Byron's Babbles

Happy Birthday Question

I got a great birthday wish last week from the awesome leader and author, Bob Tiede. Here is the message he sent me: “Happy Birthday Byron! When you reflect on your past year what might be the one thing you are most grateful for?” Bob is all about leading with questions. That’s what I love about him and why he is one of my role models from afar. Here was my answer: “Thank you for the birthday wishes, Bob. Also, I love the question. Here are my thoughts: I am grateful for loving relationships and the opportunities that have come my way. Reflecting on the positives always helps me have a mindset of gratitude and contentment.” It was hard to stop thinking about the question, though. Questions are so powerful.

Many of those relationships I was referring to in my answer to Bob’s question were related to those new relationships I have made and old relationships that have been strengthened in the first two years of founding my own company. As I reflect on the past year, I am struck by how lucky I am to have such fantastic clients that really are more like partners. Their feedback and encouragement have kept me motivated and inspired, and I am deeply grateful for their continued patronage. I am also grateful for the lessons learned through challenging experiences. Wow! All this reflection from Bob’s question. There is so much power in the question. What are you grateful for?


Hidden In Common Firewood

Posted in Bob Tiede, Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Inspirational, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on October 3, 2020

“There is a legend of an artist who long sought for a piece of sandalwood, out of which to carve a Madonna. He was about to give up in despair, leaving the vision of his life unrealized, when in a dream he was bidden to carve his Madonna from a block of oak wood which was destined for the fire. He obeyed and produced a masterpiece from a log of common firewood. Many of us lose great opportunities in life by waiting to find sandalwood for our carvings, when they really lie hidden in the common logs that we burn.” ~ Orison Swett Marden

During my morning study time I came across this passage from Orison Swett Marden. There is a lot to unpack in this short paragraph. Then I thought about the value of this as a prompt. So, instead rambling on with my thoughts, I’m going to employ a best practice from my friend and great author, Bob Tiede: ask you all a question. What lesson do you take away from this Orison Swett Marden passage that you want others to think about and act on?Please add your answer as a comment to this post.

Don’t Get Naked At 8:00 AM

Bob Tiede on Virtual LeaderCon

I’ll bet I got your attention with the title of this post. I’ll even bet you might be reading now just to find out what the heck I’m writing about. Well keep reading and you’ll find out. Bob Tiede is one a kind! And, I mean that as the highest of compliments. We had the chance to learn from Bob on Kevin Eikenberry’s Virtual LeaderCon on Wednesday. I have been a big time fan of Bob’s for a long time and I had chance for some personal messaging with him at the end of the day on Wednesday. PRICELESS! Bob Tiede has been helping leaders be their best for a lot of years and I have learned and grown a lot from following his work and reading his books.

His latest work is Now That’s A Great Question. Why am I such a fan? Well, if you know me, you know I love to ask questions. Bob taught us that, “Leadership is not as much about knowing the right answers as it is about asking the right questions.” Brilliant, right? See, there I go asking a question.

“Leadership is not as much about knowing the right answers as it is about asking the right questions.” ~ Bob Tiede

Two Powerful Sets of Questions

During Virtual LeaderCon he reminded us that some of the best questions are the simplest. For example, here are three simple questions leaders can ask:

  1. What do you like best?
  2. What do you like least?
  3. What would you change?

After asking those three questions, Bob will tell you the most important thing to do is – LISTEN! Listening is the most important part. We must be listening to both understand and interpret. Then, we also must do something about what we have been told. Otherwise everyone will lose trust in us.

Here are four more great questions from Bob:

  1. What’s going well?
  2. What’s not going well?
  3. Where are you stuck?
  4. What needs to change?

“…no leader wants to get naked at 8:00 AM!” ~ Bob Tiede

My notes from Bob’s Virtual LeaderCon Session

Don’t forget. What’s your job while asking these questions? LISTEN During Virtual LeaderCon Bob explained to always start with “what was liked best” and “what was going well.” Otherwise you are just starting with the potential for the conversation to become a “gripe-fest” and we have all been there before. Nothing productive ever comes out of a “gripe-fest.” Then Bob gave what I awarded as the best quote of the day on Wednesday: “Start with what’s going well, because no leader wants to get naked at 8:00 AM!” I loved it! His point was for us to start with the good things because that will put us in a much better frame of mind for truly listening to the things that need improvement. Isn’t he awesome at putting things in a way we can understand?

Bob, if you’re reading this, I’ll ask you a couple of questions (would love for you to leave a comment):

  1. What did I get right in this post?
  2. What would you like to add that I left out?