What is a Thought Leader?
The new buzz word is Thought Leader. Well, that’s one of many new buzz words. I am starting to see a lot of social media profiles where the user claims to be a thought leader. What does it mean to be a thought leader, and is that enough?
A thought leader is someone who’s views and opinions on a subject are said to be authoritative. That means that you are the subject matter expert and people look to you for answers on that subject. That would seem to eliminate all the self-proclaimed thought leaders right away. Who made you the authority on a subject, especially something as broad as small business or marketing? All of the sudden your 17 twitter followers (10% of which are spam) have elected you the thought leader on a subject? This seems a little pretentious to me.
How does one go about becoming a thought leader? Is there an election process? I’d like to throw my hat in the ring, heck I am constantly thinking about stuff.
Just read my other blog posts and you will see I am often rambling about this or that. This only happens when I have time to put pen to paper so to speak. In reality, it’s fingers to keyboard but you get the drift. There is so much more that I don’t blog or write about. My mind is constantly wandering, thinking of how things could be better in different aspects of my life…and others.
Forbes says that it’s truism that thought leaders tend to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields. Well if that’s true then I should be the most successful CT Inbound Marketer. I don’t believe I am..well not yet. I find it hard to believe that a thought leader with little following is the most successful individual in their respective field. In fact, to be a leader don’t you have to have followers?
A Thought Leader Among Men/Women
What if I told you I know of a thought leader who was recently hired at a large corporate firm because he was considered a thought leader? You’d probably say that’s awesome, that just proves Forbes point and we should all strive to be thought leaders. Well, what if I told you that the thought leader was fired months later because he failed to put any of his thoughts into action? Oh, now I have your attention.
You see being a thought leader is cool, especially if you were not self-appointed but it’s not enough. You have to act on your thoughts as well. You have a great idea, a great course of action or steps to improve an existing plan and that’s awesome but it does no good if you’re not putting those thoughts into action. The best-laid plans are useless unless you are prepared to, and do execute.
It’s kind of the reverse of acting without thinking. You know what kind of trouble people get into when they act without thinking first. It’s usually not very pretty. Occasionally it’s downright ugly. Well, thinking without action probably won’t become ugly (unless you get fired for it) but it’s essentially the same thing. At least if you act without thinking you just might accomplish something. A thought leader who doesn’t act will just portray someone who does nothing.
The point of this brief but necessary post can be summed up with two words..Do Something. I would not say I am the smartest man in business but I believe I can hold my own. I have made mistakes but isn’t that how we learn? I know, it’s cliche. I am constantly thinking, looking for new and interesting solutions. I love challenges, especially the challenges where everyone tells me it cannot be done. I thrive on the “impossible”.
I put it all into action. I do something. And that’s the point I am trying to make. Being a thought leader without action is the same thing as doing nothing. It’s not enough to be a thought leader.
What are your thoughts on this? Put your thoughts into action and let me read them!