I keep hearing the term "thought leader". What qualities make a business person a thought leader?
I would love to hear your opinions. Are there certain skills, ways of looking at the world...? How do you process the term "thought leader"?
Ummm. .... This is a guess... A thought leader is one who directs the thoughts of others. Can sway opinions, cause others to see things a certain way. Motivates people mentally toward dedication to a task. Like I said just a guess, but there you have it.
The use of the term thought leader is a concept I have not heard before. I believe a thought leader is like any leader. They have ideas and can convince others they are worth utilizing. Leaders do not need to be individuals in management but anyone who has suggestions or ideas associated with the organization for which they work.
Today in some cases management doe not either listen or ask enough of individuals who are involved in an activity to which they have answers. Organizations that involve they employee base tend to succeed as they are making them feel a part of the organization and that they have something good to say.
I think that a "thought leader" is called that by a journalist because the writer agrees with the person's viewpoint, hence thought leader. Occasionally it is objective, as used on someone like the late Steve Jobs, but in the political realm it's just a writer's way of enlisting allies for him or herself.
Thought Leaders share some common traits, they are generally:
- Highly visible
- Well thought of in their fields of expertise
- Articulate in expressing their opinions
- Good at creating innovative approaches to business and problems
Essentially, a thought-leader is able to create new solutions and better ways of doing things. As an example, you could say that Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) is a thought-leader as he had a vision twelve years ago that online retailing would be huge and started the website that we all use.
It is becoming an increasingly popular term. If you're interested in finding out more, I recently wrote a hub listing some great business podcasts where thought leaders share their views.
Another great place to hear this sort of thing is TED Talks, especially the Simon Sinek one on Leadership.
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