Well, I think that insatiable curiosity is important in a time dominated by complexity and dynamism, because you have so many things you need to understand. For the last 20 years, insatiable curiosity has been really important.
I think in order to do one or two big things, you have to know many little things. I think it’s also important in a complex time with a lot of dynamism to be able to relate to all different kinds of people, because, in the end, most political power depends more on persuasion rather than coercion.
And then I think you have to be able to reconcile the complexities and order them in a pattern. For a lot of people who just follow the evening news or read the morning paper, it’s like the political equivalent of chaos theory in physics.
But your job, if you’re a leader, is to take superficially random events and organize them into patterns that tell you what you should do to maximize an opportunity or head off the problem.
Being decisive in the face of complexity and ambiguity is important. Being able to make a call, to decide to act, and then figuring out how to act to support that decision. Yes, be curious; yes, appreciate the complexity and ambiguity; but then organize into patterns and decide what you’re going to do and execute.