A personal note from André van Hall

“Why adopt an attitude of curiosity? Because it empowers you to innovate, instigate positive change, and quickly adapt to difficult change”

meet-andreWhen I woke up on August 15, 2011, I couldn’t see below my chest. Throughout the day, I was shuttled to various doctors’ offices, then the emergency room. My anger and angst was so great, I felt like I was crawling into a dark hole of depression.

Late in the day, I lay on the gurney, looking at the ceiling, pupils dilated for the third time. An old joke came to mind, and I remember smiling, then laughing out loud.

That moment of laughter dissipated the darkness.

I understood that my angst, my dark attitude, had created the dark hole. And I realized the darkness of my eyesight would be enough – I didn’t need to compound this situation with emotional darkness. My laugh spurred a positive outlook, which pulled me out of the dark hole.

Next, my curiosity propelled me forward.

Blindness was irreversible and growing. I needed to rely on my innate inquisitiveness. How would I function as a blind man? How would I get to work without driving a car? For that matter, how would I get my work done?

I immediately reached out for resources and advice. I embraced speech-based computer technology. My wife Nancy and I moved, so I could easily access Denver’s urban transportation system. I learned how to use a cane. I researched organizations that offer guide dogs and, with substantial training, was matched with my guide dog Pelham.

Instead of simply continuing with life, my curiosity pushed me to flourish!

More than ever, I recognized that change is about attitude.

Curiosity is the key that can bring about a “change attitude.” In fact, I firmly believe curiosity is the key to instigate positive change – breakthrough innovations – in your position as a leader or individual contributor and throughout the workforce.

Adopt an attitude of curiosity, and you can innovate, create a culture of curiosity, and mobilize your team toward forward thinking. I have done this professionally in my 40-year career as a hospitality executive. And I have done this personally, in overcoming blindness and changing careers.

My challenge to you…

As the “Curiosity Instigator,” I challenge you to be curious! I challenge you to be inquisitive, seek new answers, and be open to change, as demonstrated in my Case Studies. If you’re a leader, I challenge you to wake up the curiosity of your employees. Meet with them and listen – really listen – to their ideas.

In my decades as a leader, I have learned that “curiosity” leads to breakthrough thinking … it propels you to be innovative, to be a Change Leader at the forefront of change!

Feel free to contact me with questions. I look forward to holding an engaging, creative discussion with you. And I’ll be curious to hear your thoughts.

 

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