Ian Tyson on leadership, misery and attitude

The rabble podcast network offers an alternative take on politics, entertainment, society, stories, community and life in general. All opinions belong to the podcaster; however, podcasters are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new podcasters -- contact us for details.

Please chip in to support rabble's election 2019 coverage. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Ian Tyson on Leadership, Misery and Attitude

Like this article? rabble is reader-supported journalism. Chip in to keep stories like these coming.

Ian talks about leadership, why attitude is so important, why misery is a choice, consistency and why he's an unapologetic nerd.


Since his years in high school, Ian Tyson has never shied away from the stage. From drama productions to his many years as a student leader, performing and motivating have always gone hand in hand. Ian has parlayed his passion for comedy and entertaining with his desire to inspire change in others into a 25+ year career as one of the top speakers in North America.

The middle child of three kids, Ian grew up in St. Thomas, Ontario where he still makes his home and is the proud father of two teenagers. Ian draws much of his inspiration from tales of his childhood. From the humorous: Recess! Eating paste, and playing superheroes, to the touching: how we define our friends, and dealing with the loss of his mother at the age of 10. Combine this with his extensive training in leadership and a more than healthy dose of pop culture references and you have the recipe for Ian's presentations and workshops.

Ian holds a degree in English from Carleton University where he trained to one day become a teacher. However, since he had been speaking to students since the end of his own high school career, he saw a chance and made his speaking career a full time venture. He was the co-founder of Youth Leadership Camps Canada (YLCC) in 1992, and it remains one of the top leadership training programs in Canada. He has worked with student leadership organizations across North America and has been a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator at both CSLC and NASC National Conferences. Ian has presented at national, provincial/state and regional conferences for CADA, SADD, OSAID, 4-H, FFA, HOBY, COLS, ICAA, and CAIS among others. For four years, Ian sat on the board of directors for The Canadian Student Leadership Association (CSLA) as a "Director at Large" and was named the Ontario "Leader of Distinction" in 2009 for his outstanding contributions to student leadership.

Ian continues to speak to schools, working with educators, parents and conferences across North America, as well as working at corporate events, conducting team and trust building workshops and becoming a talented event MC. His past clients have included companies like; Bell Canada, Union Gas, The Home Builders Association, Jostens, The City of Surrey, Professional Advisors, Corrections Canada, London Life, The Committee of Youth Officers and The National Character Education Conference.

Ian now enjoys a career as one of North America's Top Speakers; working with both students and adults in a variety of venues. His first book Hooray For Everything!: The Optimist Manifesto is now available, and has been very well received across North America. He has self-produced a successful podcast interview series "Ian Tyson's PositiveCast" which has Ian discussing life, success and positive attitude with people from all walks of life.

To book Ian for your next conference, event or assembly, please click here.


For more information about my podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit my site here.

With thanks to producer Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.


Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.