What are you curious about?
If you met that question with speechless silence, you’re not alone. Somehow as busy, focused adults, we forget to wonder.
Remember wondering? When you were little and the world was so big and mysterious? And your mom was so smart, and your dad was so strong, and every plain brown package that arrived at the door was a world of possibility?
I have two sons, Jackson (who’s six) and Morgan Adam (he’s four). Talk about curious! We have a little game we play at night. I let them ask me two questions – anything they want. And are they ever curious!
Jackson, especially, can hit that two-question limit in no time. Left unchecked the kid would talk all night! Why do people work? Why are my eyes brown and Morgan’s are blue? What happens when you’re late to school? How come Jeremy is so much taller than me? What do I have to do to be better at tetherball? Am I going to have homework tomorrow? How does Santa know you said I can’t get a skateboard?
And as he goes on and on, I have to wonder – is he ever going to stop asking these questions? I sure hope not.
And if you want to be an exceptional leader, you won’t either. Patrick Byrne is the CEO of Overstock.com, and it’s his advice to you.
You have to stay curious. If you’re not curious your organization is going to wither beneath you.
So will your team. Your results. Your ability to create.
If you’re out of practice, try this exercise. I call it People Wondering. It’s People Watching, with a twist. The next time you’re in a busy place, waiting (think traffic, the airport, the supermarket line at 5:15), look around you and start to wonder. It sounds like this.
I wonder if this sale lasts all week? I wonder what’s making that man laugh so hard? I wonder if I’ll eat all of these bananas before they go bad? I wonder if the sushi rolls here are as good as the sushi bar’s? I wonder how fast I could check a basket full of groceries?
Then start wondering about your goals and aspirations. Get curious about what’s possible.
I wonder what would happen if we flattened our organization and went to a matrix structure?
I wonder what our company would actually look like if we doubled in size?
I wonder what we would have to do to raise profits twelve times over?
Free yourself not to have all the answers. Get curious. Ask some questions. Just wonder.
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