Who Is A Thought Leader?
“Denise Brosseau [Stanford Business School staff and CEO of the Thought Leadership Lab] believes that leading in today’s complicated world requires clarity of intention, voice, and focus. In essence, it requires thought leadership. In Denise’s view, thought leadership isn’t just about being famous or being known, it’s about getting your ideas out to the world in a way that promotes engagement, connection, and action.“ - Lisa Kaye Solomon
Thought leaders are leaders who are trusted, have noted opinions and are known go-to authorities in their field. They move and inspire through innovation which becomes reality. Perhaps most importantly they can replicate their success by motivating others to do the same. Some thought leaders accomplish this through the creation of a step-by-step process which they eagerly share or teach.
Since a thought leader is a long trusted authority in their arena, becoming one takes time and dedication. Typically a thought leader begins as a leader in their niche or area of passion. They then pursue unique problem solving options or innovations which help them gain status and position. Many thought leaders are board participants, government committee members and/or community effort participants.
There are several types of thought leaders thought to exist:
Pathway pavers laying down new inroads
Collaborators building new networks
Competitors motivated to be at the top of their niche
Intellectuals motivated to share their research and knowledge
Provocateurs motivated to stir things up.
All of whom are leaders first who use their perseverance and power to persuade to move things in a new direction.
Watch for thought leaders to emerge in the following arenas:
Data - with opportunities in disrupting regulatory measures, privacy policies, sharing habits and business strategy alterations. Innovations may be based on how these items impact the bottom line and services vs product.
Supply Chain - Typically undervalued and under-considered by leadership, new thought leaders may take into consideration the company’s need to go beyond efficiency and logistics and into value creation and innovation
Blockchain - More than just technological capability, blockchain has the ability to challenge centralized platform companies across industries. Consider the ramifications of changing platform-based, centralized companies like Amazon, Google and the like to a more open-user based company, challenged and verified by anyone and everyone.