What does it mean to lead with curiosity?

Did you know that between 40-95 percent of human behavior is habit, including thought? This doesn’t bode particularly well for organizations—especially if you consider that everyone from entry-level roles to the executive suite likely operates on autopilot for a decent portion of their day. While we can’t really hack our brains to operate at 100%, we can do some retraining to create more positive and productive patterns of thought. The most overlooked way to achieve this is through curiosity. 

At its core, curiosity is the desire to know something not because you have to, but because you want to. While maybe not the most obvious leadership trait, it’s one of the most impactful. Curious leadership requires the suspension of judgement and the discipline to listen more often than you speak. Through deep engagement with sometimes unexpected or seemingly unrelated topics and a willingness to empathize with the lived experience of others, business leaders can build trust and make both logical and human connections—ultimately driving innovation and efficiency.

Why Does Success Favor the Curious?

Success. It’s something we all define differently and yet we tend to agree on what makes a successful person. Successful people:

  • See what others don’t—PRESENCE & AWARENESS
  • Connect with people—TRUST
  • Take action—COURAGE
  • Don’t fail. Continuously learn—OPTIMISM

As curious people, we show up differently:

  • We are constantly learning, with most learning coming from everyday life
  • We are present in the moment with heightened awareness to all that is going on around us
  • We are authentic, dropping our egos in our pursuits
  • We are courageous, resulting from our sincere desire to learn and no ego to shield the insecurity of not knowing—and we put ourselves out there early and often

Curious people are leaders willing to go off the beaten path and find new ground—all in pursuit of their purpose.