IP#06 Leading thoughts – June 13th

Leading Thoughts

What does it mean to be a ‘thought leader’?

While this term has been in use for many years, the first obvious mention of it seems to be in the book “Thought Leaders: Insights on the Future of Business” by Joel Kurtzman in 1994. The idea is that there are certain individuals who provide us with excellent insights and strategic perspectives on the future. Since the advent of social media, the idea of a thought leader has blown up, and LinkedIn and Twitter are full of those who profess to be at the top of their game.

There is also the term ‘influencer’. The core difference between thought leaders and influencers seems to be that thought leaders tend to have a following because of the ideas they share as opposed to any other reason, while an influencer can have a following for all sorts of reasons, from celebrity to comedy to what they wear to funny memes.

I have been described as a thought leader, and personally, I don’t mind the term. Thought leaders aim to lead our thinking. They get us thinking in new ways. They get us seeing the world differently.

There are four key lessons we can learn from thought leaders.

1.Have a unique perspective

If you follow what everyone else is thinking, you’re a thought follower. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want to become a thought leader, you need to think differently from the status quo. Expose yourself to new ideas and different perspectives and then look at the standard way of doing things to understand what you think about it.

2. Solve the problems of other people

Thought leaders talk about ideas that can make a difference to people. What makes a difference to people? Solving their problems!

3. Explain ideas simply and in an engaging way

Thought leaders can only lead thoughts if they are able to communicate in such a way as to reach as many people as possible with as much impact as possible. This involves mastering the art of clear and concise communication delivered with personality.

4. Be consistent

To be a successful thought leader you need to consistently provide value to others. Whether it is in videos, blog posts or podcasts, over time you become known as an expert. One post doesn’t cut it.

Regardless of whether or not you have any interest in becoming known as an expert or thought leader, these four strategies can help you to massively improve how impactful you are in life and in business.​



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