No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama with Cy Wakeman, Researcher, Speaker and Consultant

Cy Wakeman is a drama researcher, international leadership speaker, and consultant. In 2001 she founded Reality-Based Leadership. She is the author of three books: Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses Into Results (2010), NY Times Bestseller, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier (2013), and her new release No Ego: How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement, and Drive Big Results (2017). 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.”

In this interview, Cy and Cindra discuss:

  • What it means to operate with “no ego”
  • How our stress comes from our stories
  • How suffering is optional
  • Ways to question your thinking
  • Tools for Reality-Based Leadership
  • The actual time we waste in work-place drama…and it is astonishing!




TO REACH CY: Cy Wakeman & Reality-Based Leadership (

Love the show? Rate and review the show for Cindra to mention you on the next episode:

“ My best advice is to stop believing everything you think.” -Cy Wakeman @Mentally_Strong
Tweet Quote

“We need to grow in impermanence. Welcoming what is coming and letting go of what is leaving.” -Cy Wakeman @Mentally_Strong
Tweet Quote


Cindra Kamphoff: Cy Wakeman. Thank you so much for joining us here on the high performance. Mindset Podcast. Um, I’m so pumped to have you. It is, I just realized It’s like July when I heard you speak at the National Speakers Association Conference, so I can’t believe it’s been that many months. Um, but I’m looking forward to talking to you. I felt like your content was so incredibly powerful, and I can’t wait to dive in for the audience here today.

Cindra Kamphoff: So, as we get started, give us a sense of what you’re passionate about, and this gives us an overall uh understanding of what you do right. Now.

Cy Wakeman: Sure, my passion is helping. People realize that life just isn’t as hard as they think it is. Um that suffering super optional and most often self-imposed. And so, as I watch people go through the same life, some go as if they’re floating on air, and Some goes through swimming through mud. Their choice, and it just from the time I was young. I just thought, you know, this could be so much easier if you would let it be, and so I’m just helping people find easier, more effortless passed through life. And that’s really my passion is uh, not everything’s a hustle, not Everything’s a struggle. If you’re in the zone. Things come pretty easy.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, I love it. I uh, after hearing you speak, picked up your book. Note Ego. Here we go. Um! How leaders can cut through the cost of workplace, drama and entitlement and drive big results. So, to get us started, tell us what no ego really means.

Cy Wakeman: So, it’s probably aspirational to think that we can live with no ego, because ego is a part of us, and we need to welcome all parts of us. We’re not trying to exclude, or I don’t know many traditional people that can get to a place of no ego, but it is certainly understanding ego, so that you become the observer and the consumer and the chooser of uh that part of you which shows up as ego um, and the way I help people understand ego is it’s a part of your mind that unfortunately, many of us learn to see the world through, and it’s a deserted view of the world, but we don’t see it’s distortions. We’ve become blind to it’s a source. And so, the way I explain, like what’s ego to people, is It’s that part of our mind that when we’re looking through the lens of ego, as I said, our world to sort this like wearing a pair of prescription glasses with the wrong prescription. And what ego does is when we’re, I call it, toggled down, because if you think about having a light switch invisible on your forehead. Just a metaphor you can toggle down, or you can toggle up, and when you’re toggled down, you’re seeing the world to the ego, and what ego does is it takes fact, and it adds story.

Cy Wakeman: We aren’t good kind of sewers to this we don’t separate that out. We just believe it all this fact. So, let’s say I’m driving down the road, and all that happens is someone who’s into my lane of traffic, leaving me less room between our cars than I prefer. That’s all that happens, and if I stuck with just the fact, I, with my goal being safety and more room, would slow down and allow somebody to come in, and I would get for myself the room I like, and there’d be no victims. There’d be no villains. There would be no drama. There’d be no story.

Cy Wakeman: But what happens with all this? We move immediately in the story. Oh, it’s a guy in the pick-up truck. He’s the most chauvinist pig. He thinks he owns the road he doesn’t care about other people’s safety. Whatever story comes up for you. So now we have fact plus story, and most of us believe that hook, line, and sinker is truth.

