How Curiosity Changed My Life

Infatuation with your voice weakens connection, limits influence, and destroys effectiveness.

Brilliant leaders ask forward-facing questions.

Fall in love with the voice of others.

What about blabbermouths?

Don’t use the presence of blabbermouths as an excuse to become one yourself.

Blabbermouths are idiots. I don’t care how smart they are. Confront them. Restrain them. Avoid them. If necessary, remove them.


Fools talk. Wisdom listens.

I confess that I talk for a living. But the only way to say anything worth hearing is asking questions and attending to answers.

Curiosity changed my life.

When I started writing Leadership Freak I stumbled on something that changed my life.

The second most important thing I gain from writing a popular leadership blog is the opportunity to listen to the thoughts of others. The most important thing I gain from Leadership Freak is the discipline to write my own thoughts.

In February of 2010 a publisher sent me a copy of, “The Leadership Code,” I’d been blogging for about two months. It was the first of hundreds of books to come my way.

I wrote and explained that I wouldn’t mention a book if I hadn’t spoken with the author(s). They went for it. Since then, I’ve had scores of conversations. Some changed my life.

5 ways to practice forward-facing curiosity:

  1. Bring up the uncomfortable obvious. If someone limps, for example, ask about it. Respectful curiosity establishes connection. Try saying, “I notice.” Then be quiet.
  2. Ask hard questions. Safe questions never produce remarkable results. When something doesn’t feel right, say, “I’m curious about ….”
  3. Take notes. Let people know their words matter.
  4. Push past platitudes and safe theories. Dig into practicalities.
    • What would you DO about that?
    • How would you … ?
  5. Focus on the present and future, even if you begin in the past.

How might leaders practice the art of forward-facing curiosity?