The best leaders are pattern thinkers

the best leaders are pattern thinkersLook at any of the top innovative businesses in the world and you will see that it is driven by an innovative leader. So I was not surprised that yesterday’s post, 5 future-proof questions to ask people in the know, resonated with you.

Jack Martin Leith commented: “Great post. Thank you Jorge. A prerequisite for someone asking those five questions is to be in a state of perpetual curiosity, and I don’t think that can be acquired. Any thoughts?”.

My answer:

I think curiosity can be acquired (we already have the skills to do so) but you gotta have some level of obsession to be “perpetually curious”. I think some people are scared or don’t care much about being creative, but I think most people are motivated to being better. So, we have to frame it as a “commitment to getting better”. And more importantly, if people are not individually driven to be curious, it has to be done as a group. I’ll give you an example of how I’ve used a mechanism to do so with a group I work with. I stole the “Make a Wish” idea but re-purposed it towards learning about something.

So, every month every person on this particular group has to grant someone on the team a wish about something they want to learn. Everyone gets to participate and learn, while also bringing awareness to “what else everyone is passionate about and can teach it to someone else”.

I don’t think any of us deliberately set out to be passionately curious, some of us just are fascinated with everything around us. In the case of business, we are fascinated with anything that has the potential to impact our life. And if we are not curious about those things, then we’ll have no clue what its impact might be on someone else’s life.

Passionate curiosity is indispensable, no matter what the job is. People who are passionately curious are alert, awake and engaged with the world and wanting to know more. People with this quality are sponges for information, for insights, wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.

I believe that best leaders are pattern thinkers: passionately curious and insightful.

They are passionate about getting better, so are continuously trying to better themselves; persistent learning is a given. Because of this, they are also insightful and have the ability to connect the dots. Though we live in a world where leaders are paid to have all the answers, their greatest contribution is asking the right questions; a skill that starts with passionate curiosity.