Cy Wakeman: That’s why my best advice is not believing everything you think just because you thought it, you’re not the thinker. You’re the observer. So, in my mind, does that I just observe it and go. You know what. Let’s go back to what we know is true. Otherwise, we make horrible decisions instead of slowing down. I speed up like game on. I’m going to take this guy.

Cy Wakeman: It’s outside my value system. It’s consuming energy. I didn’t have to consume. It is moving out of effortlessness into strife and effort. And so, ego is really that lens that says, I’m the victim. Somebody else is the villain.

Cy Wakeman: It’s a fact plus story, and the best thing we can learn to do is question our thinking and question our story. Is it true? Can I possibly know that to be true? And really look at Who am I when I believe that? And who am I when I don’t believe that?

Cy Wakeman: And you know what choice with what I like to have, so, it’s really using our primitive brain because it leaves us with just the choice of fight, flight, free spawn.

Cy Wakeman: And when we’re in the higher part of our brain coherence. We have hundreds of options, not just four or six.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, love, that I I’m thinking about a confrontation I had a few weeks ago that I’m still processing. And I’m thinking about what you just said through. You know that lens of that it’s fact, but story, and really the thing that’s frustrating me is the story that I’m creating around it. It’s not necessarily the fact, and I appreciate.

And that’s where all stress comes from is the story, we all these never as harsh as the story in your book. You talk a little bit about the difference between ego and confidence, and I’d really like you to clarify that for people who are listening tell us what the differences there in your opinion.

Cy Wakeman: So, Ego has a role to play in our lives, and then at times keeps us safe. It tells us where our boundaries are. It’s really good for two-year-old to help them differentiate. So not anti-ego we just overuse it, and one of the ways we overuse it is, we confuse it in Today’s especially the Western world with confidence, and the confidence is very different. So, ego is. I’m convinced that I am right, and others are wrong. It’s a polarized game. It is. I’m. The smartest person in the room. Confidence is, I’m. Pretty confident I can bring a good data point to the collective crowdsourcing. Google search in the room. Confident is I have something to contribute.

Cy Wakeman: Not that I know the answer, or that I am right, and others are wrong. So, confidence is um collaborative, creative, cumulative. It maintains curiosity, I’m confident to what I can bring, and I’m curious what you can add, and so ego is beyond confidence, because it is a knowing that’s usually an accurate, and so confidence is all about.

Cy Wakeman: Not just confidence in that I bring to the table, but confidence in collectively. We’re genius. And so, if we can create an environment where we all can bring to the table. What we add, I’m confident we will come up with our best possible um solution at this time, and so it it’s very different. Ego really sees the world as one up or one down um instead of um. Let’s all bring it to the table and um and see what we’re doing. And you can see this. I know some of your listeners are athletes. A lot of them are our leaders.

Cy Wakeman: It’s the difference when you have a team that is focused on a single player or a team that’s really collaborating together, that uses the um talents of multiple players.

Cy Wakeman: Um ego gets us into a single point of failure System and confidence gets us into a system that’s safer because it has multiple point. Multiple points of failure have to happen for things to not work well.

Cindra Kamphoff: So, what I’m hearing is Confidence is more collaboration. Maybe not feeling like. You need to have all the answers, but we can find the answers together as a group, whereas if you go is more like I have the answer one up, one down. Um! As we kind of talk through this idea of no ego, I’m curious. What are the ways that you would suggest? People, leaders’ athletes, you know people who want to thrive. Um! How do you suggest that they choose more confidence over or over being driven by their ego?

Cy Wakeman: It was a great question, you know. For those who out there on a side not feeling imposter syndrome. It probably is a sign operating out of ego, and Imposter Syndrome is a very accurate thing to be feeling like a lot of people like I feel like an impostor. I want to get rid of that. No, listen to that.

Cy Wakeman: Because imposter syndrome is, you either think you have to have all the answers, or you have a narrow margin of error for yourself; whereas if you’re an ego, that impostor syndrome is that sneaking suspicion that you are taking a high-risk approach that you have to have the answers. So, a way to say in confidence is, and you hear about this from so many great researchers, is to have the um total package of knowledge plus vulnerability. Um, some healthy pride plus humility. Um, it is showing up as Grenade Brown would say, without your armor, Ego is armor and confidence is, I can show you my soft underside of my belly, and I’ll take my hits as they come. None of them will be disastrous.

