“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -Walt Disney
Welcome to the era of the curious leader. Success may be less about having all the answers and more about being curious to explore an idea with asking questions.
Existing businesses and business models face disruption everyday as creativity and innovation expands into the workplace. The exploration of possible solutions, how people generate and create ideas in order to flourish, leads to more and more questions for improving from where you are right now.
“Curiosity is the engine of achievement.” -Ken Robinson
A curious leader is an inquisitive leader that sets an example that inspires creative thinking throughout your business. By laying out the foundation for your employees to follow, you set the company culture. Brian Grazer calls this “leading-by-curiosity” where you help generate more ideas from throughout your organization. At the same time, you raise employee engagement levels.
“Question what you know; explore what you don’t.” – Dan Rockwell
Curiosity leads you down new paths to keep exploring for greater breakthrough results. This is important due to the fast-changing innovative business environment that surrounds you. In being curious, it requires a change in leadership style in managers and executives. Curious leaders take the risk to try new things and to see things from a new or different fresh perspective. In this circumstance, you would continually ask questions of “Why”, “What-if”, and “How”. Ask a number of rapid-fire questions to get a better understanding of the work you and your employees are working on.
Curious leaders identify drivers and strengths of the work teams to ensure employees fit for what the projects or tasks are. Successful leaders thrive on new ideas and fresh perspectives by asking questions that are opposite the traditional or conventional ways of getting things done. Whereas stagnant leaders typically accept routine ways of completing the same tasks often accepting mediocre results.
What Kind of Leader Are You?
Some leaders go about their daily routine either in the ivory tower not knowing what their employees do except to be productive on the work they have to do. Other leaders are the curious type where you are curious about things either by asking questions, interacting with employees or even get interested in the actual work employees do to produce what they are working on. Which one are you?
Curious leaders respond from a position of wanting to gather information and try to understand what employees are doing and how their productivity is.
How to Stay Curious:
- Listen Very Well
- Ask Questions
- Keep an Open-Mind
- Don’t be afraid to try something new – even if it means you might fail
- Continuously Looking to Improve on Things
- Focus on Problem Solving
- Don’t be afraid to consider ideas that might disrupt the status quo
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable
- Take Calculated Risks
Rekindle Your Curiosity
Ask questions and be open to new ideas, challenges, and ways of doing things. Open-mindedness and curiosity often lead to calculated risk-taking, one of the hallmarks of innovation. In this time of great change for manufacturing, leaders must stay curious.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” -Albert Einstein