Dos Equis’ ad campaign for the Most Interesting Man in the World encourages us to “Stay thirsty my friends.” Changing the campaign to the Most Interesting Leader in the World and the tag line to, “Stay curious my friends,” makes it excellent advice for a high potential leader.
Roger Cameron set a great example for the Cameron-Brooks Team with his curiosity. He may have only typed with his index fingers and would occasionally get frustrated when his computer would not turn on (someone would point out that it needed to be plugged in), however, he never feared technology. Roger wanted to know how to use his computer to be more effective. He was the first in our company to get an iPhone and utilize productivity applications. He learned how to play golf at age 78. He has been retired for several years, however, when I meet up with him, his curious nature and inquisitiveness continues to highlight his conversation. After several years of retirement, Roger is still mentally sharp, active and healthy.
Here are 5 suggestions on how to stay curious, so you can also develop, stay mentally sharp, active and hopefully healthy, too!
- Read 1 professional book a month on a topic with which you are not familiar. I found myself in a rut reading numerous leadership books. The themes started to repeat themselves, and I was not learning much. This year, I dove into books on Physics and other Science topics. So far, I have read 7 Brief Lessons On Physics and Reality is Not What it Seems by Carlo Rovelli and Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.
- Listen to podcasts during your commute or workouts. There are numerous entertaining and informative podcasts on business, leadership, current events and more. Some of my favorites include Art of Manliness (you do not need to be a man to listen to this), Great Works Podcast and the Tim Ferriss Show (though he curses too much for me). Of course, I am a big fan of the Cameron-Brooks Podcast – Above and Beyond too!
- Take courses online through Udacity, Coursera, Khan Academy, Investopedia, and iTunes University and more. You can take courses on Lean, Six Sigma, Microsoft Office, Computer Programming, Basics of Big Data, Machine Learning, Finance, Supply Chain Management, Heat Transfer and so much more.
- Earn a certification. Weekend, evening and online educational opportunities offer many opportunities for certifications. If you do not have time for an MBA or already have a Masters’ degree, you can pursue a variety of professional certifications in leadership to include Coaching and Negotiation and also other more traditional certifications like Lean Six Sigma or Project Management.
- Build your network. Set aside every month to reach out to someone and strengthen your network. Set up a call with a mentor or professional acquaintance to talk about a subject or issue you’re experiencing at work or some topic in which the person has significant experience.
By staying curious, you will continue to develop and grow, keep your life interesting, build a stronger professional network and potentially earn the title “The Most Interesting Leader in the world.”