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Insatiable curiosity is a key to great leadership. In contrast, the leader or business owner who presents himself as the perpetual expert shuts people up, and shuts them down. Curiosity requires us to dispense with any notion that a leader’s job is to have all the answers. Instead of having all of the answers yourself, be confident enough to ask your employees simple questions and open your mind to whatever they say. In doing so, you honor them and show them that you can learn—which leads to higher performance, commitment, creativity, and collaboration. Make it a personal practice to catch yourself playing the expert, and choose instead to ask questions as would a child or a student in class—and on an ongoing basis. Your employees will view you as more approachable, give you important new information, and do their best work.
Want to improve the way you run your business? Entrepreneurs, academics, and consultants from diverse industries offer practical advice on a variety of topics each business day.
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