A lot has been said about curiosity, but I really don’t care about how it applies to cats. Instead, my take on the topic mirrors John C. Maxwell’s, who wrote, “The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, poke at it, question it and turn it inside out.” When it comes to business, cultivating and encouraging curiosity is one of the most valuable leadership lessons that I can impart. It is essential to understand why curiosity matters and how it can drive growth, both personally and professionally.
Curiosity Is For Everyone
Most people know that little kids are curious – to a fault. You tell them to put on their shoes, and they ask, “Why?” You tell them it’s because you’re taking them to the store, and they – again – ask, “Why?” And on… and on… and on, until you can’t possibly hear the word “Why?” anymore. Still, as exasperating as the repetition (and the need to provide answers) can be, there’s absolute beauty in having such a mindset.
As kids grow, they’re often just as driven to learn, grow, and do. However, at some point during adulthood, this insatiable curiosity usually hits a wall. People tend to settle into their jobs and home lives, and life becomes more about ticking off to-do lists rather than acquiring knowledge and personal growth. You know what I think about this? It’s a big load of crap.
In fact, I challenge everyone to be a lifelong learner. Don’t let the youth have a monopoly on curiosity; take it for yourself. Bring it into your life, no matter your age or the stage of your career. Read books, listen to podcasts and, yes, ask why. Maybe not in the same impulsive, loud way that a child does, but in the same spirit of genuine curiosity.
Challenging Body & Mind
Many people know I’m a business owner, but did you know that I was on the verge of becoming a professional tennis player at one point? Or that I’ve invested time and energy into motocross, bodybuilding, tennis, football, and basketball over the years? None of these pursuits is about mastery or ego. Instead, it’s about challenging my mind and my body and learning something new – it’s about the journey.
The same is true on the business side of things. I will never be done learning; there’s always something new to grasp, something exciting to absorb. As business leaders, think about how you’re modeling professional and personal growth. Are you stuck in the same rut day in and day out? Or are you putting yourself out there, trying new things, and being led by curiosity? If it’s the latter, your team will take note. They’ll want in on your zest for life and learning, and you’ll inspire them to grow, too. And it all starts with nurturing your curiosity.
Want to work with a team that is truly curious about our clients’ businesses, goals, and success? Let’s talk!