed - a very hard act to achieve… Shadé is so accomplished and her messages for the students were brilliant at a time when so many students struggle with the pressure of school and home life.

St George Banking Group

Shadé Zahrai was our Guest Speaker at The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO) 2019 Young Ambassadors event… Quite simply, Shadé captivated the room with her insights on what it means to work with purpose and put personal values in to action. She spent considerable time researching the objectives of the event, understanding the purpose of The BFO and who the audience would be, and tailored her message accordingly. Shadé brought the perfect combination of passion, energy, storytelling and knowledge to our event. The feedback we got from our 2019 cohort of Young Ambassadors and other senior leaders in the room was that Shadé brought to life with great clarity and poise, how they can consistently align their purpose and values to do good in society and be fulfilled in their careers.

Banking and Finance Oath

Without question, each and every one of the 90 people in the audience were both mesmerised at your passion and your energy. When I asked the team about the event the first thing they spoke about was the session on Empowerment and thought your part of the day was one of the highlights. It set the tone and the bar for the event which was a hard act to follow. Thank you.


Shadé is one the most incredibly accomplished young speaker's I have ever met. Shadé tackles every topic with a refreshingly vibrant approach and backs it up with the perfect amount of data and science. I have had the privilege of attending several of Shadé's key notes on mindfulness, positivity and the powerful impact it can have on our personal and professional lives, and have always left learning new things about myself and how I can make a bigger difference.


Shadé was the Keynote Speaker and panel facilitator at Cognizant's Outreach Event. I cannot emphasize enough on how well she delivered her speech on emotional intelligence and its influence on leadership and happiness. Her style is engaging , relaxed and extremely professional. Shadé took keen interest in understanding what Cognizant as an organization wanted to achieve out of the event. She recommended we do connect sessions prior to the event to ensure we are fully prepared for the messaging at the event. She researched our panel thoroughly and carved out questions that truly made our panelists comfortable, and brought out a lot of information. Shadé is a lovely individual, very easy to work with and someone I would love to bring back at Future events at Cognizant.


We chose Shadé to present the final session of our conference. This was an inspired decision. Her presentation style and content struck exactly the right note. The feedback we have received from numerous sources, whilst complimenting the entire program, identified Shadé’s session as a highlight. As a result, we are now fielding requests for a repeat of Shadé’s presentation.

NSW Health

Shadé ran a fantastic session for an impressionable group of students on the theme of ‘Personal Brand’. The students were in awe of Shadé's positive style and we received superb feedback from all. I have no hesitation in recommending Shadé as a facilitator and motivational speaker, she is clear, authentic, engaging and a brilliant communicator. Her facilitation style leaves you wanting more - she has a natural ability to connect, inspire and make a lasting difference.


From Shade's initial interaction with our group of employees her professionalism, innovative approach, fantastic communication stills and passion to drive both staff engagement and morale was evident. She has the unique ability to draw a crowd in, to really listen on the edge of their seats, to believe and want to follow her philosophies and strategy to deliver exceptional results and superior customer service.


Shadé Zahrai spoke at our FBAA International Women’s Day event in Sydney on 6th March 2020. I was the lucky one as the event coordinator for this event to lialise with Shadé and pick her for the event. From the first contact with Shadé, she was flexible, easy going with the content that she could provide to talk to our finance attendees for this event and suited her brief to our audience and what would be received the best. Shadé had a brief ready to go and was very organised in sending through everything We needed along the way. On the day of the event she spoke about diversity, gender equality and incorporated her life experiences into the delivery. She delivered her piece perfectly on time and kept the audience engaged throughout her whole presentation while interacting with them at the same time. We received a lot of great feedback from our attendees and couldn’t have asked for a more suitable speaker for o.ur event. I would highly recommend Shadé for any event, as there are many topics she speaks on and can tailor to any requirements. We will definitely be using Shadé to speak again at future events of ours.

Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA)

Shade was a very engaging and timely speaker. She provided us with plenty of practical, valuable takeaways from her session. It was great to have a speaker with recognisable credentials and who was very well spoken. Her positive tips on resilience were very well received given the challenging times. We would welcome Shade back any day.”

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