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Cy  Wakeman

Cy Wakeman

Drama Researcher, New York Times Bestselling Author & Leadership Consultant

Biography

Cy Wakeman is a dynamic international keynote speaker, drama researcher, New York Times best-selling author and trainer who has spent more than 20 years cultivating a revolutionary approach to leadership. Grounded in reality, Wakeman’s philosophy teaches people how to turn excuses into results and transform unhappy employees into accountable, successful members of the workforce. Through her prolific work with companies such as Bayer, New York Presbyterian, National Institutes of Health, Hallmark, Verizon Wireless, TD Ameritrade and Wells Fargo, Wakeman has helped eliminate tired, impersonal management techniques in favor of a reality-based revolution. Read More >

An expert blogger on FastCompany.com, Forbes.com and The Huffington Post, Wakeman’s ideas have been featured on the TODAY Show, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Insider, The Daily Muse, Success.com, and SHRM.com. She’s written three books, Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, & Turn Excuses into Results (Jossey-Bass; 2010,) The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, & Will Make You Happier (Jossey-Bass; 2013) and No Ego: How to Cut the Cost of Drama, End Entitlement and Drive Big Results (St. Martin’s Press; 2017.)

Wakeman is a highly sought-after conference headliner and holds a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speaker’s Association, placing her within the top 3%of speakers. In 2017 and 2018, she was named as one of the Top Global Leadership Gurus by Global Gurus, a Top 100 Leadership Expert to Follow on Twitter, and was deemed “the secret weapon to restoring sanity to the workplace.” Cy lives with her husband and 8 sons in Waterloo, Nebraska. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Drama, End Entitlement & Drive Big Results

Most leadership philosophies are grounded in two completely faulty assumptions — “change is hard” and “engagement drives results.” Those beliefs have inspired expensive attempts to keep change from being disruptive to employees. Rather than driving performance and creating efficiencies these programs fuel the Emotional Waste, Entitlement, and Drama that drags down organizations. Read More >

Over the past three years, Reality-Based Leadership, in partnership with the Futures Company, conducted proprietary research in our client organizations. The findings affirm what we’ve observed in our 20+ years of experience doing Reality-Based work in hundreds of organizations: when employees indulge in distracting drama, learned helplessness, low accountability, lack of self-awareness, and ego-driven behavior it comes at a significant cost to their organizations. We now know it can easily consume up to three months per year of each employee’s time — potentially billions of dollars annually in the U.S. alone. That’s the Drama Quotient.

At Reality-Based Leadership, we propose a radically different approach to leadership. Changing the ways leaders think and the strategies they use in their work is a serious and critical economic issue. A leader’s role shouldn’t be — cannot be — to motivate employees. That is a choice employees make. Instead, a leader helps others develop the great mental processes they need to eliminate self-imposed suffering and choose to be accountable for driving results.

Key Takeaways: Read Less ^

  • Discover strategies for eradicating entitlement with easy to use tools that can change the energy of entire group meetings from “Why we can’t” to “How we could.”
  • Develop highly effective mental processes in their teams that hold all team members accountable to quality and excellence
  • Understand engagement from an entirely different perspective, one that is based upon listening to the highly accountable employees
  • Uncover modern approaches to engagement and change management strategies.

Reality-Based Leadership, Ditch The Drama & Turn Excuses Into Results

Today’s challenging business environment is calling for a new type of leader. We need those willing and able to recreate mindsets (their own and that of others) and change an organization’s culture in order to lead in a bold new way. Read More >

The Reality Revolution begins with a few good leaders who are able to quickly see and radically accept the reality of the situation, conserve precious team energy, and use that energy instead to impact reality. A great Reality-Based Leader anticipates the upcoming changes and capitalizes on the opportunity inherent in the situation without drama or defense.

The principles of Reality-Based Leadership include: Read Less ^

  • Refusing to argue with reality
  • Valuing action over opinion
  • Leading first, managing second
  • Bulletproofing employees so that they can succeed, regardless of the circumstances
  • Working to be happy rather than to be right

Business Readiness: Ensuring Our Teams Are Ready for What’s Next

In this high energy session, Cy Wakeman will help leaders understand their heightened responsibilities in delivering teams and talent that are ready for what’s next along with strategies to ensure that teams able to quickly adapt and change and deliver on the needs of the organization to provide relevant, high- value, services in even mature markets. After all, change is only hard for the unready.

Hardwiring Accountability into Your Workforce

Everyone talks about accountability, but few organizations are actually able to deliver it. This presentation breaks down the core competency of personal accountability and offers a plan for coaching and developing accountability at all levels. Read More >

Key Takeaways: Read Less ^

  • Gain a true understanding of the four elements of the competency of accountability
  • Adopt interviewing and hiring techniques that ensure accountability in new hires
  • Gain skills in coaching current employees for accountability
  • Become fluent in a new employee value metric that measures accountability
  • Understand the relationship between accountability and engagement
  • Gain key tools and strategies to “hardwire” accountability throughout the organization

Employee Engagement is Broken: Unlocking the True Driver of Employee Performance

For years, our organizations have been investing time, money and energy into engaging our employees based on the promise that engagement drives results. While engaging our employees is critical, it turns out that engagement isn’t enough. Engagement without accountability is chaos. In this dynamic, provocative and groundbreaking presentation, you will be introduced to the concept of Reality-Based Engagement, where accountability and engagement intersect to produce awesome results. This will include some practical guidance for how to cultivate the power of personal accountability within your organization.