Speaker Cynthia Cy Wakeman Reality-Based Leadership

Cy Wakeman is a dynamic national keynote speaker, business consultant, author, and trainer. She is a significant thought leader and favorite blogger on FastCompany.com and Forbes.com.


  • Accountability
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  • Coaching
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  • Human Resources


$15000 - $16000

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Reality-Based Leadership

After a successful career as a counselor, Wakeman has spent the past 18 years consulting with some of the biggest companies
in industries ranging from manufacturing, banking, government, high-tech, and healthcare, to help them incorporate reality-based concepts into leader and employee training programs.

Wakeman is a highly sought-after conference headliner, delivering over 150 keynote programs and reaching a combined audience of over 250,000 annually.

She holds a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers’ Association, placing her within the top 3 percent of speakers worldwide. Wakeman also received the 2012 Outstanding Leadership Award from the World HRD Congress in Mumbai.

Wakeman’s first book, Reality-Based Leadership, is a straight-forward and practical guide for leaders who want to reduce office drama and improve personal accountability with their teams. Her new book a recent New York Times Bestseller, The Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace, looks at this issue from an individual employee perspective. For more information visit www.realitybasedleadership.com.


Reality-Based Leadership TM: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses into Results

We are certainly in challenging times in our business world today. We have been in challenging times in the past and we will be faced with challenging times again at some point in the future. Here’s the reality check – The fact that times are challenging is not the source of our pain. The source of our pain is the absence of great leadership based in reality. We must become willing to admit that our way of leading is simply not working – not creating the results or the quality of life that we would like. These times are calling for a new type of leader. We need leaders who are willing and able to
recreate mindsets-their own and the mindsets of others – in order to change circumstances and lead in a new and revolutionary way. The revolution begins with a few good leaders practicing Reality-Based Leadership. A Reality- Based Leader is one who is able to quickly see and radically accept the reality of the situation, conserve precious team energy, and use that energy instead to impact reality. Better yet, a great Reality-Based Leader anticipates the upcoming changes and capitalizes on the opportunity inherent in the situation without drama or defense.

In this session, Cy Wakeman rocks audiences as she presents the principles of her new wave of leadership – Reality-Based Leadership TM. Which include:

• Reality Based Leaders Refuse to Argue with Reality.

• Reality Based Leaders Know that the Stress in Life Is Caused by Thoughts,
not Realities.

• Reality-Based Leaders Greet Change with a Simple “Good to Know.”

• Reality Based Leaders Value Action over Opinion.

• Reality-Based Leaders Work with the Willing.

• Reality Based Leaders Lead First, Manage Second.

• Reality Based Leaders work to Bullet Proof Employees so that They Can
Succeed, regardless of the Circumstances

• Reality Based Leaders Make the News Rather Than Report the News.

• Reality Based Leaders Are Very Careful About What We Think We Know
for Sure.

• Reality Based Leaders Work to Be “Happy” Rather Than to Be “Right.”

Join the ranks of the Cy’s wildly successful Reality-Based Leaders. Hire Cy today to rock your audience. It will change the way you think. It will change the way you lead.

Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace – Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier at Work

Nearly 68% of Americans report that their employers have taken steps such as putting a freeze on hiring or wages; laying off staff; reducing work hours, benefits or pay; requiring unpaid days off; or increasing work hours. Tough economic times have left fewer people to do the same amount of work. Jobs you used to love have become overwhelming; jobs you never loved have become intolerable.

Employees have come to believe that suffering is now part of working life, and you are suffering more than ever.

What if you could go to work feeling energetic and excited? You could be valued and appreciated – even a favorite at the office. You could go into work everyday and have fun, be productive, and return home at peace, with energy left over for
your family and friends. What if the things that are currently making you unhappy simply lost their power over you?

All this is possible and more. Cy Wakeman has helped thousands of employees awaken to a different way of approaching their reality. They’ve come from feeling dejected and undervalued to a place where they are calm, creative, and freed from anxiety and resentment. Not because they work harder, or surrendered to the “man”, but because they’ve committed to changing their mindsets.

In this session, Cy Wakeman will introduce the five reality-based rules of the workplace – rules that will allow you to join the ranks of happy high performers.

Consider these rules as your roadmap to higher ground.

The 5 Rules:

  1. Your level of accountability determines your level of happiness, so DON’T HOPE TO BE LUCKY. CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY.
  2. Suffering is optional, so DITCH THE DRAMA!
  3. Buy-in is not optional. YOUR ACTION, NOT OPINION, ADDS VALUE.
  4. Say “yes” to what’s next: CHANGE IS OPPORTUNITY.
  5. You will always have extenuating circumstances. SUCCEED ANYWAY.

