Sharmadean Reid


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By Intelligence Squared. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Chris Hirst, Global CEO of advertising group Havas Creative, cuts through the bullshit and gets to the heart of modern leadership in this straight-talking podcast brought to you by Intelligence Squared.

In this episode, Christ Hirst speaks to Sharmadean Reid, founder of The Stack World. After graduating from Central Saint Martins and working as a brand consultant for Nike and Asos, Sharmadean founded WAH Nails in 2009, which changed the landscape of the beauty industry with its innovative brand and salon spaces. In 2018, to launch her second business, BeautyStack, Sharmadean raised nearly £4 million in funding, making her one of only 10 Black female entrepreneurs to raise that level of venture capital. Most recently, in 2021, Sharmadean launched her newest venture, The Stack World - a networking community for like-minded and mission-driven women. All the while, she has been consistently documenting her journey and her experience as well as organising business events for young female entrepreneurs. She was awarded an MBE in 2015.

If you enjoyed this podcast please let us know what you think by rating and reviewing No Bullsh*t Leadership on Apple Podcasts. For updates on the series follow @intelligence2 and @chrishirst on Twitter.

Producer & Editor: Bella Soames;

Technical Support: Mark Roberts.

Chris Hirst is author of the award-winning book No Bulls*ht Leadership: Why the World Needs More Everyday Leaders and Why That Leader Is You.


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:44 Growing up in Wolverhampton
  • 05:55 Your biggest influence growing up
  • 08:10 Choosing the degree you were going to study when you were 12
  • 10:30 Being a fantasist, and being able to execute on ideas
  • 12:41 Changing attitude to work: working to maintain, not working to constantly progress
  • 14:24 Implications of this changing attitude to work
  • 16:51 Are we in an age of entrepreneurship?
  • 18:11 Are humans always naturally trying to improve their condition?
  • 19:21 The conflict between being an entrepreneur and maintaining time for yourself
  • 20:45 The satisfaction that comes from running your own business
  • 23:14 How your leadership style has evolved
  • 25:56 Why you do an annual list of things that have gone wrong for you, and why you choose to share it
  • 31:01 Advice for those who have a business idea but don’t know how to make it a reality
  • 32:20 The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given
  • 33:23 What’s next?

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17 episodes