Cy Wakeman: I do everything for learning. I have this healthy sense where I can say, here’s what I did that helped and contributed. And here’s where I’m still growing and learning, and so it has to do with um balance. The most confident people are the ones who can be the most self-reflective.

Cy Wakeman: They um have periods of their time where they reflect and contemplate. Um, but a lot of the see words will help, you know you’re in confidence, collaboration, curiosity, creativity. Um connectivity, like. If you’re feeling disconnected, you’re probably an ego. And so, the old way of learning to act and be in a play. I get my part I win, and I memorize my script, and then we come together, and we try and make it work, and we have a dress rehearsal, and we put the play on is kind of the ego track. It’s. It’s single focus. It’s me doing my part well and playing well with others a little bit, but I’m still the star.

Cy Wakeman: Confidence is more about Improv.

Cy Wakeman: I show up with my human this and combine with your human list that can be pretty funny and so if we start, and I say, let’s go to the or you say, let’s go to the store, and I immediately negate you and say, I don’t want to go to this story. I want to start over. Let’s go to school.

Cy Wakeman: I’ve one-upped you. I have said you’re wrong. I want to be right. It’s in duality, and confidence is transcending. Duality is the ability to build on whatever you bring forward. So, if you say I want to go to the store.

Cy Wakeman: I’m like Let’s do that. And over there let’s uh, you know. Pick up some vodka because mother’s coming over today. I not only build on it with the goal of funniness, but I leave you something to build on as well. It’s inclusionary, not exclusionary. It’s really the new way forward.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, I think that and the new way forward, because I think you know as leaders, we don’t want our leaders to have really high ego, you know, I think that creates more of a disconnect between yourself and the leader. There was something that you said at the NSA event, I think, near the beginning. And you said, what if you realized you were the observer, not the thinker, and you mentioned that a little bit uh you know, a few minutes ago, and I was like Whoa! That was a real um powerful idea for me, and I was curious. If you could kind of share, what does it mean to be the observer, not the thinker. And how does that allow us to be more confident over choosing more of like this ego?

Cy Wakeman: Um, it definitely loses since the Ego’s group on our reality.

Um, with this realization. So, there’s basically two things that um I and my team teach first off whenever we work with leadership groups and employee groups. And this this concept of um ego. And there’s two things you need to do. You have to know how your mind works. Otherwise, you’ll keep getting played by your ego, and you have to understand and accept how reality works. Otherwise, you’ll argue with reality. But that’s an argument. You’ll lose like one hundred percent of the time. So, most of our stress and strife and drama comes from being played by your ego and arguing with reality. So, a lot of people believe they’re the thinker, and we take them through. Some exercises, help them understand they’re not the thinker. They’re the observer of their thinking that they’re always being thought.

Cy Wakeman: Now you can commission thinking like I shall do calculus now. But even then, it’s a calculus. You’ll have a distraction about your grocery list when you wake up in the morning. Your first thought isn’t of your choosing. You are already being thought when you wake up when you sit to meditate. If you were the thinker, you could stop and start all thinking. And so, the sooner people realize that their mind is like a radio receiver, but there’s many signals out there. It’s about what they tune into and choose to believe that frees people up like there. Oftentimes, I believe, like next week something bad will happen, and I don’t believe it. But it the thought process my mind. The superpowers I get to choose whether I believe it.

Cy Wakeman: And I’m like, you know. Gosh, that’s one thought, and some good things will happen, and some neutral things will happen, and um, I’ll just continue on with my day, and that’s where the true power comes in is being able to observe your own thinking rather than wholeheartedly believe you’re thinking.

Cindra Kamphoff: And I’m curious, because I completely agree with that, you know and I’m, and I think by being the observer, we disconnect ourselves with the thought. We can just kind of see the thought for what it is not who we are. And I’m curious, because I know people are wondering what’s an exercise people could try on their own to help them um realize that they can be the observer.

Cy Wakeman: I also give um people just a lot of um ways to question their thinking. So. One you got to tune into what you’re thinking. And then, secondly, I’m like I would question that. How can I know that for sure. And so, we have all kinds of um things. One of my favorites called edit your story Exercise, and if you’re feeling stressed, I guarantee you it’s your story, not your reality.