By using Reality-Based techniques to face your challenges, you can turn the job you already have into the job you want. Stop asking yourself, “Is it worth it?” and start asking, “Am I worth it?” If you follow the Reality-Based Rules, your answer
to that question will be a resounding, “Yes.”

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. But, many organizations report that despite their best efforts, engagement just
hasn’t delivered as expected. While engaging our employees is critical, it turns out that engagement isn’t enough. Engagement without accountability is chaos. It is the organizations that cultivate a culture of personal accountability who are truly winning. It’s when engagement and accountability meet that breakthrough performance occurs.

In this dynamic, provocative and groundbreaking presentation, you will learn to see the science of employee engagement in a completely new way. You will understand why the way we have historically measured employee engagement is fundamentally flawed. You will discover that many of the ways we have been working to drive employee engagement may be actually hurting the company’s performance. And, most importantly, you’ll learn what to do about it. 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.

Hardwiring Accountability into Your Workforce

Everyone is talking about accountability but few organizations are actually successful in ensuring that personal accountability is hardwired into their talent and everyday business operations. Join Cy as she breaks down the core competency of personal accountability and gives you no nonsense, workable strategies to hire for, coach for, and develop for accountability in your workforce! Afterall, personal accountability is the foundation of Reality Based
Leadership – a revolution in leadership.

Turning Talent into Productivity at Last! – Measuring and Managing the New Employee Value Equation

The true value of an employee is no longer determined just by their technical skills, expertise or current performance. In order to determine the total value an employee adds to an organization, and therefore who to retain, develop and
further compensate, leaders need a new ROI metric, one that moves beyond performance and incorporates “emotional expensiveness”.

In this session, Cy Wakeman will introduce a revolutionary value equation and teach key strategies for maximizing productivity.


Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace, and Turn Excuses into Results
Cy Wakeman
Published by Jossey-Bass (2010)
ISBN: 978-0-470-61350-4

Recent Gallup polls show that approximately 70% of workers think about quitting their jobs every day. That number would be
shocking—if people actually were quitting. Worse, they go to work, punching time clocks and collecting paychecks, while completely checked out emotionally and mentally. In Reality-Based Leadership, expert Fast Company blogger Cy Wakeman reveals how to be the kind of leader who changes the way people think about and perceive their circumstances—one who deals with the
facts, clarifies roles, gives clear and direct feedback, and insists that everyone do the same. Reality-Based Leaders quickly recognize and accept the reality of their situation, and efficiently channel their (and others’) energy toward optimizing results. They learn to anticipate changes and capitalize on them as opportunities—without drama or defensiveness.

Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace: Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, & Will Make you Happier
Cy Wakeman
Published by Jossey-Bass (Release Date: April 30th, 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-118-41368-5

More than anything else, you need to understand exactly how your employer evaluates you, and your annual performance review
doesn’t tell the whole story. In Reality Based Rules of the Workplace, Cy Wakeman shows how to calculate how your value to
your organization. This number calculates your current and future potential against your “emotional expense”—the toll your actions and attitudes take on the people around you. With Cy’s clear, straight-to-the-point advice, you can confront and reduce your emotional costliness, become an invaluable member of your team, and even learn to love your job again.


“Cy Wakeman turns the tables on conventional wisdom by showing you how to rise above the noise of interpersonal conflict. Reality-Based Leadership is a playbook on how to thrive in challenging times and lead your organization to break through performance. Cy provides step by step instructions on how to have life changing conversations and be the change you want to see on others. I know. It worked for me and it will for you too.”
Tim Singley Senior Manager of Operational Excellence Ingersoll Rand University

“The critical growth of business today is good leadership–this book hits the target. It’s practical format is easily applied to every leadership challenge”.
Caroline Bailey Third Generation Gallo Family and Owner of Premier Growth The Business of Family TM

“Cy ‘s approach to Reality –Based Leadership is practical, relevant and exactly what today’s leaders really need. This is definitely a must read for every success-oriented leader and manager.”
Jeff A. Hurt, CEO Southwest Credit

Reality-Based Leadership TM: Ditch the Drama, Restore Sanity to the Workplace and Turn Excuses into Results

Reality-Based Rules of the Workplace – Know What Boosts Your Value, Kills Your Chances, and Will Make You Happier at Work

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

Hardwiring Accountability into Your Workforce

Turning Talent into Productivity at Last! – Measuring and Managing the
New Employee Value Equation

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