No Ego:
How Leaders Can Cut the Cost of Workplace Drama, End Entitlement and Drive Big Results.

| Author: Cy Wakeman, 2017 |

When one of my clients mentioned she was reading this book, “No Ego”, I thought ‘my ego’s in check, I don’t need that!’ But considering that it’s a relatively quick read (256 pages, 4.5 hours audio) and I believe in lifelong learning, I thought I’d give it a listen. I’m glad I did! What I took away was some hard reflection on myself, and how we can all spend our time a little more wisely. This book will help you to stop believing everything you think!
The author, Cy Wakeman, points out that Ego-driven behaviors are the #1 source of drama in workplaces today, and it’s costing organizations billions annually. The philosophy of “perfecting the environment” to create employee engagement feeds the ego and can generate huge amounts of drama which really is just emotional waste. While most organizations implement processes to eliminate other forms of waste, emotional waste usually goes unchecked. This book provides a number of tools in the form of mental processes that help eliminate this emotional waste and promote self-awareness and accountability in your whole team. Below are a few of my take-aways…
Ever feel like you spend a good portion of your time with people who are draining you with their concerns, and you can’t gain any traction? This book really lays it out when it comes to where to put your attention. It made me rethink the whole ‘open door’ process and realize that venting is the ego’s way of avoiding self-reflection. Is there really any reason to vent?
What is the real difference between sympathy and empathy? Reflecting on that can entirely change an outlook. I found this part to be very powerful. This influenced me to look at my approach and earlier this week it was a topic of discussion in one of my workshops.
Stop trying to motivate people by making them happy. Make them “accountable”. When you can really nail down who in your organization is accountable, you can listen and act on their concerns knowing results will follow, because that is what it is all about. With accountability, you can diffuse drama and eliminate emotional waste and start driving results.
Want to help your team a little more? Negotiating the ‘Non-negotiable’ is another item. Stop going outside of the policy to make someone happy. This part I have lived on both sides of the spectrum. The accountable people will have a lot more respect for you and will be more engaged!
As I’ve been recently certified in executive coaching, I found Cy helped me add some great new questions to my list for clients: What do you know for sure? What part do you play in this? What could you do to help right now? Would you rather be right or happy? Exactly!
The book also contains some interesting views on employee engagement surveys. I may not totally agree with them, however I appreciate the different outlook because it got me to look at it in a different light.
Although I thought I had “No Ego”, reading this book made me reflect on a moment I had earlier that week and realize my own ego almost got in the way of a client’s success. A client had stated she would be doing some of the work I normally did with her organization. At first, I was taken aback by the idea, but when I stopped and thought about it I realized it was the best solution for the client. Reflecting on it now I have to acknowledge my ‘Ego’ was the only reason I thought it was not a good idea.
What took me 25 years of leadership practice to learn, is well summarized in this manageable sized read. Do yourself a favour, put your ego aside and give it a read. You might find yourself focusing on the “accountables” to drive results.

Reviewed by: Trevor Blondeel