“Many leaders are the ‘walking wounded,’ but their followers are the ‘sitting silent.'” That’s a quote from the book Curious: The Unexpected Power of a Question-Led Life by Tom Hughes, Co-Lead Senior Pastor at Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock, CA (a city right around the corner from where I live).
Linking Being Curious and Leadership
Curious is a great book and I highly recommend it! There are many reasons why I like it but one of them stands behind the quote with which I started this post: healthy curiosity fuels good leadership.
But Tom also makes the point that a leader that is answer-driven instead of curiosity-driven will ultimately burn out, becoming the, as he calls it, the “walking wounded.” And what’s the result of this kind of leadership? Well, it isn’t good, that’s for sure!
The way Tom puts it is perfect: the “sitting silent.” Leaders who try to answer all the questions will eventually burn out and produce passive followers.
And here’s the really odd thing (and this is my commentary now): Many of these burned out leaders blame their followers for their burned-out status and they blame them for not being a more active part of their business, church, etc.
This isn’t entirely fair. Had the leader done his/her job from the beginning, namely leading from a place of humble curiosity and relentless authenticity, then he/she wouldn’t have to have every answer and his/her followers would be intrinsically compelled to be more active.
So, leaders, instead of complaining, let’s start leading from a place of curiosity!
What do you think? What role can and should curiosity play for a leader? And what do you think of the idea of the “walking wounded” producing the “sitting silent”? Let me know in the comments below!