Cy Wakeman: And one of the things to do to get things beyond the ego is to bring it to paper, and by her and Katie talks about this in the work but put it on paper everything that you’re believing um uncensored, and then go back and edit that story and take out any assignment of motive, any judgment, anything you can’t possibly know to be true. Um, get to the facts, and once you start to practice differentiating between the facts of the situation. What’s relevant? What’s not relevant? You’ll get really clear on how often you add in irrelevant information. I can give you an example. I had a gentleman, I coach recently, and he said, Oh, my gosh! I  just have had the most horrible day. My boss, who’s a micro manager, called me up. He’s checking on this project, and I absolutely know what he’s doing. He’s got this master plan to cancel this project. If he does, it’s my fourth project canceled. I’m going to end up being fired. I have a kid in veterinarian school. He wants to save the Pandas and basically Pandas and Asia will be endangered because of this horrible manager. I have It’s like wow, and true story. I’m coming out an hour worth of dialogue. And I said, Let’s write it all down. And basically, it came down to my boss called to check the status of a project. Um, it’s behind. I need to update it.

Cy Wakeman: It could be something that is no longer relevant for the organization, and as a side. Don’t. I have a kid in there in school.

Cy Wakeman: Now, when you look at the two realities, one’s pretty easy to get through in the day. The other one not so much, and we suffer all the time we prefer. We post suffer. We group supper.

Cy Wakeman: Um, you know, for me workout comes to mind. When I see this afternoon I it’s a five-mile run.

Cy Wakeman: It’s at one this afternoon. It’s the eleven o’clock I can start pre-suffering. I can be like. Oh, that’s going to hurt. That is going to be horrible! How would I know? I’m running on the beach. It could be. Last time I was out there. I saw dolphins and I go back and remember past workouts that were really hard when the day was hot. And then, you know, I have my girlfriend who is going with me, and she’s like Oh, it’s going to be hot today. Now we’re groups suffering. We haven’t even set out into a beautiful beach where we get to move our bodies, which usually I really enjoy.

Cy Wakeman: But it’s the story that creates all this suffering.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, right? And I appreciate what you said at the beginning about suffering is optional and tends to come from our stories. I, you know, say I know you mentioned this in your book, and I just want people to pick up your book. No, ego, because you actually give us the step-by-step ways to like. Edit our story, you know. Sit down and write what’s happening, you say, and they get a high letter. Go through an underlying what is actually fact, and then go through these fast backs and ask yourself, Do I know this for sure?

Cindra Kamphoff: Um. And then on a separate page, write down the facts that have survived your questioning. So, I think we can all do this with times. You know lots of things in our lives. We don’t even, maybe realize that we’re creating a story.

Cy Wakeman: So, it makes you so much less reactive, like I recently met with a relative, and he said, oh, it looks like you put on some weight, and before those are like fighting words, I’m like screw you and my body sound an apology, and instead, I just listen to what he said. You have put on white. And I asked myself, Is that true? And yeah, I put on about five pounds. Um! And so, I just said, you know um, that is such a great observation. It’s so true.

Cy Wakeman: And there’s just nowhere to argue from there. He was just like, well, what else do you want to talk about. We get into um. Sometimes we believe things that aren’t true that stress us out, but sometimes we find over things that are true.

Cy Wakeman: It’s like you, haven’t been as in a tented manager lately, you know. I’ve noticed that about myself, too. It’s like I’ve been kind of intent to like being competent and being able to accept all of you is a really great um place to start in leadership, especially because it takes ninety percent of your battles and dissolves them. So, like everything, your story dissolves most of the problem before you even have to solve it. So, when I work with teams, I really focus on. How do we edit the story? Because most of what you think is a problem doesn’t exist.

Cy Wakeman: How do we dissolve it? And then let’s problems up for what, truly is an issue where we can improve next.

Cindra Kamphoff: That is so powerful. And you just said something like, except all of you. And I think maybe sometimes we don’t want to see maybe the imperfections. Um. And maybe that’s one of the reasons that we tell ourselves a different story.

