The most successful people I have seen over 40 years of business share one crucial characteristic.


The successful are insatiably  curious, it spans all aspects of their lives, not just the parts that are spent working at what pays the mortgage, but across all aspects of their private and social lives as well as their commercial ones.

Curiosity also in independent of the size of the enterprise, and often happens in clusters, as one curious person infect those around them. The Medici effect.

Supporting the curiosity are a number of specific behaviours I have observed, that to a greater of lesser extend are exhibited by all, they are in effect the enabling behaviours of their curiosity.

  1. They are always asking questions, some whilst knowing that the receiver has no idea of the answer, or even if one exists.
  2. They seek alternative views everywhere, encouraging others to play devils advocate
  3. They network relentlessly, seeking a diversity of views, not just on their areas of specific interest, but across the span of human activity
  4. They read widely, then test what they have read against their own experience
  5. They are curious about advances and ideas outside their area of immediate focus
  6. They observe, play “fly on the wall” looking for jobs to be done” by all the products being used in the environment they are observing.
  7. They experiment relentlessly, often in very small ways, and explicitly set out to understand what worked, what did not, and why.
  8. They record everything, by making notes, using a Dictaphone, and more recently using the plethora of mobile devices to great benefit.

Perhaps you can add some more, but at least ask yourself how many of these you display, and are they displayed by those around you.