Sidewalk Talk

Getting weird and vulnerable with Aziph Mustapha | Aziph Mustapha

August 17, 2021

Aziph Mustapha is a weirdo. As the head of culture transformation and employee engagement at Malaysian telecommunications giant, Celcom, Aziph has built a career on disrupting social norms. But being weird isn’t just good business, for Aziph it’s the only authentic way to live. 

On this episode of The Sidewalk Talk podcast, Traci gets to talk with—and really, make space for—Aziph as the two discuss creating psychological safety in the workplace, what it means to be a weirdo in a formal culture, and the importance of vulnerability and authenticity. As their conversation progresses, Aziph gets real with Traci, sharing that he’s struggling to process a number of the tragedies happening in the world right now, including the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. Traci thanks Aziph for his willingness to share, and together the two embark upon a time of listening and making space for the other. This is a powerful exchange between two great listeners that you won’t want to miss.


Episode Milestones

[00:07] Intro 

[03:02] Meet Aziph 

[06:15] What Aziph makes for breakfast and dinner in Malaysia 

[09:08] Creating psychology safety and cultural transformation in the workplace 

[14:19] Aziph’s vision for Celcom 

[20:46] Being a weirdo in a formal culture 

[25:31] Discerning when to be contrarian versus when to go along with social norms  

[30:07] Volunteering, community, and providing space for one another 

[37:38] Aziph’s willingness to be vulnerable and authentic 

[44:42] Aziph’s word for you

[47:04] Outro 


Resources Mentioned

Ted Talk: To Be the Best, Be a Weirdo 



Standout Quotes from the Episode

“Every person or group we touch with our business we consider a distinct society, and our job is to advance them in one way or another.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

 “Sometimes you need to make those conscious efforts to change even simple things, like language, simple terms people use to humanize that relationship.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“Success gives you confidence.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“You need to grasp on something, you need to have a bit of control in this vast, chaotic storm.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“Maybe these human beings just talking to each other could help in small way.”
—Aziph Mustapha 

“People need to be listened to, and there’s just not enough people willing to listen to them in the world.”
—Aziph Mustapha 



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On Instagram: @sidewalktalkorg

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Find | Traci Ruble


On Instagram: @TraciRubleMFT

On Twitter: @TraciRubleMFT

On Facebook: @TraciRubleMFT


Find | Aziph Mustapha  

On LinkedIn: @AziphMustapha

On Twitter: @aziph_mustapha  



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