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Do you have a strong desire to learn?

It’s hard to imagine a context in which a leader would respond negatively to such a question. With all the deluge of content aimed at lifelong learning and learning organizations, it seems to be a given. Leaders are supposed to say, “Yes” to learning.

What is your current level of curiosity?

The last time you were asked to identify your strengths, did curiosity make your top five? Before you answer too quickly, look up the definition of curiosity.


According to, curiosity is defined as “the desire to learn or know more about something or someone.” By definition, there seems to be a strong connection between learning and curiosity. Curious people have a strong desire to learn. If you are serious about learning, you should be trending toward more curiosity.

Sadly the odds are stacked against you as your age increases. After all, it’s hard to compete with the curiosity of a child. It’s not just a matter of age. Experience can cause you to construct walls that hinder learning. Leadership is tough. The challenges are substantial. Your inquisitiveness can take a beating.

“Exercising leadership is an expression of your aliveness. But your life juice – your creativity and daring, your curiosity and eagerness to question, your compassion and love for people – can seep away daily.”

— Ronald Heiftez and Marty Linsky, Leadership on the Line

So, is the wonder of a child destined to devolve into the cynicism and arrogance of an adult? No. You can reverse the trend. First, get some honest feedback and identify the warning signs in your life:

Limited Engagement with Others


Mental Fatigue



Then, rediscover the joy of curiosity. Think about the relative ease with which children exhibit curiosity. Choose one of the following behaviors and practice this week:

Practice Honesty. Do not hide your lack of knowledge or expertise. Instead of pretending to know, learn to say, “I don’t know.” Seize opportunities to learn something new.

Increase Inquiry. Ask more questions. Most parents can remember specific examples of relentless questions from their children. Choose to practice critical inquiry. Active minds pose thoughtful questions.

Keep a Journal. Take time to write a few notes at the end of each day. Begin your journal with “What I learned today…” Your daily journal is more than a tool of reflection. It is a catalyst for more learning.

Build your Curiosity. Explore The InitiativeOne Leadership Transformation Process. Contact us today at

Photo by Erik Araujo/



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