If you were to ask someone what they think are essential leadership traits, you might get responses such as strength, decisiveness, and the kind of charisma that grabs people’s attention in a crowded room. A trait that might not get listed is curiosity, which is a real shame. Yes, someone might come off as a natural leader if they are strong enough to take charge of any situation, but many are just as likely to come off as boorish bullies who won’t accept any ideas that don’t adhere to their beliefs. These “leaders” and the organizations they run often flounder while more innovative organizations thrive.
If you want to be a successful leader, you need to have an insatiable curiosity. Here are just a few reasons why.
Listening to Others
It may be easy to assume that you need to make all the decisions when you’re in a leadership role, but you can and should take your team’s suggestions to heart. After all, you made them part of your team because of what they had to offer. If you listen to what they have to say, they might come up with a solution to a problem that you would’ve never considered. You also need to be willing to be proven wrong. Nobody has all the answers, not even those who are in charge.
Looking for New Ideas in Unexpected Places
When you need to come up with new solutions to your problems or new ideas for products and services, you don’t always need to stick to your own industry. The world is far bigger than that, and there’s a lot you can learn from it. Look at what is going on within your industry for inspiration, but also look to music, film, art, and current events. You’ll never know what might inspire you.
Ask for Help
This ties into our first point, but it really is something that more leaders should do. You need to remind yourself that you won’t have all the answers just because you’re in charge. You’ll need just as much help as anyone else, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. We promise you that it won’t make you look weak. On the contrary, you’ll look like an open-minded individual who is always willing to learn new things, and that is far more valuable than being the one who has all the answers.