Reality Based Leadership

by CY Wakeman

If you are an HR professional, this book is DEFINITELY for you. Let me start by saying that I have already recommended this book to many people and have had over 20 plus leaders read this book. I was introduced to this reading by my colleague who is interested in personal development and career growth just as much as I am. In fact, we often challenge ourselves in who reads the fastest and typically I win, but I digress. When she told me about this book, what caught my attention the most was part of the book title. It literally had the words “ditch the drama” in it. I was like, yes!!! something that is directly relatable to my everyday work. A book that I can learn something from that I can apply immediately. You see in my line of work there are full days that I am just managing through drama instead of leading through resolution and facts.

Once I started reading, I quickly realized that I wanted to get to the end fast, so I challenged myself to read the entire book in two weeks. Now, considering my schedule that was a pretty aggressive goal however, I was immediately hooked. I was reading at least one chapter a day until reaching my goal of finalizing the book in two weeks. It was full of so much information and so easy to read, that it was effortless. It is full of so much practical information, that till this day I often find myself referring back to the book at least once a month to continue to implement strategies presented by the author. The strategies the author, Cy Wakeman, provides are quick practical and easy tips which in many cases are followed by live examples to help you put it into practice.

The concept in this book that caught my attention the most was the concept of the BMW office. It was so relatable because, in essence, she described most of the interactions I have had with employees throughout my career. It’s interesting to hear that you, your team, your company, your colleagues are not the only ones that experience these same situations. There is a whole world out there living with the same experiences and someone wrote them down in a book with tools you can use to better those experiences. The book takes you through a journey of reality in yourself, your leadership style and your mentoring others. It’s sort of like learning some of the Sheldon traits (from The Big Bang theory) of being honest and in reality, without coming across as rude or disrespectful.

Now when I am faced with someone complaining or discussing an issue that is more emotionally based than reality based, I take a question directly from the book that asks, “Regardless of what went before, what is the next right action I can take to improve this situation?”. Just asking this question in this way redirects the conversation to be more productive and focuses on the reality of the problem instead of the emotions of the person. Throughout the book you will find practical tips like these that will make your leadership experience more pleasant. Moving leadership from a place where you might feel like you’re managing toddlers to a place where leadership is truly about growing your company with adults. This all might sound great to you but don’t take it from me try it out for yourself.

Amazon Link: Reality Based Leadership by CY Wakeman

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