Cy Wakeman: Yeah, or it, seeing things as not perfections or imperfections. Just part of it. Um, you know, internal family systems. I come from a therapy background. Internal family systems. It’s really all about welcoming all parts, even the one who, like is internal, make like there’s value in all of it.

Cy Wakeman: There’s value in in all of it, and I think as leaders with three sixty S. And performance evaluations, and we really skewed people to hide what they’ve been conditioned to think is not culturally acceptable and to overplay, you know things that are culturally acceptable. And I think in the new workplace just welcoming all parts of us, welcoming all parts of teammates. Um, and I’m not talking about the destructive part. Um, you know a lot of people like this is how I am. I’m going to bring my whole self to work, and I’m like you know what I welcome your whole self. But I’d rather you bring your most evolved self to work like because all of those parts can play at different levels. They are in the excuse to act poorly. But um! I really think we need to welcome all parts,

Cindra Kamphoff: You said something earlier that I want to just get a little more clarity on. And you said our stress comes from our stories. Tell us what you mean by that.

Cy Wakeman: So, most of the time. Um a reality, I would say for me all the time. My reality is just my life and um, I’ve noticed my lifetime. I’ve always been supported with visible, and this will help. Let me start this way. A lot of suffering in human life is because we haven’t gotten really good at two things: we haven’t gotten good at in permanence, welcoming what’s coming and letting go of what’s leaving.

Cy Wakeman: So, our story that we’re losing something or our story. That something unwelcome is coming is what causes our pain, not the coming in the going. Um. We also think in a lot of dualities like this is good, and this is bad, which is a judgment. It’s a story about what’s good or bad, instead of it just is. And so, when we look at reality, there’s on last suffering. But when we add story to it, there is suffering. So, I’m trying to think of a good example to you. I’m not hiking. And uh the core, my eye, I see something squiggly on the path. And I think one thought Snake and I’m hyperventilating, and I’m suffering. As I move closer, I see it’s just a rope off someone’s saddle bag.

Cy Wakeman: You have to ask yourself what caused my suffering, the reality, the rope, or the immediate story that jumped a conclusion snake,

and when I can start to see that the rope was not a threat, that it was my story, my name for it. That was a threat. You’ll start to see how often you take fact and story, and then suffer.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah. And I appreciate what you’re saying about leadership-based reality. Or you said, no reality-based Leader: Yeah. And it’s more about telling yourself what’s actually reality, instead of listening to the story, tell us a bit more about what reality basically your ship means to you.

Cy Wakeman: So, it really is helping people. Um understand that drama is

emotional waste. Drama is any energy that goes away from well, being in happiness and results at work. So, if you think about energy leaks, I think leadership is all about energy management. If you think about energy leaks when we are looking at drama.

Cy Wakeman: How do you get rid of waste? So, if drama is the emotional waste, usually it’s process, improvement, and how do you get rid of emotional ways? It’s mental process improvement. So, I’ve come to believe that a leader, the Revolute is about motivating people. It’s not about inspiring people. It’s also not about that opposite.


00:26:00.970 –> 00:26:20.479

Cy Wakeman: But it’s just helping people use better mental processes to eliminate emotional waste. And so, you know, just like when you’re working with somebody in their process, you clean it up, and it goes more effortless. We can do that with our mental processes as well, and I think that’s really where so many people have um as leaders. We are letting people the name of diversity. Just think, any way you want. Now I’m not for suppressing how people uh what they believe I’m all for though using a process a good hygienic process to make sure that they’re thinking isn’t corrupted and I’m thinking about something when you kind of work defining what drama is, and one of the other things that was like. Whoa to me when I heard you speak at NSA. The National Spears Association, you said the average people spends uh average person spends almost two point five hours in drama every day, two point five hours in drama, right? And you just find it as anything that takes us away from our focus and our performance and our results. Um, tell us, how did you come to find two point five hours a day in drama?

Cy Wakeman: We that was um my second book, Reality based rules of the workplace. We started to on the quantifying. How much time a typical person spends in my last analogy turning ropes in the snakes right? And how do we quantify that? And we interviewed individuals. We surveyed individuals, we interviewed leaders, we surveyed leaders.

