It turns out that curiosity is a trait of successful people.
In one study, author Adam Bryant, (out of his own curiosity) asked 700 CEOs what qualities they saw most in successful people. The number one answer was curiosity or passionate curiosity.
That’s pretty powerful. I think curiosity is something that we often see in others and sometimes see it in ourselves. I like how Adam asked that question. I’m guessing that those CEOs gave answers based on what they saw in others and saw in themselves.
And curiosity came out number one on the list.
If you’re looking for a way to be successful you can’t get a much better answer than that.
The Nature Of Curiosity
The key behind curiosity is the need to learn.
One of the things I’m mostly afraid of in life is losing the need to learn. I think I’ve done an okay job up this point in my life that I like to learn things. I like to read. I like to watch documentaries. I like to read the newspaper. I like to read studies. I like sitting down with business people on occasion and ask them questions. I like to learn what the kids are interested in these days.
For some reason, though, it seems that over time we lose our need to learn. We gain some sort of comfort. I think that’s really a good thing in a way. We feel like we accomplish things and that we can do something really well.
That might be business, sport or whatever. When you’re experienced in something you don’t have as much to learn. But it doesn’t mean you can’t continue to learn about your area of expertise and about other areas.
And that seems to be a major factor in success.
People in business use their curiosity to fuel their own growth and the growth of their companies.
For startups, it’s about learning how to make something work. You look for existing companies and look at what to copy and what to make better and how to be difficult. You find the right formula and stick to that formula.
But once you’re established you have to keep the need to learn. That often comes from looking at other areas of life. Looking for connections that can make your business better that others haven’t thought about.
Subscription services like Spotify and Netflix are recent examples. Music, film and television had pretty much the same business models for a hundred years.
Subscription services have been around for who knows how long. Newspaper, magazines, etc. It’s nothing new.
Spotify and Netflix saw that subscription model and figured it could work for music and TV. Why not?
Innovation, disruption, and new paradigms often come from combining two or more seemingly different things.
I’m a golf fan and about 50-60 years ago Gary Player combined fitness and golf. The game hadn’t really had any focus on fitness. Players would smoke and drink and eat poorly. Gary Player brought fitness to golf and in the ’90s, Tiger Woods took it to a whole new level and also took success in golf to unseen levels. Now it seems that every top golfer has a fitness routine.
What will be the next change?
It will likely come from someone with high curiosity. Perhaps Bryson DeChambeau, the so-called Scientist Of Golf. Will he discover the next great formula for golf?
The Importance Of Curiosity
As we get older we tend to become afraid of the unknown. As kids, however, all we care about is the unknown. Maybe it’s a natural thing. As we age we learn to avoid things that might be harmful.
But life needs a certain level of curiosity in order for their to be success. And the great thing is you don’t need to be afraid of learning. It’s just knowledge. You’re not jumping out of an airplane when you open a book.
It’s okay if something doesn’t interest you. Maybe your way of learning will be reading. You might hate 10 books before you get to the one that changes your life and provides new knowledge that will help you succeed on a new level.
The key is finding ways to learn that stimulate your senses. For some it might be reading. For others it might be going to networking events or conferences. For others it might be watching every TED video on YouTube. For others it might be taking continuous courses on Linda.
Whatever it is, find something that stimulates your senses and commit to it. Build curiosity into your life and like many others before you, you’ll likely find new levels of success.