Reality-Based Leadership with Cy Wakeman  

Reality-Based Leadership with Cy Wakeman

On June 6, 2023 ESU 10 hosted Reality-Based Leadership with New York Times bestselling Author Cy Wakeman at the Younes Conference Center in Kearney. There were over 450 participants from across the state of Nebraska. Educators from ESUs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, and 16 attended alongside members of the ESU Coordinating Council, Nebraska Council of School Administrators, Nebraska Department of Education, and University of Nebraska at Kearney. We also had health care representatives from CHI Health St. Francis and Kearney Regional Medical Center/Bryan Heath attend.

Cy Wakeman provided practical strategies and guidance to reduce drama in the workplace. She challenged us to modernize leadership. To do this, she suggested we “love people up” and “call people up”. She described the need to bring love back into our work. Show colleagues that we see them and be specific about what we appreciate about them. We also need to call people up to remind them of the purpose of our work and their individual connection to our mission.

Another message that resonated with me was that self-reflection is a drama diffuser.

robot She provided four questions for self-reflection including:

  • What can I do to help?
  • What do I know for sure?
  • What can I do to add value?
  • What would great look like?

The average person spends 2.5 hours per day in drama.

“The new role of leaders is to help employees eliminate emotional waste by facilitating good mental processes,’ Cy Wakeman. Less drama equals better results.

Cy Wakeman shared a SBAR tool to help reduce drama in the workplace.

  • S- The present situation
  • B- The relevant background
  • A- Analysis
  • R- Recommendations

This tool when used effectively empowers employees to reflect on their current situation and process ideas to arrive at their own solutions. Cy provided several examples how she used this with her team as well as in the context of education.

We received positive feedback about the conference and look forward to implementing Reality-Based Leadership concepts into our 2023-2024 leadership training. Here are a few statements about the conference:

  • Congratulations to you and your team on such a successful day! Wow-great work in getting her! We are so fortunate to have you advocating for our kids, staff, and leaders! - Stephanie Kaczor, Superintendent Riverside Public Schools
  • Cy Wakeman was awesome and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. - Carrie Kolar, Grand Island Public Schools, Chief of Human Capital Management.
  • Cy was GREAT! Thank you for organizing this opportunity. - Derek Niss, 6-12 Principal/AD, Pawnee City High School
  • Thank you and the rest of the ESU #10 Team for all your work with the Cy Wakeman Workshop. She presented excellent content and provided a great day of learning for those of us attending.- Amy Poggenklass, Finance and Membership Director, Nebraska Council of School Administrators
  • Our planning team will begin work to prepare for next summer’s Strategic Leadership Conference at ESU 10.

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