Evans and Burnett went to a career fair to find out – and they
discovered that most of these smart, cohort-leading young profes-sionals
simply had no real idea of what they wanted their lives to
“Smart does not mean clear. Well-educated does not mean
focused or well-intentioned. So we formed the Life Design mis-sion
and our mission is to apply the innovation principles of design
thinking to the wicked problem of designing your life,” he said.
From saving the seals to solving the energy crisis, from imag-ining
the first computer mice to redefining software – Evans has
been on a mission, including helping others to find theirs. Starting
at Stanford with dreams of following Jacques Cousteau as a
marine biologist, Evans realized that he was lousy at it and shifted
to mechanical engineering with an eye on the energy problem.
After four years in alternative energy, it was clear that this idea’s
time hadn’t come yet. While en route to biomedical engineering,
Evans accepted an invitation to work for Apple, where he led prod-uct
marketing for the mouse team and introduced laser printing to
the masses. When his boss at Apple left to start Electronic Arts,
Evans joined as the company’s first VP of Talent.
Having participated in forming the corporate cultures at Apple
and EA, Dave decided his best work was in helping organizations
build creative environments where people could do great work
and love doing it. So, he went out on his own; working with start-up
teams, corporate executives, non-profit leaders and countless
They were all asking the same question, “What should I do with
my life?” Helping people get traction on that question finally took
Evans to Cal and Stanford and continues to be his life’s work.
Evans holds a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from
Stanford and a graduate diploma in contemplative spirituality
from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Attend Dave Evans and co-presenter Bill Burnett’s keynote address
at HRPA’s Annual Conference and Trade Show, Jan. 31 at 8:30
a.m., sponsored by Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in
KEYNOTE ADDRESS – YOUR EGO IS NOT YOUR AMIGO
In the late ’80s, Cy Wakeman was promoted to her first manage-ment
“Initially, I just couldn’t fall in line with traditional leadership
and management practices. I kept getting hung up on the fact that
much of what I was being asked to do contradicted reality. That
just wasn’t ok with me.”
For Wakeman, that tension between the status quo expecta-tions
for leadership and the actual reality was a recipe for a whole
new philosophy on leadership.
Time-honoured office themes like poor managers, unproduc-tive
meetings and wasteful drama are all-to-familiar to many
But Cy Wakeman, an international keynote speaker, busi-ness
consultant, New York Times best-selling author and global
thought leader, is doing everything she can to spoil those toxic
“Your ego is narrating your entire world to the negative,” said
Wakeman. “Your ego is not your amigo. Your ego is a filter on
reality and corrupts your data. You’re making decisions based
on corruptive data. Your ego is like wearing a pair of prescriptive
glasses that are the wrong prescription.”
Wakeman cites ego as the primary source of drama, which,
when left unchecked, has a negative impact on employee engage-ment.
She mentioned a Gallup poll that said, “Seventy-one per
cent of Americans quit their jobs on a daily basis. The problem is,
they keep coming to work and getting a paycheck.”
“If we upcycled all the energy spent on drama per headcount
and put it into results, happiness and engagement, think what
could happen,” said Wakeman. “Leaders need to facilitate good
mental processes so that people can get rid of emotional waste in
the workplace and put their full self into doing what’s right.”
Today more than ever, leaders have the opportunity to identify
the drama and the inherent ego that fuels it, said Wakeman.
“Your job is to take the toggle switch of people and every time
they get low, switch it up to high. Establish accountability, which is
the death to the ego. Self-reflection is the ultimate drama defuser,”
Attend Cy Wakeman’s keynote address at HRPA’s Annual
Conference and Trade Show, Jan. 31 at 1 p.m.
70 ❚ CONFERENCE ISSUE 2019 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL