During the many conversations, I’ve had about leadership over the past few years. An interesting theme cropped up many times amongst senior leaders within my organisations. It is best summarized as “Why do people always expect more help on this topic, when large quantities of information are available online about it.” I’ve previously explained that leadership is hard, but leadership can become easier if you reconnect with your inner childhood curiosity.
Knowledge is power
Nowadays, a staggering amount of text, images, and videos are posted on social media every minute. So much, that information overload can be a significant challenge. However, this opens up possibilities that one could only dream of even 20 years ago. In particular, it is now almost a given that someone somewhere faced the same challenge that you might be facing now. Do you have a particular challenge or issue on something? Have you tried googling it or googling the question you may have wanted to ask someone? I can guarantee that the answer you want will most likely available somewhere out there.
By finding out answers for yourself, you become more aware of your possibilities and those of your organisation. Most importantly, you become a self-starter, a problem-solver and someone that’s able to help others.
Always ask why
Curiosity about how a situation or an organisation developed can yield unexpected rewards through more understanding. I’ve always had a voracious curiosity, especially on anything to do with history. One of the first things I did when I got more involved in Toastmasters, was to learn its history, especially here in the United Kingdom. Some of what I learned then, subsequently guided my decisions when I joined the leadership team. This knowledge also made me far more aware of what our possibilities as an organisation were and indirectly strengthened my profile as a leader.
It is very common for organisations to lose institutional memory and to forget how things came to happen in the way they did. I would even go as far as saying that losing one’s knowledge of events is the first step in decline and eventual irrelevance. Leadership requires a sense of direction. Sadly, you can’t have a sense of direction if you forget where you come from.
Curiosity will almost always be rewarded regardless of circumstances, don’t forget this like a friend of mine once did.