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NOTE:  Johannes Drooghaag aka JD, Founder of Spearhead Management, Executive Consultant, Business Coach and Trainer provides today’s Guest Post.    

Dr. ir Johannes Drooghaag, MBA, M.Sc., B.E.

A Lifetime Of People First And Have Passionate Curiosity  

My professional journey started at the military academy. It is there where I learned a valuable lesson about leadership. The short version of that lesson is ‘troops eat first.’ It tells you to take care of your team before you take care of anything else. We are to put ourselves second.  This lesson influenced me personally and professionally, more than I realized. Accordingly, I have passionate curiosity for all that I do.

The lesson transformed my approach. With everything I do in my professional life, I ask myself one question; ‘What does this mean for the people?’  I invite others to answer the same. Adding to this,  I have passionate curiosity, something I inherited from my mother.  You now have my ‘secret recipe’ for business.

Although I have a technical background, the focus of most of my work is on leadership, coaching and training people, and business development. Does it sound like a strange mix to you? It isn’t when I tell you how I work in these areas.

In leading roles, and when coaching leaders, I focus on enabling people. The process requires a lot of conversations. Remembering, ‘Troops eat first,’ plus my honest, passionate curiosity has me asking questions.  Equally important is that I carefully listen to the answers. The same applies to business development. I ask questions of each person about their unique challenges.  Doing so provides insight into the priorities of each person. Even in my favorite field of cybersecurity, I focus on the human element.

Conversations, questions, and answers, for me, provide the only way in which I can offer solutions. And so far, having passionate curiosity has worked very well for me in all fields.

Finding my drive and my tools

After more than 30 years, I can now explain my drive: to share with everyone how I work and which tools I use. That wasn’t always the case. It took me quite some time to figure out and longer to learn how to make the best of it. Looking back, I could have done better if, earlier in life, I had understood myself and how I think.

I tried selling several times, wanting to become good at it. I didn’t get why it didn’t work for me because I always felt that it is a natural extension of business development. I should have skipped those attempts in trying to do it ‘my way.’  Selling is something entirely different. The art of selling is something you can learn and implement when you have the right mindset. I didn’t have the right mindset at that time. After several years and failed attempts, I did the ‘mental reset.’ I dropped my expectation that I could sell with the same methods I use for business development.

I opened up to several types of training and learned the trades from experts. I was open-minded to what they told me. I should have done that a few years earlier.  But the learning helped me to have passionate curiosity.

Learning and re-learning are the new normal.

Why am I telling you all this? My goal is for you to recognize the need to embrace your unique skills. Pay attention to the lessons you learn along the way. Be open-minded to new ideas and new capabilities. Sometimes it is better to stop believing that you can do it all by yourself. Realize that on occasion, we each need help.

Reasons to Have Passionate Curiosity

Often, what you have learned and the skills you have no longer apply in the workforce. Change is the constant for the future of work. Experience itself is becoming less relevant. Of more importance is your ability to learn the specific skills for a task or a project.

The trend is already developing in the market, especially in tech firms. And it will become the so-called new normal very soon. To understand this, realize that a lot of the jobs which are currently in high demand didn’t exist ten years ago. Some of them didn’t exist five years ago. This cycle of refreshing the workforce demand will only get shorter. Experts expect that within the next ten years, at least 50% of the current jobs and projects will not exist. You can best prepare by embracing the need to have passionate curiosity. 

Challenging and encouraging yourself to learn new skills will have a much higher value than all else. Providing value is the number one reason to have passionate curiosity and prove your worth.  The effort will rank higher than your resume’s formal education and experience.  A must-have skill you can and should re-teach yourself is curiosity. I say re-teach on purpose.  Remembering back, as kids, we were all curious. We had to try everything. Discovery was always in front of us.

You can re-train yourself to have passionate curiosity. The importance of being curious is it helps you to prepare for a career in which learning new skills is a part of your job. When you have passionate curiosity, career advancement is more likely to naturally flow.    

For More Insights:

Visit Elinor’s Amazon Author Page    
Read Related Blog Posts:
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  2. You Deserve to Shine!
  3. How Do You Believe You Can Improve Business Today?

Today’s insights are provided to help you achieve the Smooth Sale!

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