Is Curiosity The Powerful Leadership Strategy You Left Behind?
Find yourself standing on the edge of the park as the sun breaks through the clouds to light up the face of a small child. In a completely lucid moment you notice something on that child’s face you realize you rarely see on an adults face…. You pay attention and you notice that both the child, and the adult the child is interacting with are totally present and available. As a result of that vulnerability, they are joyful and what you see on that child’s face is a state of pure wonderment.
Now for a moment think about yourself and ask: Are you in connection with the part of you that was/is still a joyful child? Do you know where that child part of you is? If you’ve lost that connection—and a lot, if not most, adults have—can you get it back? And the really big question—how do you reconnect with that joyful child?
Listen up; before you start assuming this is some kind of “new-age, woo-woo” stuff, you might want to read on because I’ll show you that where we are going is sincerely grounded in leadership.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we here in the first world always seem to be working towards the next thing... the next and greater level of success–in our career or almost anything else. However, all too often when we reach said success, it is feels anti climactic, even disappointing.
Needless to say; I have seen many people reach goals that they once thought were impossible and yet, instead of the long lasting delight they expected, at best they experience momentary celebration and at worse they encounter depression, despair and a genuine lost of meaning and purpose.
Now before I go on, don’t for a moment think that I am against setting and achieving goals. Certainly, go ahead and set goals for yourself, but rather than pushing to achieve them, be drawn through curiosity to discover them.
Did you see the difference? One way uses force and self-will to accomplish a goal; the other allows the path to the goal to unfold naturally through the use of curiosity.
Sadly, as the ego-mind develops, we throw out curiosity in favour of certainty. Unfortunately being right becomes more important than discovering. Here’s how this process stumps us: Assuming, and then looking for evidence that we were correct in our assumptions, blinds us to the answers and insights that lie just outside our frame of reference.
As someone who is committed to to being/becoming a Full Monty Leader; I challenge you right here, right now to decide to become curious about everything, (particularly about the things you are sure you are most certain of). The ability to do this is an advanced sign of emotional intelligence with significant benefits to you as a leader and as a human being. Further more it is a Powerful Leadership Strategy!
Self Knowledge is the cornerstone of emotionally intelligent Leadership.
Commit to becoming extremely curious about what makes you tick. Get brilliant at working out why you’re actually upset about any given situation. (Or get help in how to do so). Emotionally intelligent leaders don’t play the blame game nor do they let rambling negative self-talk take control of their minds.
Make finding your drivers, motives and moods an adventure, search for clues that reveal why you feel the way you do, and what you can do in order to come to peace with whatever it is.
Curiosity is Your Greatest Gift… Embrace It!
By now, you might be wondering what has this got to do with being a great leader?
Well, If I could bestow upon you only one thing to make you a better, no, a great leader, it wouldn’t be more power or even greater levels of intelligence. It would be the gift of genuine curiosity.
However, in leadership commitment and curiosity go hand in hand. There must be a commitment to stay curious about the topic, problem or skill, ( again; particularly about the things you are sure you are most certain of) that is ultimately necessary for motivating and maintaining the long hours and fierce curiosity required to rise to the level of “mastery” in any given field and particularly leadership.
Using curiosity as a leadership skill will pull you to discover the best of the best in yourself and those you work with. It would help you acquire and keep the best talent. Your decision-making skills would immediately greatly improve. And even more importantly, you would have greater levels of both success and fulfillment.
Curiosity would fill your life with wonder, surprises and pure joy.
I challenge you to once again engage with your entire reality as a curious child of wonder.
I bestow upon you deep curiosity and I look forward to hearing of your adventures in the curious.
P.S. Do not confuse curious with skeptical. Skeptical starts off (and often ends) closed. Curious starts off open, and often ends bigger than it started.
I trust that you found this article valuable, if so, feel free to send this to your friends. I eagerly anticipate your feedback and comments.
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Stay Curious My Friend, Stay Curious…
Dov Baron Speaks internationally and is The Leading Authority on Authentic Leadership on leadership in the new economy.
P.S. To be one of the first to get their hands on Dov Baron’s new book “Fiercely Loyal” How High Performing Companies Develop and Retain Top Talent, go take a look here http://fiercelyloyalbook.com and get your FREE How to instantly bond any team info graphic.
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