Cy Wakeman: We were able to find a very tight range. This isn’t about drama, kings, or queens, but a consistent tight range that the average human being spends about two and a half hours a day in drama walking around, judging this is sick and wrong. This shouldn’t be happening, not welcoming what’s coming, not letting go of what’s leaving. Resisting change um judging and critiquing others uh one upping or one downing others. Um! Just all sorts of these pockets for these sources of drama that we found, and that’s eight hundred and sixteen hours a year per person. So, if you’re a leader and I came to you and let’s think about lean a lot of Leaders Commission investment in lean or sit Sigma or continuous quality improvement, because they know that any incremental recapture adds value to the process.

Cy Wakeman: Most leaders are chasing minutes, and we’re able to give them hours of mind Share um through good mental processes. There’s really a qualitative and quantitative benefit to good leaders. Um. But yeah,

eight hundred and sixty hours a year, and it’s not just that the organization loses productivity is that that’s time. People spend feeling

negative un needlessly like it’s time spent feeling poorly, and it’s of our own making. It has nothing to do with the reality.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah. Yeah. Two point five hours a day more than seventeen hours a week sixty-eight hours a month, eight hundred and sixteen hours a year, right? And then, you say, multiplied by the number of people in your organization. That’s your opportunity.

Cindra Kamphoff: That’s your opportunity. So, for leaders who are listening tell us what in in you know, what can we do to reduce that drama. And we lay in that pretty specifically. In the book we categorize drama into um five categories. So, the first category is like thirty-two percent. I think thirty three percent of it in front of me is um ego and questioning your thinking and breaking up that relationship where um you know uh my, my that plus story. And so. Um, it’s really moving people beyond venting, venting to behavior a lot of people leaders to understand that when somebody comes to me and they’re suffering, I want to response with empathy. I want to hold space for their experience, but I don’t want to collude and validate the sense they’re making of their experience, which is venting done things just a behavior.

Cy Wakeman: So, when somebody comes to you frustrated I as a leader to help them bypass ego, I really give them two choices. You can step up and be great. What would Great look like, and you can impact it, or you can radically accept it and offer grace, mercy, tolerance, benefit the down. There are only two choices if you want to avoid suffering, but what most people do is they pick a third option.

Cy Wakeman: I wanted to stay events about it, and most leaders collude with that third option. And um! It’s like you can share your feelings, but we will work on this. We’ll either work on the situation and your impact. We’ll work on your ability to accept imperfect realities. We will grow. If you’re struggling, then the answer is to evolve.

Cy Wakeman: The answer is not argued with reality. It isn’t thrown people into the bus and character assess it isn’t that it’s evolved. And um you know that’s the type of things we teach, but the first category is ego. The second category is lack of accountability.

Cy Wakeman: Um. People are quick to name things externally, which is judgment, blame things. Externally the accountability is all about. Go within and on the point where you had impact. It could have had impact and then move to the world more skillfully, knowing that. So, we talk a lot about personal economy. Second, category. Third category is um all about organizational alignment and buy in.

Cy Wakeman: A lot of people believe that buy in is something Leaders need to get from me. They need to earn it. They need to buy me in, and at least all kinds of dysfunction buy in actually is a verb, and most people, when you step up accountability.

Cy Wakeman: I need to come and make the first step I need to buy in as the first step of accountability. We also have a lot of folks that still struggle with change. Um, and that’s a category of drama. Um. People are very confused about the engagement. The engagement industry has fed leaders. Align that we’re responsible for the happiness of others that’s completely insane. And we, major engagement, and that’s completely insane. Because my own happiness is my own accountability. And in the same organization you’ll see high accountable. No engagements of choice and low accountable expect to be bought in, and they have very different experiences, so it can’t be all about engagements about the engagement plus accountability.

Cindra Kamphoff: Excellent! Those are the five I was going to say, and you can also read more about these five in the No Ego book inside. I was thinking about maybe one of them increasing accountability. And there’s something later in the book that I thought was really powerful. And you gave us four factors of accountability. How could? How does How does you know utilizing accountability, help with decreasing drama, and maybe tell us a little about that, sure. So, when you increase accountability, you lessen your victim stance in the world, and so and this isn’t the type of self-judgment where I blame myself, or I take um martyr type of ownership.

