Five Ways to Lead With Curiosity

It happens to many leaders when they have worked on the same team or in the same position for a long time. A daily routine turns into a slow and burdensome climb up a mountain. It feels like a heavy weight is on their shoulders as they execute their tasks and responsibilities. The work flows and the outcomes just keep happening in a very predicable way. They may begin to wonder if there are any new projects that may possibly shake things up for them, not even sure that is what they are hoping for.


Is this really the career you signed up for? Of course not. But something has to change to reignite your juices. How do you create a shift in your thinking and your direction to knock you off your current trajectory? There’s one sure fire way to get a leader moving and that is to expand their mind and become curious.

Five ways to lead with curiosity:

1. Be Honest That Work Isn’t Working

As painful as this may be, the first step in leading with curiosity is acknowledging that the air has left your balloon and you are drifting along with no direction or wind. For some leaders it may not seem obvious that their work world has become overly routinized with a lessening of energy. In fact, some of us just get use to the inertia and forget who we were in a different time.

2. Commit To Becoming A Child Wonderer

Well shake off that feeling of aimlessness and think back to your childhood years of wonder and curiosity. In your imagination, spread out all your toys and look at them with intent and openness. Get down on the floor to play and make some inquiries to yourself:

  • Which toy or toys am I being pulled towards?
  • What was most exciting about this toy in my childhood?
  • What’s important about this toy for me now?
  • If I add this toy to my leadership toolbox, what will it bring me?

3. Let Out Your Risk-Taking Moves

Pretend to be an explorer and decide on what feels right to excavate at this moment. What new projects are you fascinated with and wish you could be part of? Allow yourself to be curious and to step forward, holding your hand up high. Be courageous and volunteer to spearhead an assignment totally out of your comfort zone. So what if you fail. It is far better to try and see if this different trail is just what you need.

4. Embrace The New Possibilities

Leading with curiosity means taking on the new direction by delving in and finding out what is there for you to grow. Brainstorm the different choices that are appearing right before you and take time to analyze which is the best road to go down.

  • Look at all the sides of your possibilities and feel their dimensions.
  • Allow yourself to see how this next opportunity fits into your larger career plans.
  • Be clear on what will be gained and perhaps what needs to be tossed aside.

5. Build A New Sandcastle

In the end leading with curiosity leads to building a new beginning. It may be an entire overhaul of your current job situation or a just a new stretch assignment that will complement your career. What’s important is creating this pivot with curiosity, openness and energy. For some, it may mean a new foundation using new skills and talents. For others, this new sandcastle has elements of your current sandcastle with some different shapes. Don’t procrastinate and assume things will change without taking action. Be curious and forge ahead today.

What other ways do you lead with curiosity?

Related: You Can’t Fake Listening