The power of curiosity

Photo courtesy of Rish Desai, Student Publications

Ted Lasso, while sharing an anecdote, brought up an important phrase he read once, “Be curious, not judgmental.”

His curiosity led him to accepting an opportunity to become the head coach of a soccer team, a sport he knew nothing about.

Rather than allowing for himself to become judgmental regarding a new environment, he allowed for his confidence in his leadership and curiosity to pursue this new environment. To me, that is one of the most powerful ideas.

When we are little kids, we are constantly asking questions out of curiosity whether that is to learn more about the way the world works, the way other cultures work or just others new ideas.

At that age, we always throw judgements and assumptions out the window.

Curiosity becomes one of our greatest teachers and catalysts for our growth. Yet, at times as we grow older, curiosity can become fogged down by judgement or fear of judgement.

As we prepare to enter new environments and places, curiosity can enable us to take a step back and embrace the change; it can allow us to learn more about something we may not have otherwise known and grow as individuals.

This idea is an important factor in the corporate world as some of the top business leaders have gotten to the point where they are today because their wonderment at new cultures and desire to learn more about it allowed for them to reach the level they were able to.

A prime example of this is Jim Whitehurst as he transitioned from COO at Delta to being the CEO at Red Hat.

Upon arriving at Red Hat, he witnessed a complete culture change. Instead of an immediate change, he learned more about this style and combined the benefits of both styles.

His curiosity allowed not only growth for himself, but continued growth for the company as well.

Another individual who exhibited this idea is Robert Iger, former CEO of Disney.

He worked his way up through the ranks to reach the top position of Disney by a wide variety of leadership skills. One of these skills was the ability to never let judgment nor the fear of judgement get in the way of his curiosity.

He has a principle to ask the necessary questions and admit what you don’t know.

This made it possible for him to always add to his knowledge of the company and make it so that he could help the company when they needed him the most.

As leaders when we choose to eliminate judgements, we can allow for individual growth as well as team growth. Everyone has their own unique story and skills. But we can only learn and understand where others come from when we become judgement-free. When we do so, we also take out the idea of unnecessarily underestimating others.

As we continuously strive to grow with each day and each new experience, we can allow for the biggest areas and times of growth to occur when we truly embrace the power of curiosity and learn from one another. Judgment hinders production whereas curiosity can empower it.