We have all heard the coined phrase “Thought Leader” but what does it really mean to be regarded as a thought leader? A thought leader possesses certain “traits” that only extraordinary people exhibit.
HUH- wait a minute?!? Hold the phone!
While it is true, a thought leader must hold themselves to certain creeds – it is also true that ANYONE can be a great thought leader.
The # 1 creed a great thought leader lives by is to challenge the status quo. They question, challenge and change the way people think. They question, challenge and change the way things are done. They find solutions to problems before others start looking for answers.
You may never be as well-known as Steve Jobs, Richard Banson or Guy Kawasaki – but that doesn’t mean you could never be regarded as a great thought leader. You must question, challenge and change the way your customers do things, the way to your team does things and the way your industry does things.
You can find many blog posts on How To Be a Thought Leader. Just type “How to be a thought leader” in Google and see what you get…
But frankly what’s the point? If you really want to be a great thought leader you need to be able to read between the lines and draw your own conclusions. There is NO one way to do something – so why follow steps?!?
As you continue reading this post – I challenge you to read between the lines, question what I have to say and tell me what you think…
Why be “GOOD ENOUGH” when you could be “GREAT”
Here are some fundamentals that are found in great thought leaders…
Do you have what it takes?
Desire: Being better than good.
Write a manifesto and state your desires. Write a story telling who you are and the future you are trying to build. Tell others so they might join you on your journey.
Faith: The belief that no matter what – the outcome will be what you want it to be.
I must admit I didn’t truly understand what “to have faith” (from a business sense) meant until I read a story about a man named Chris Sharma. Chris Sharma questioned, challenged and changed the rock climbing principles for ever. Chris exhibits faith in every climb he does.
In business, we must exhibit faith when we go against the status quo. When we challenge, question and change our marketing strategy or customer service policy. We must not succumb to our fears – fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, and the list goes on.
Imagination: It is through imagination that all things are possible.
Famous people from long ago like Ferdinand Magellan the Portuguese explorer who believed the world was round. The idea took place in his imagination long before it became a reality.
In business, we must use our imagination to think of innovative ideas that will cause a major shift in how we market to our customers, how we do business and in how we treat our team members.
Listen: If you’d just listen- you just might develop a better solution.
All too often we walk into a sales or marketing meeting with our PowerPoint in hand, and we are ready to tell our captivate audience all about our idea, product or service. We talk for about an about hour, and people are impressed. It is a great idea but could be even greater? Taking the time to listen to others allows us to gain greater insights thus creating a better outcome.
Plan: It’s ok to do things unorthodox – even with your plan.
As a child, I always did mazes backwards. I am infamous for solving problems “backwards.” I find solutions to problems in alternative ways -it’s how I am wired.
Don’t underestimate the power of planning but also know it is your plan – you decide which path to take to get there.
Persistence: Never, Never, Never give up!
Think about all of the people who’ve achieved great things; business leaders, political leaders, musicians. What did they all have in common – they never gave up on their ideas/dreams/goals.
It all starts with challenging, questions and changing… What is your goal, belief or desire? Have you created a plan? Do you have faith? And are you going to keep on trying?
P.S. My commitment to you (the followers of this blog): All of my posts will be useful, truthful, and honest. For more great marketing tips visit my Facebook page. Do you have questions about your marketing? – eMail me at firstname.lastname@example.org