Curiosity: A Key To Compassionate Leadership

Curiosity is powerful. 

I developed the 7Cs of Compassionate Leadership to discern the main attributes of what exemplifies a compassionate leader. Compassionate leaders are purpose-driven and always seek to bring about positive change on a micro and macro level. These core fundamentals are the starting point for any who wish to bring more compassion into their work and for any who wish to lead with love.

These 7Cs are: compassionate, confident, collaborative, contemplative, civil, curious, and courageous. 

Let’s take a deeper look at this idea of being “curious.” 

My colleague, Alison Horstmeyer, the inaugural Research Fellow at USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, is wrapping up her PhD focused on curiosity and the role it plays in business and leadership development. At a time when the state of our businesses and our livelihood may seem uncertain and ambiguous, Alison believes that remaining openly curious is a crucial element to embrace the unknown with more resilience and intrigue. 

Laurel DonnellanWhy is curiosity so critical especially now?

Alison Horstmeyer: I cannot think of a more critical time for each of us to activate our curiosity. We are working in a time of significant upheaval. When our world challenges us as it is now, our survival reaction is to cling to what we know because it gives us the illusion of safety,  clinging to a narrative that leaves us further entrenched in conformist and legacy thinking, approaches, and systems, self-preservation practices, and social mimicry. We can’t adapt. Curiosity is innate, multi-faceted, and empirically defined as, the recognition, pursuit, and desire to explore novel, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous events. How can we adeptly navigate the world without curiosity? Simply stated, we cannot.