04 Jan Curiosity
Here we are, at the start of a new year. It’s always an exciting time as we have the gift of another year ahead of us. Another trip around the sun. Another opportunity to dream and achieve our goals. Another opportunity to activate your innate curiosity.
I often think about how at university we used to debate the question “are leaders born or made?”. As debates would go, people would get serious about their perspective. It was a classic case of either-or. The debate always made me uncomfortable, at the time, I didn’t know where the discomfort came from, but I do now. Arguing whether leaders are born or made is rather limiting as it implies that you either have it or you don’t.
Thankfully today we are having a much richer conversation. Today, the conversation has shifted to “to what extent can you lead”. Some of us can lead ourselves and that’s where we are at our best. Others are good at moving beyond leading themselves and can lead others.
I’ve noticed a similar trend around the topic of curiosity. I’m often faced with the question of, “are some people born more curious than others?”. Well, it might not even be as direct as that.
I’m rather curious about this type of question because it once again implies that you are either born with curiosity as a personality trait or not. And you only have to observe young children across the spectrum to see how much curiosity we all had as young people before our social conditioning started to dissuade us from being curious. Not some of us. ALL of us. It’s gorgeous to observe young children explore and learn. Yes, curiosity doesn’t look the same for everyone, but we all have access to our innate curiosity.
This then begs a different kind of question.
Instead of asking whether some people are more curious than others, we should start to explore how to encourage people to:
• Connect with their curiosity
• Activate their curiosity
• Trust their curiosity
• Lean into their curiosity
We also need leaders to walk the talk when it comes to curiosity. Lead by example. Show how you are being curious in your organization, that in itself is incredibly powerful.
So that’s my wish for 2022. My wish is that we:
• Connect to our innate curiosity
• Lean into our curiosity
• Trust our curiosity
• Give ourselves permission to wander
• Can turn our curiosity into innovative products and solutions
• Have brave leaders who lead by example
I wonder what would happen if we allowed ourselves to do that?
Let the wandering begin!