Change is a journey, not a destination. It is important to focus on what will have the most impact, but also what you are truly ready to embrace. Consider these questions:
Q: What am I ready to learn?
Q: What aspects of myself or my leadership style do I need to accept?
Q: What needs to be awakened within me?
Q: What feels like the natural next step in my leadership journey?
Tom’s Reflections on These Questions
The question “What am I ready to learn?” is inviting openness.
That openness is asking us to reflect on what we already think we know that may be holding us back (“I am someone who….”, “I wouldn’t….”).
In short, it is asking: “What am I ready to forget?”
In a culture that prides itself on teaching and cultivating knowledge, the idea of letting go of knowledge may feel strange. And yet, the simple fact is that what we know both allows us to learn (for example, giving us the relevant language) and at the same time can prevent us from learning because of old ways of thinking.
In other words: What might I need to let go of in order to truly learn?
In the Zen tradition there are legends of monks burning their sacred books. The idea is to jolt students out of complacent or rigid thinking, challenging them to experience the teachings directly rather than becoming attached to the words or symbols that point to those teachings. By “burning the books,” so to speak, the focus is shifted from intellectual grasping to immediate, lived experience.
The Curious Leaders programme is designed to foster a deep sense of curiosity about who you are as a person and as a leader. It challenges you to reflect on what you can do each day to become a more effective leader. The premise is that before we can truly lead others, we first need to lead ourselves.
It thus ultimately starts with self-leadership. This is about building a practice of reflection and action whereby we become increasingly curious about how our thinking is impacting our actions. This is the first step in building a world in which curiosity shapes leadership.
In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. In truth, nurturing curiosity in leadership is essential if we are to address the key challenges of the 21st century.