Leaders are Curious
Curiosity is what makes a leader…a leader. Most people don’t understand that this curiosity is what separates a leader from the rest of us. Immersion is the key – the more you learn, the more connections and insights you will have. Leaders are driven to accomplish the mission and he does this by leveraging information and knowledge as tools to improve the organization, to increase efficiency, and to create the next innovative idea.
Leaders are curious because they have an insatiable need to know everything – they have to know or to find out information that may prove valuable to the current project they are working on. Leaders seek to learn everything they can about a particular subject. Leaders use what they learn to improve themselves and their organizations by asking lots of questions. Questions foster a desire to know more…to understand better…to learn. Questions add clarity; questions remove uncertainty; and questions establish what is known and what is unknown.
Leaders are always looking for opportunities to improve their organizations. Leaders do this by observing what other people in their field are doing. It doesn’t stop there though…they look outside of their field to see if there are ideas and innovations that can be adapted. This process of investigating, reviewing, adapting and repeating is an amazingly powerful process to get a hold of. A leader wants to be on the cutting edge moving forward…always improving, getting better and better.
In the book, Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man, Albert Einstein provided the following statement in response to a student’s question about whether it is worth the effort to question things as they currently are, “Don’t think about why you question, simply don’t stop questioning. Don’t worry about what you can’t answer, and don’t try to explain what you can’t know. Curiosity is its own reason. Aren’t you in awe when you contemplate the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure behind reality? And this is the miracle of the human mind – to use its constructions, concepts, and formulas as tools to explain what man sees, feels, and touches. Try to comprehend a little more each day. Have holy curiosity. ”
When Dr. Einstein said, “have holy curiosity,” what did he mean? I believe that Dr. Einstein meant to make your individual curiosity sacred…boundless…unchangeable. Make it a fundamental part of who you are as a person and leader. Curiosity is its own reason for being – you don’t need permission to be curious because being curious is reason enough and it’s natural for humans to be inquisitive; it is our nature and we don’t have to apologize for it because it is truly a gift. At the end of the day, curiosity has probably fostered more inventions, innovations, and ideas than any other human characteristic. So, leaders, foster your curiosity – embrace it, follow it and you will never know where it will take you.