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Cy Wakeman

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When ego takes over, bad behavior typically ensues, writes Cy Wakeman in her book No Ego.   Ego argues with reality. Ego wants to be seen as “right” at all costs. It doubts, suspects, rages, gossips, and keeps score. When we act from ego, we become self-righteous. We judge others. Ego overrides compassion: “My suffering is worse than your suffering.” Or, we’re misunderstood, helpless, and a victim of circumstances. There is a better way, Cy suggests. Self-reflection. Self-reflection leads to…

Cy Wakeman believes leadership  is not about motivating people or solving their problems or ordering people around. Leadership, Cy believes, is about inquiry. We are at our best when we ask ourselves and our colleagues thoughtful questions, which lead to self-reflection and ultimately to action. Today we examine the power of self-reflection. Self-reflection is the path to insight. It is how we become true experts in our own lives. It is also difficult to do when we…

In many organizations, leaders are expected to motivate people. To keep associates happy and engaged. To improve the morale of their team. Our concept of leadership is flawed, Cy Wakeman writes in her book No Ego. Leaders can’t motivate people, Cy observes. People make their own choices about motivation, accountability, commitment, and happiness. Great leaders don’t solve the problems for their colleagues. They also don’t tell, direct, or order people around. Instead, Cy believes the role…

Lisa was nervous.  She was a brand new hire on Cy Wakeman’s team.  The next day she was scheduled to train a group of union workers, people she wasn’t accustomed to working with. She asked Cy for advice. “I’d suggest you ask for feedback when the training is over,” Cy shares in her book No Ego. The day after the session Lisa was back in Cy’s office, this time in tears. “Well I took your advice and…

Cy Wakeman was a brand new manager.  It was her first time managing a team.  She was excited to attend her organization’s “boot camp for new managers” and learn everything she needed to know to be successful. “A great leader always has an open door,” the trainer told the class. “An open door? That was easy,” thought Cy. “Not only was I going to have an open door policy, I was going to ace it!” She…

It had been a long day capped off by a late flight. The crowded plane was finally on the ground and the passengers were starting to depart. Cy Wakeman recalls in her book all she could think about was getting to her rental car so she could drive to her hotel and get a good night’s sleep. The guy in front of her was not helping the situation. He was texting. He would walk a few steps,…

Confidence is a good thing. Confidence involves believing in ourselves and having faith in our abilities. So, ego is a good thing, right? Not so fast, writes Cy Wakeman in her terrific book No Ego. Confidence and ego are not the same thing. Ego operates out of self-interest. It seeks approval, accolades, and validation. Ego wants to be seen as “right” at all costs. When ego takes over, bad behavior typically ensues, Cy tells us. We adopt a self-righteous…