I don’t know about you but I’ve been thinking a lot about thought leadership lately, and what it means. There seems to be a bit of a trend in throwing this term around here and there on social media and other forums. Thought leaders are celebrated and even given awards. That sounds nice – maybe I should be one!
First, I had to figure out exactly what it means to be a thought leader, so I consulted a reputable source in Wikipedia and found that they quoted Forbes with this definition:
“A thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognised as an authority in a specialised field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded”
Still sounds nice. But not really for me. Well not completely anyway. Sure I get it; we need to think strategically and draw upon various sources of information for inspiration when creating a compelling vision of our future. Does that make you a thought leader?
The issue for me when you really boil it down is that many of the thoughts from the thought leaders aren’t really that original, unique or earth shattering. A lot of the thoughts going around are the same thoughts that have been going around for a long time and that some put their own clever spin on from an old idea. The thoughts might have originated from classic thinkers like Napoleon Hill or Stephen Covey or Jim Collins or pick another.
What I want to be is an Implementation Leader.
We can sit around the camp fire and talk and think about the future all we like and there is definitely a time and place for that, but ultimately, we need to get things done. There are too many thoughts and discussions and ideas going around and around in a loop year after year. All great, fantastic, transformational thoughts. But they don’t get done.
If I am going to be known for something, personally I would rather be known as the guy that got it done than the guy that kept thinking about great ideas and got nothing done. Maybe there should be an award for that.
The irony that I have written a thought leadership article that isn’t entirely supportive of thought leadership isn’t lost on me. But hey, I got it done.
Thought about, scribbled down and implemented by Jason Croston