Cy Wakeman View Profile

Drama Researcher, Business Consultant & New York Times Bestselling Author

In the late 80s, Cy Wakeman was promoted to her first management job.

“Initially, I just couldn’t fall in line with traditional leadership and management practices. I kept getting hung up on the fact that much of what I was being asked to do contradicted reality. That just wasn’t ok with me.”

For Wakeman, that tension between the status quo expectations for leadership, and the actual reality, was a recipe for a whole new philosophy on leadership.

Time-honoured office themes like poor managers, unproductive meetings and wasteful drama are all-to-familiar to many workers today.

But Cy Wakeman, an international keynote speaker, business consultant, New York Times best-selling author, and global thought leader, is doing everything she can to spoil those toxic workplace storylines.

“Your ego is narrating your entire world to the negative,” said Wakeman. “Your ego is not your amigo. Your ego is a filter on reality and corrupts your data. You’re making decisions based on corruptive data. Your ego is like wearing a pair of prescriptive glasses that are the wrong prescription.”

Wakeman cites ego as the primary source of drama, which, when left unchecked, has a negative impact on employee engagement. She mentioned a Gallup poll that said, “71 per cent of Americans quit their jobs on a daily basis. The problem is, they keep coming to work and getting a paycheck.”

“If we upcycled all the energy spent on drama per headcount and put it into results, happiness, and engagement, think what could happen,” said Wakeman. “Leaders need to facilitate good mental processes so that people can get rid of emotional waste in the workplace and put their full self into doing what’s right.”

Today more than ever, leaders have the opportunity to identify the drama and the inherent ego that fuels it, said Wakeman.

“Your job is to take the toggle switch of people and every time they get low, switch it up to high. Establish accountability, which is the death to the ego. Self-reflection is the ultimate drama defuser,” she said.

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