Cy Wakeman: But if every place I can look at my results, and in a conversationally comfortable way. I can say, here’s what I did that helped. And here’s what I did that can do, and here’s where I benefit from evolving next, and I use that to feel my growth. I can walk through the world more skillfully and more happily. And so, we have identified four factors that we glean from interviewing people who maintain states of high accountability, and the first faster is, we call it commitment, and the people who are behind accountability will tell you that by in commitment is a choice I am in, or I’m out. There is just no kind of maybe, and then resiliency is um staying the course, and it’s a little bit about grit. It’s also about using the collective. The genius of the collective ownership is clearly being able to see my part in success and failure and continuous learning is mining that success and failure for ways. I can move through the world differently in the future, and that’s a cycle.

Cindra Kamphoff: Tell us how we might use those as a leader to really um increase accountability.

Cy Wakeman: Sure, a lot of we test for this um. We have metrics. So, a lot of cultures right now. Our low commitment I shouldn’t have to, but nobody else will. So, their high resiliency, expensive way to get work done low ownership. All I know is how everybody else scaled me, and I had to bail them out, and then continuous learning is learning about what other people should do, and that creates heroics but martyrdom. So, as a leader, you can learn the stages and work the stages commitment. I can’t buy you in. But I can very clearly say, are you in, or are you out? And most of the questions I get, or how do I get uncommitted people to do great work, and I’m like I don’t have an answer for that. Um! And so, it’s like, are you in, or are you out? And someone we say, you know I have some issues with the direction we’re going. I’m like dialogue.

Cy Wakeman: Help me understand what’s the fatal objection? Is it in moral unethical? Does it marginalize a population? No, if I just don’t prefer it, I don’t like it. I’m like, oh, you want your preference to trump direction of the company life doesn’t work that way. That’s how reality works.

Cy Wakeman: What are you going to do to get yourself a hundred percent in? Well, I’m not. I Don’t agree with that. Eventually I, as a leader, have to ask if there’s no fatal objections after a good dialogue.

Cy Wakeman: Then what’s who plan to transition off my team because people are like I’m not going anywhere. I love it here. It’s like the What is your plan to get fully, joyfully on board?

Cy Wakeman: Well, I’m not going to a lot of people think there’s a third option I can say and hate. I can stay in sabotage. I can stay, and I told you so and so one of the places we do seem to clean up this isn’t blind followership.

Cy Wakeman: This is I can get on board with the goal, and now I’ll use my expertise to help you mitigate the risk or to guide the way we implement that you might not have seen this isn’t lack of input.

Cy Wakeman: Um. But really calling the question, that’s why, when you get on the plane and the exit row, people want to verbal Yes, if you’re going to open the door because they want to know, like you’re not going to wait for somebody else. Um, once people are in, we can teach them resiliency, we can teach them how to stay the chorus. Use the resources.

Cy Wakeman: Um, and then we have to do a lot of work on ownership. We want people conversational in no shame. Here’s why I did that helped. And here’s why I did that hindered, and we want it to be a continuous learning environment. So as leaders we can call the own. The commitment questions. We can um connect people in collectively, so they’re more resilient. We can have a lot of discussions where people self-reflect and contemplate what was my part in this, and we can help them use that information that owning it um to know where to evolve next, and that’s the facilitation. I think leaders really need to do as leaders. We are not good at integrating learning.

Cy Wakeman: What did you learn about yourself from this experience. What does this tell you about you where you need to grow next? Um, people having difficulty, come back into the office, right? We want to accommodate, and so I would ask no questions. Um, what are you learning about yourself right now? And it’s like Well, I know how to be all in at the office. I know how to be all in at home. I’m not good at hybrid, so I want you to adapt the world. What if you just grew in your skill. Set of hybrids.

Cindra Kamphoff: Right? Right? Yeah. So many great points. I’m thinking about um all the content in your book. No, Ego and I’m curious is there, you know. Is there anything major We’re missing that I haven’t asked you about.

Cy Wakeman: I just I think that the power of self-reflection. So how do you move from what I call most of the high self, from ego to brain coherence The magic One really is self-reflection. It’s the ultimate drama diffuser.

