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    Seth Goldenberg: Radical Curiosity

    Seth Goldenberg is the author of Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures. In his book, he explains how to reignite curiosity and talks with Marcel about what Radical Curiosity really means and how people can improve their ability to be curious. Goldenberg’s approach to stimulating curiosity was launched by a re-interpretation of the 18th and early 20th-century Salons. These informal gatherings were forums that advanced feminism, the Enlightenment, informal learning sciences, and the notion of the “public sphere”. Seth and Marcel discuss curiosity and activism, systemic prevention of curiosity, and some of the 28 building blocks for curiosity he includes in the book.


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    Show Notes


    To kick off the episode, Marcel Schwantes brought on co-host Robb Holman. Robb brings up the idea surrounding so many reasons for changing workplaces, the environment, or leaders not prioritizing the well-being of their staff. But what really is well-being? “When I think of well-being I think of physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, there are so many aspects that make up who we are.” [6:00] Robb defines well-being as this holistic view of ourselves, and too often leaders are looking only at the professional view and not even making time for their own well-being. 

    Radical Curiosity

    Seth Goldenberg is the author of Radical Curiosity: Questioning Commonly Held Beliefs to Imagine Flourishing Futures. “What’s holding us back from being curious, asking questions, and digging  down into the roots to find the answers to our problems.” [25:27] Marcel asks Seth about the barriers keeping us from being more curious, because as a whole, we are not collaborating, getting together, and asking questions to solve core problems. 

    Improving Curiosity

    So if we’re not being curious…can we get better? Seth says, “Curiosity is an innate capability in all of us” [36:29] Just like breathing, we are born with the ability to be curious but with the right work and focus, we can hone in and refine our curiosity to be better. In the book, Seth has 28 building blocks to improve curiosity, he discusses a few of his favorites at the end of the episode.

    Exploring What You Don’t Know

    This podcast is all about leading with love, and empathy…Seth proposes that a systemic prevention of curiosity is actually eliminating love and empathy. He explains how curiosity and breaking the path of prevention is the way to successful leadership. “That origin point of how to zero in and figure out what a great question is, to really unleash value… that is the leadership practice of the 21st century.” [48:10]

    Curiosity is Activism

    Seth in his book describes that curiosity can be a form of activism, in the way of unlearning. “So many core ideas are getting rewritten, we don’t have to make a new product…we have to actually unlearn.” [54:29] We are moving forward from many ideas in the past and keep this momentum and live successfully in this new era, we must unwind our minds and unlearn ideas so that we can be curious again. 

    The Book

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    About Marcel Schwantes

    Marcel Schwantes is the founder and chief human officer of Leadership from the Core, a global leadership training and executive coaching boutique aimed at developing great leaders and great cultures through Servant Leadership.

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