I used to think I knew what thought leadership was. Someone who had brilliant ideas. Someone who could almost see the future. Someone who thought of things that no one else did. Someone whose ideas were stunningly amazing and left you with jaws gaping.
I’ve come to realize I was wrong. It’s none of those things. It has nothing to do with new or original or mindblowing or amazing. It has nothing to do with being incredibly smart or futuristic or psychic.
So what is a thought leader? A thought leader is someone who listens to other people and hears their ideas. Thought leaders notice when the same ideas pop up over and over again. Thought leaders notice things that other people keep talking about but never seem to do anything about. Thought leaders speak up.
What it means is that anyone can be a thought leader. You don’t have to be Steve Jobs or Martin Luther King to be a thought leader. You just have to be passionate about something and speak up. Write that tweet. Write that blog post. Talk to your boss. Whatever you do, just speak up.
- 12 experts on the key thought leadership trends for 2012 (e1evation.com)
- New White Paper: Thought Leadership is the Key to Market Leadership (prweb.com)
- The Age of Thought Leadership (intelligistgroup.com)