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The Upstander Leader : How to develop a speak-up culture - Jessica Hickman

The Upstander Leader

How to develop a speak-up culture

By: Jessica Hickman

Paperback | 27 September 2022 | Edition Number 1

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An inspiring and informative guide for a new generation of leaders who are ready to speak up against toxic behaviour and bullying in the workplace.

We’ve all heard of the Bystander Effect, where people see bad behaviour and they walk on by. Bystanders have been called out by the #MeToo Movement, Black Lives Matter and March4Justice, to name just three. It’s not OK to ignore bad behaviour and it never has been.

In the workplace (even in the highest levels of Government) bullying and bad behaviour take place, causing toxic cultures and awful places to work. But with 35% of the workforce now from the Millennial generation, it is essential that workplaces change. The Millennials are the Upstander generation — and they are the ones who are driving the future of business – you need them on your team.

It’s time to empower our leaders to be Upstander Leaders to attract the best talent and make their working lives safe and enjoyable places where they can thrive. This practical book offers a 5-step model to help them do just that.

Award-winning thought leader Jessica Hickman was a victim of workplace bullying over a three-year period when she saw first-hand the Bystander Effect. It motivated her to write The Upstander Leader to encourage leaders to develop a speak-up culture in their organisations.

The strategies explained in this book have been road-tested in a number of organisations where bullying is not tolerated, and it’s not just OK to call it out – it is encouraged.

About the Author

Jessica Hickman is the Founder and Director of Bullyology, an organisation that offers consulting, and workshops for C-Suite executives, business owners, leaders and employees on how to create a psychologically safe, thriving workplace culture free from bullying, harassment and toxicity while harnessing and inclusivity.

Jessica is a regular media contributor. She has been featured in the AFPA (Australian Federal Police Association) publications, Lawyers Weekly, Women in Construction UK, Hub Australia, the Healthcare channel, and Procore, and the BBC and runs her own podcast connecting and interviewing high-profile guests.

Jessica is already plotting, planning and researching two more books based on current trends and timely topics identifies in the media and client feedback.
Industry Reviews

Bullying is rife in workplaces across the globe. Instead of just discussing it, or complaining about it, Jessica Hickman set forth to right this wrong and to help businesses create workplace cultures where bullying cannot exist. Her deep care for humanity is as powerful as it is palpable. Read her book, and follow her lead.

John Toomey, Current Global Chair, Workplace Wellness Initiative


Jessica's ability to take a complex topic and make it easier for leaders to digest and implement is so innovative. By the end of the book, I knew exactly how to be proactive rather than reactive, and develop a positive workplace culture for teams to work together and uplift each other. Every leader should read this book and build a generation of upstanders.

Mia Maze, Director/Owner, Mazey Consulting


Standing by while bad things happen to good people is the ultimate absence of leadership. By standing up for being upstanders, not bystanders, Jessica Hickman is walking the talk.

Matt Church, Founder, Thought Leaders; author of Rise Up: An Evolution in Leadership


Jess joined Orange City Council's quest for leadership change in 2020 (during the midst of the pandemic) when she designed the Future Focused Leaders program. Jess's Upstander model formed the basis of an extremely successful workforce transformation from which we are still reaping the benefits. I thoroughly recommend this book to all leaders wanting to effect change.

David Waddell, Chief Executive Officer, Orange City Council


What an inspirational and groundbreaking read! The Upstander Leader reminds us all that we are the key to transforming workplace culture, and provides leaders with the tools to become genuine upstanders and not just bystanders. It will empower leaders to create change and become champions of workplace culture in their businesses.

Vicki Seccombe, Regional Manager - Western NSW, Business NSW


The Upstander Leader successfully blends the firsthand story of Jessica's own lived experiences with good data and case studies to show the importance of a positive culture in today's workplace and the positive steps we can all take to create such a culture. In an era of fierce competition for talented staff, being equipped to move from bystander to upstander can help you keep your staff and build a business reputation that helps attract new staff.

Scott Hansen, Director General, NSW Department of Primary Industries

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