Cy Wakeman: Um, and I talk a lot about my Ted Talk um to the next talk. I’m sorry, was about the three questions that will change your life. So, whenever I’m stressed, I ask myself, what do I know for sure that loosens the eagles grip? I’m no longer a victim,

Cy Wakeman: And then I can ask myself in this moment, what could I do to help? That puts me back in action. I can stop judging and start helping, and then to get me beyond all of whom deserves and who doesn’t deserve. And what camp you’re in, and what political part like. If I were great right now, what would Great look like? Not if I were better than you. But if I were my mostly ball self-right now, how would I walk through this situation, and a lot of times that’s with more silence, more love, more compassion, more understanding, more grace. It’s not. If I were great, it’s not more directing or more telling and we get to use this all the time. This morning I went for a coffee, and it was like I’m stressed. I’m like this will take forever. I’ll never fit for this one, I mean. I don’t captain for the entire day. This sounds so driven. I was like finding myself stressed. It’s like. What do I know for sure?

Cy Wakeman: This line seems to be moving slower than I prefer? I have many ways to get caffeine if that’s what I need. Life is okay, And I start thinking, what can I do to help? And it’s like I could get my order in my head before I get there, as I’m critiquing all these people. And then, you know, if I were my most involved self, like, what would I be doing? I would not be standing in line for coffee. I would be heading home and making a pot myself, and I wouldn’t be mad about it. I would just recognize. Some days are like that. That sounds so trivial. But do those one hundred times a day, and you will be happy.

Cindra Kamphoff: Yeah, I love it. And I think about it. It’s these little things that can throw us off if it’s a coffee line or traffic, or you know, uh a rude client or customer, you know, if these little things over time that can create more and more stress. And I don’t know in the big stuff at work. Yeah, the three questions. I want the big stuff at work. People come to you, and it’s like, you know, logistics screwed up again, and I want to tell you the last ten years of history, and I want to tell you why they do the scrap on purpose, and that they’re trying to discredit us. I’m like, wait. What do we know for? Sure? We have shipping sitting in the wrong place? Okay, what can we do next? That would help.

Cy Wakeman: Well, let’s figure out what options we have. Awesome. Go to. That like so much of life just is not as hard as we make it, and I could see these three questions of what do I know? For sure? What can I do to help? And if I were my most of all self, what would that look like? Right? And I could see how that could help us get unstuck, and I could see how leaders could take these three questions and bring them back to their team. So, their team doesn’t get so stuck or blame right different areas, you know. There, it can be a lot of blaming and complaining about other people. So, um! I could see how that could help us reduce that blame that you’re talking about, and those questions, those mental processes which they are soft reflections in all process not only reduces it in a moment, but people start to know that you consistently will call them to greatness.

Cy Wakeman: When they’re about to come to you with compliance. But like Wake man’s just going to ask me if I’ve got my we’ll see the ball self to work today. I’ll just stay here and do that like they start to live in other people. So yeah, that’s great.

Cindra Kamphoff: Well, so you’ve given us so much to think about. I my favorite things, so far are your stress comes from your stories. And what if you realized you were the observer, not the thinker, and just the idea of reducing that drama two point five hours a day in drama, and that drama really is self-imposed and optional.

Cindra Kamphoff: So, people can go pick up your book. No, ego. How leaders can cut the cost of workplace drama and entitlement and drive big results. Tell us where we can find your other books or learn more about your speaking um and keynoting and the coaching that your team does.

Cy Wakeman: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We are just I just had a book come out in March of this year, called I Smith. You live happy. That helps you do a lot of this on a personal basis as well. Um, we’re at reality-based solution. I also have a podcast called No Ego, and my team does a lot of really impactful keynotes and training and um. We’re very prolific on social media. I’m at Cy Wakeman, and my colleague is at Alex. Door, D. Orr, and uh, you’ll get some good daily food.

Cindra Kamphoff: I love it well. Thank you, Cy, for gifting us with your knowledge and your wisdom today. I know everybody who’s listening really appreciates it. And uh and keep in positively impacting the world. I think your work is really incredible and impactful, and I think uh makes a big difference in people’s lives. Thank you so much.