How Curiosity Advances Your Leadership

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

I read once about a sign in an English company that read: We’ve been established for over one hundred years and have been pleasing or displeasing our customers ever since. We have made money and lost money, suffered the effects of coal nationalization, coal rationing, government control, and bad payers. We have been cussed and discussed, messed about, lied to, held up, robbed, and swindled. The only reason we stay in business is to see what happens next.

There are many definitive traits of successful leaders worth emulating such as trust, empathy, intuition, listening, etc., but one of the ones that I would put high on the list is curiosity.

Curiosity is one of the most important leadership traits you can develop simply because the possibilities of possessing it are endless.

I’ve heard it said that curiosity is the spark behind the spark of every great idea. The future belongs to the curious. And this is why curiosity is a game-changer in leadership.

Imagine if you will how curiosity could benefit your leadership and the life of your organization if you ignited that curious spark? Imagine how things would look if everyone else in your organization did the same? Let’s take a look at how curiosity could advance your leadership.

Curiosity breaks the mold of status quo thinking 

Status quo thinking is a mental rut that can be hard to break free from. It can be a crowded place and getting out of it can be challenging. When you develop a curious mindset, it will free you from the confines of the status quo. It will open up new approaches and solutions and can be just the spark you need to move forward.

Curiosity takes you from a ‘can we’ attitude to a ‘what if’ footing

Status quo thinking is safe and predictable and sticks with the known. Curiosity advances your leadership by taking you out of that mindset by unlocking the power of uninhibited thinking. It takes questioning from a ‘can we’ posture to the possibilities of ‘what if’. When you embrace a ‘what if’ mindset you now release a new level of momentum that doesn’t wait for permission.

Curiosity is the creative engine that drives your leadership

Curiosity will advance your leadership in ways that nothing else will. When you or the people within your organization remain curious and dare to ask those ‘what if’ questions there is no limit to where you can go.  Curiosity is a passion that will take you places where others only wish they could go. It will cause you to ask more questions than most and not stop until you have answers.

Les Brown once said, “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects. I think, is still the secret of great creative people.” And he’s right. Curiosity will advance your leadership unlike anything else.

Final Thoughts:

In a lot of ways, curiosity and passion might be seen as interchangeable. I believe as Elizabeth Gilbert said, that “if you let go of passion and follow your curiosity, your curiosity might just lead you to your passion.” And this is why it’s so important. Never lose your sense of curiosity. It’s the secret ingredient to your leadership.


Doug Dickerson
Doug Dickerson
DOUG has been speaking to audiences in the U.S. and overseas for more than 30 years. Doug knows how to spin a story, make you laugh, and how to challenge your traditional ways of thinking about leadership. Most of all, Doug is committed to helping you grow as a leader. Doug is a graduate of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida and studied Clinical Pastoral Education at Palmetto Baptist Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina. While his leadership expertise has its roots in ministry and teaching. His background also includes public relations and business. Doug understands the necessity of leadership development and why creating a leadership culture in your organization is critical to your success. He is the author of four leadership books including: Leaders Without Borders, 9 Essentials for Everyday Leaders, Great Leaders Wanted, It Only Takes a Minute: Daily Inspiration for Leaders on the Move, and Leadership by the Numbers. As a speaker, Doug delivers practical and applicable leadership insights with a dose of humor and authenticity that endears him to a wide range of audiences. Doug is a John Maxwell Team member.

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