According to a study conducted by PwC, more than one thousand CEOs agree that curiosity is a critical ingredient for successful leaders in today’s world. As The Harvard Business Review puts it, we are in “the era of the curious leader, where success may be less about having all the answers and more about wondering and questioning.”
Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, Inc., believes curiosity to be the one attribute that CEOs will need to succeed in turbulent times ahead. “Curiosity can inspire leaders to continually seek out the fresh ideas and approaches needed to keep pace with change and stay ahead of competitors.”
Asking questions, especially if you’re the one who's supposed to have the answers, comes with risk. However, authors Clayton Christensen, Hal Gregersen, and Jeff Dyer write about the benefits of acknowledging uncertainty in their book The Innovator’s DNA. They argue that curious leaders embody a rare blend of humility and confidence: They are humble enough to acknowledge to themselves that they don’t have all of the answers and confident enough to admit that in front of everyone else.
One of the best ways to perpetuate a state of curiosity is to bring a “beginner’s mind” to old problems and stubborn challenges. Continuously reexamine your own practices and assumptions so that your strategy never becomes stale.
To read more about stimulating and preserving your curiosity, visit The Harvard Business Review.
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