Wakeman Wisdom: Leaning into Accountability and Away from the Ego

April 19, 2019 Sarah Payne

Cy Wakeman

“Engagement surveys are venting in the form of a survey,” claims Cy Wakeman, best-selling author and global thought leader, in the latest episode of Workhuman Radio (you can click the player above to listen to the full 25-minute episode).

It’s a fair assessment, considering the global engagement crisis and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on employee engagement solutions. A major problem with engagement surveys, says Cy, is that they count every voice the same – employees ready and willing to add value and employees who just want to complain about their circumstances.

What I love about Cy is that she’s never afraid to question the status quo and offer a better solution. What if instead of trying to make employees happy (“that’s co-dependency,” says Cy), we call employees to greatness and create a culture of shared accountability? According to Cy, that’s the secret to engagement.

Here are my three favorite Cy quotes from this week’s episode:

  1. “The ego eats anger for lunch. It sees insult where there isn’t any.”
  2. “The power of an organization isn’t the hierarchy. It is the connection of the humans inside and outside the organization.”
  3. “Feedback should be short and self-reflection long.”

Another fun nugget – Cy shares a simple five-step approach to having a difficult conversation at work, which she learned in her time as a marriage counselor.

I hope you enjoy this week’s dose of Wakeman Wisdom. Happy Friday!

About the Author

Sarah Payne

Sarah is managing editor at Workhuman. When not writing about all things culture, leadership, recognition, and appreciation, she enjoys iced coffee, running, and spending time with her daughter, Mabel.

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