Empowering Leadership through curiosity.


Curiosity and resistance cannot coexist.

When I have studied successful business leaders such as Walt Disney, Martin Luther King Jr, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs a common trait was “curiosity”. Because of their curiosity, it empowered others to think beyond the status qou. A leader that is constantly in the pursuit of growth empowers and encourages others also to be curious. 

In the Harvard Business Review article “Curiosity Is as Important as Intelligence” it explores an idea called the Curiosity Quotient. We have heard about psychological capabilities of Intellectual Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ). The Curiosity Quotient (CQ) is one’s tendency to be “curious and open to new experiences” and, like  IQ and EQ, improves one’s ability to navigate complex environments.

How does a curious leader empower and equip others through curiosity?

  1. Seeking first to understand vs. being understood-When they are coaching someone. They understand that to help someone they must have a sincere appreciation and understanding of where the other person is coming from before giving their own input. For example instead always taking things for face value a curious leader will ask questions such, “In addition to that what else?” “What are you hoping to gain from this?”
  2. Equipping and empowering others to find the answer vs always providing the answer.

    If you’re the boss, and you manage by asking questions, you’re laying the foundation for the culture of your company or your group,” Grazer writes in his book, A Curious Mind.

    Your teammates possess the answers to their questions. As a leader, it is your job to be curious enough to help them uncover it through asking questions.

  3. Being curious about the potential of others. When you look at someone for what they can be vs just who they are you can help them maximize their gifts.
  4. Being curious to learn. A leader who is curious to learn will work harder on themselves than their job. Which in turn helps them do their job better.They will inspire others to learn and grow as well.

“With curiosity comes learning and new ideas,” says Michael Dell of Dell Computers. “If you’re not doing that, you’re going to have a real problem.”

Curiosity and resistance cannot coexist. Empower others by being curious.

Empower, Equip, EncourageTony Jalan

Tony Jalan

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