Curiously Uncomfortable

She didn’t win. Although nominated for Album of the Year in 2013, Taylor Swift shared in an interview with Entertainment Tonight,  the reactions she considered; decide they were wrong, or be curious enough to self-reflect and make the adjustments needed to create a project worthy of winning. Taylor Swift, an icon in the music industry and arguably one of the most successful artists in our generation, chose the latter. Fully embracing the challenge, she won Album of the Year in 2016, with her next album titled 1989.

When we let curiosity lead, innovation follows. Natalie Nixon highlights in her book, The Creativity Leap, that “inquiry, or curiosity, is the foundation, because without the ability to ask questions, you cannot be self-reflective; you are stuck.” It’s never comfortable to confront what went wrong, and admit that we may have done something wrong, but it’s essential to improving a situation or ourselves.

We would be wise to apply the same steps to our leadership. I share in my book, Lead With Imagination, that when we create the space where it is okay to make mistakes, “learning, increasingly creative strategy, more capable execution, and improving performance take root.” It is uncomfortable to stand up, in front of our people, and tell them we messed up and need to fix something (refer to "Pushing the Pole" in Ch. 6 of Lead With Imagination for more details). It is easier to pass on the blame, to call attention to anyone’s fault but our own. However, we’re called to be curiously uncomfortable; otherwise, how would we grow?


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