I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the church in her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is from Barnabas Piper and his book, The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life.
Barnabas is a writer, speaker, and leader here at LifeWay. He currently leads the marketing and branding for B&H Academic. He blogs regularly at The Blazing Center and BarnabasPiper.com. Piper also co-hosts two podcasts, The Happy Rant and 5 Leadership Questions.
The best leaders learn from anything and anybody… The greatest leaders are the curious ones.
– Louie Giglio
There are no experts any more, despite what people’s social media profiles say. Too much change happens too fast for anyone to really be an expert. The business world is expanding and morphing too rapidly for any one person to keep up and master it. People can master skills, but how long and in what ways will those skills be needed? Ask CD manufacturers.
Leaders must recognize both that they don’t know everything and what they don’t know. Once they figure this out, they must learn who does know.
Recognizing and owning our lack of knowledge humbles us. (Of course, refusing to admit not knowing leads to humiliation. You choose which is preferable.) It allows us to gauge realistically what we do bring to the table, what we don’t, and what’s missing at the table. Knowing what we don’t know allows us to be better collaborators and team members because we seek out those who have what we don’t and excel where we don’t.
An accepted leadership adage goes, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” The same is true of curiosity. Even with all the right people at the table, we still can’t be satisfied that we know it all. The right table is one full of people more curious than ourselves. The right people are those who maintain curiosity even as they are successful. The best workers and leaders are those that are constantly exploring how others are doing their work, who is doing it best, and making note of what they can learn.
Curiosity allows us to make connections between seemingly disparate ideas to create an even better one. It helps us make connections between people who have never met but ought to be working together. Curiosity shows where the needs and opportunities exist in a market and then what drives us to find the best solutions. It is what pushes us forward instead of settling for the status quo.
Work and leadership are much more than knowledge and expertise and even productivity. It is fairly clear how curiosity benefits us in those areas, but being a great manager or coworker or boss is a relational dynamic. Curiosity strengthens and supports this aspect of leadership too by helping us develop empathy, care, trust, and understanding. It is both the motivation and the habit to genuinely care and learn about our team.
We must be curious about the people with whom we work, not just about the work itself, especially if we are in leadership or seek it. The strongest teams and organizations are those full of healthy relationships. The happiest workers are those with healthy relationships. The best leaders are the ones who care about those they lead and are trusted by them, and this is exhibited and bolstered by asking the opinions of others and relying on their expertise. And all these dynamics are furthered and fostered by intentional curiosity.
Register here or in the form below by 11:59pm tonight, April 26, 2017, to win 1 of 10 copies of The Curious Christian: How Discovering Wonder Enriches Every Part of Life.