The Curious Leader

Continuing on the topic of curiosity, HBR has a recent post worth sharing, “Why Curious People Are Destined for the C-Suite”.

The article brings up a great point about the challenge of being a leader and remaining curious. When you are in a leadership position, it can become dangerous if you believe you are suppose to have all the answers. It can lead you to make false assumptions and avoid exploring potential issues.

From the HBR article,

In many cases, managers and top executives have risen through the ranks by providing fixes and solutions, not by asking questions. And once they’ve attained a position of leadership, they may feel the need to project confident expertise. To acknowledge uncertainty by wondering aloud and asking deep questions carries a risk: the leader may be perceived as lacking knowledge.

Leaders need to ask questions and be diligent about searching for new information that can help decode where the business needs to go in the future.

Another great point from the article was on the topic of getting out of the building. While often used in the context of visiting customers, the authors stress the importance of getting exposed to new thoughts and information. New inputs increase the number of opportunities to ask questions and discover new insights. From the post,

Leslie notes that curiosity seems to bubble up when we are exposed to new information and then find ourselves wanting to know more. Hence, the would-be curious leader should endeavor to get “out of the bubble” when possible; to seek out new influences, ideas, and experiences that may fire up the desire to learn more and dig deeper.

Read the rest on HBR at, https://hbr.org/2015/09/why-curious-people-are-destined-for-the-c-suite