I was curious about a book written by a famous movie producer, one who had been responsible for such mega hits as “Splash,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Apollo 13.” In fact, Brian Grazer’s movies and TV shows have been nominated for 43 Oscars and 152 Emmys. A Curious Mind, The Secret to a Bigger Life is Grazer’s 35-year story of having curiosity conversations, every two weeks, with thousands of people, including scientists, politicians, writers, athletes, dictators, inventors and entrepreneurs – everyone from Steve Jobs to Fidel Castro to Jacques Cousteau to Dr. Edward Teller, the maker of the hydrogen bomb.
As I was reading the book, I thought of how his premise, curiosity, could be applied to what we do as marketing communications practitioners, as we work with our clients and various target audiences, or really any other career out there. Some of my takeaways from the book:
- Focus on talking less and asking questions to learn about key subjects
- Curiosity is about asking questions, genuine questions that are not intended to lead to asking for something in return.
- Instead of focusing on how to be more creative and innovative, invest time in being curious and listen to people who share different points of view.
- Technology can’t replace face-to-face interactions. There’s something lost when you don’t meet with someone in person – you miss facial expressions, tone and other nuances that tell a bigger story.
The book is a quick read and can open your eyes to the power of curiosity. One of the key benefits to working in a public relations agency is that you may have the opportunity to work with clients across a broad range of industries, where you learn a little about a lot of topics. If you have a curious mind, this may be the right career for you.