Real Innovation and Leadership Requires a Curious Mind

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When Mark Rubio called out Donald Trump for lack of having any plans – “I saw you repeat yourself five times four seconds ago,” Rubio said. “He says five things: Everyone’s dumb, he’s going to make America great again, win, win, win, he’s winning in the polls, and the lines around the states. Every night, same thing.” – It basically exposed Trump as someone without a curious mind.  Trump knows what he knows and doesn’t care to listen to any other way of doing things.  Its his way or the highway.  Is this type of person we want leading the country?  Is this the type of person that can navigate a quickly evolving world?

In famed movie producer Brian Grazer’s new book “A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life” aims to show people how curiosity — even more than innovation and creativity — can be the force that drives success at work and in life.

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For Grazer a curious mind means talking to — and listening, really listening to — people who have a different way of looking at the world than he does.

“I seek out their perspective and experience and stories, and by doing that, I multiply my own experience a thousandfold,” he says. “What I do, in fact, is keep asking questions until something interesting happens.”

As artist, curiosity about the world is our source of inspiration.  As Leo Burnett put it – “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

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Or this quote from a real leader Winston Churchill – “I have always had a curious nature; I enjoy learning, but I dislike being taught.”  Seems difficult to lead a nation of people with different life experiences and ways of seeing the world if you don’t have a curious mind, don’t ya think?


From an interview on CNET with Brian

“Curiosity is the process of asking questions, genuine questions, that are not leading to an ask for something in return.” – Brian Grazer

Its like when Bernie Sander’s went to Liberty University to give a speech.  Talk about going into the lion’s den of close minded thinking.   Curiosity conversations take courage –  Brian saysIt’s about living in discomfort. It’s about living outside of your comfort zone. Any one of these people that you’re meeting is an expert in a world and with a vocabulary that’s completely different than yours — certainly Isaac Asimov is proof of that. You have to [overcome] a very steep learning curve just so you can relate to them and relate in a way that holds their interest.”


Seven Ways to Be More Curious

Ian Leslie on how to be more curious:

1. Read widely and follow your interests

“When you run into something interesting, drop everything else and study it.”

2. Polish your mind with the minds of others

Get different viewpoints or strengthen your arguments with input from others especially the opposing viewpoint.

3. Visit a physical bookstore or library and browse the shelves

Get out from behind your computer and explore.

4. Be willing to ask dumb questions

Be willing to ask all sorts of questions, even what may seem to be dumb ones.

5. Put a lot of ideas and facts in your head: Don’t rely on Google

Facts don’t kill creativity. Rather, they make creativity possible.

6. Be an expert who is interested in everything

Don’t blame the Internet for your lack of curiosity. Use it in a way that helps you gain both depth and breadth.

7. Don’t just focus on puzzles but on mysteries

As Einstein remarked: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious…It is the source of all true art and science.”

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