Byron's Babbles


Posted in Coaching, Education, Leadership, Learning Organization by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on March 30, 2014


This past week as I was taking my son to school he had the radio on. The song Hey Brother by Aviccii was playing. As is many times the case; I got the lyrics wrong. I thought he was saying “Do you still believe in what I wonder?” In reality he was saying, “Do you still believe in love? I wonder!” Really, I’m glad I had it wrong because it got me thinking. Does my team believe in what I wonder? More importantly, do I believe in what they wonder?

Wonderment is a type of behavior, that as a leader, engenders our teams. We can accomplish this by creating environments where team members can bring their best selves and curiosity, and good things will happen as a result. By cutting off conversation through words or non-verbal cues, a less effective leader sends a message that the team member’s idea isn’t an option or even worthy of pause. Done often enough and pretty soon your team won’t even tell you you’re walking in the wrong direction.

Just as science fairs represent an invaluable learning opportunity for students to use wonderment and curiosity to conceive and develop an experiment, conduct it, prepare the findings and present them to student peers and experts in the field, leaders can use wonderment to find that next solution that does not presently exist. Instead of conducting cookbook lab experiments and submitting a lab report for a grade, science fairs foster independent thinking, creativity, problem-solving and written and oral presentation skills. The same is true for the leader; instead of doing what has always been done or what he thinks is right, spend some time in wonderment with the team!

A well-balanced leader knows that getting the best from their team means letting them talk, fail, succeed, wonder, be curious, and feel comfortable. Thus, as the leader, we have to have the strength to listen to differences and make decisions even if they are opposite to what the group thought was right. Spend some time in wonderment this week!

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