A weekly roundup of the most interesting, useful and thought-provoking articles to help you be a better leader. This week we’re focusing on curiosity.
Our take: One key task of a leader is to discover what will happen in the future. While predicting this is impossible, the best way to get there is to explore new ideas.
Panera Bread CEO Ron Shaich takes this further and advises seeking out ideas “from other industries or even from outside the business world.”
Having a curious mindset allows leaders to stay ahead of competitors and can even raise their employees’ engagement levels.
Key takeaway: Being a more curious leader might require a change in leadership style. Instead of fixing problems as quickly as possible, asking insightful questions can lead to longer-term creative solutions.
Our take: Children are masters at curiosity, but this quality diminishes as we get older. As adults, our focus on exploration turns to doing tasks and taking care of responsibilities.
We get complacent. And instead of pushing against this, we choose things that make us comfortable. That’s only natural, but is it what’s best for us?
Canfield makes a simple suggestion: decrease your TV time. Staring passively at a show is the opposite of being curious.
Instead, learn something by being proactive. Look up something interesting online, order a book on the topic, and talk to others about it. Reducing TV time by 1 hour a day will give you 7 extra hours to refocus your energy every week.
Key takeaway: This is a mindset change, and one that takes effort. But increasing your time doing more exploratory activities can have a massive impact in adding curiosity to your life.
Our take: It makes sense that if a leader exhibits curiosity to their employees, their team will follow that model and know that the work environment is a safe place to question, take risks, and explore.
This study supports this claim and delves deeper into why this happens. Namely, because the expression of curiosity is communal in nature, it strengthens the relationships between leaders and their teams.
The authors found that employees whose leaders lead with curiosity had positive impacts on their learning, problem solving, personal growth, engagement, and technical and creative performance. There was also a reduction in burnout.
Key takeaway: While most research has been done on how a curious leader affects their employees, this approach also seems to be a win for leaders themselves.
🎧 For Leaders: Trimble Navigation CEO Rob Painter
Rob Painter leads the team at Trimble Navigation, a positioning and sensing technology company that started in 1978 (when GPS was a nascent technology).
Rob talks about his leadership philosophy that centers on humility, curiosity, and empathy, all qualities that help him navigate an international business.
In this episode, Rob shares key insights on:
Integrating software with hardware to find the “what” and “why” in tech solutions
How Trimble’s tech is transforming agriculture, construction, and transportation
Trimble’s advantage in developing AI solutions for specific industry challenges
Every week, we share an interesting long-form piece of content to contemplate.
If the name sounds familiar but you can’t quite place it, Grazer is an Academy Award-winning producer of such films and shows as A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster, Parenthood, Arrested Development, and 24.
In this #1 New York Times bestselling book, Grazer shares how having a curious mindset can be life-changing.
It started with what he calls “curiosity conversations”, which he’s spent his life pursuing in order to broaden his worldview. He spoke with an eclectic mix of individuals, from spies and moguls to Nobel laureates and royals.
He learned that curiosity was a common theme for them all and credits it as the “secret” to his success in Hollywood.
This fascinating and compelling book is packed with stories full of awe, as well as practical advice on how to awaken your own curiosity.