Later this fall I am leading a session on curiosity at the National Youth Workers Convention in Memphis, TN. Sparking interest and curiosity in young people is integral to the work of a children's worker, youth pastor, or teacher. I mentioned in my book, The Self-Aware Leader, that curiosity is an important trait for leaders to possess. And I believe it. Curiosity is indicative of a level of humility, a recognition that there's something more to discover and/or know. Curiosity is present in a “young” heart, one that possesses a joy for living and everyday surprises.
Curiosity is indicative of a level of humility, a recognition that there's something more to discover and/or know. Curiosity is present in a “young” heart, one that possesses a joy for living and everyday surprises. I say “young” because it's not easy to keep alive as we age. In fact, I think fostering the love for learning is important for older adults to stay active and alert.
One of the questions I like to ask helps me to learn about excellence, a focus of my podcast. In fact, this may be my new favorite question. I am fascinated by what separates some (in any area of life) from others. Why are some able to overcome the obstacles that keep SO many of us back? What helps move someone from just being average to excellent? This is the focus of the podcast I co-host, a podcast where we learn from leaders who have “moved from pedestrian to proficient.”
So, I like to learn by asking people, “What does it mean to be a ‘pro'? In their line of work or leadership, what do they see as important for those who want to excel? The answers are interesting and they don't often revolve around talent or giftedness. Both of those certainly play a role in excellence. Usually, people's answers speak of commitment or of durability and almost always of maturity. There are a set of skills, yes, but they're well-managed.
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