Thoughts from Thought Leadership

The 2011 Thought Leadership Workshop is now completed, with David Maister as my guest, following Marshall Goldsmith last year. (The 2012 session is October 22-24 in Palm Beach—contact me for participation or use my web site. I have 15 seats available, that’s all.)

Here are my most vivid recollections from the beach:

• Tell people what you think and what you believe will help them, prescriptively. Don’t struggle for consensus.

• The ideas don’t have to be new, they have to be pragmatic and immediately applicable.

• Use multiple media: books, articles, blogs, newsletters, speeches, interviews, video, podcast, teleconferences, and so on. Broadcast your message.

• Use metaphor and symbolism to emphasize and create memorability.

• Understand your own “sweet spot” (what you’re superb at helping others accomplish) and identify the support factors that emphasize varying aspects.

• Thought Leadership can be research-based, or anecdotal, supported by examples and evidence.

• “Hang out with” and interact with other, recognized thought leaders.

• The term is vulnerable to cliché. I like to think of “results leaders.”

• Thought leaders evolve and change and are public figures who are accessible.

• One of the truest tests is longevity, with evolution of intellectual property.

• Intellectual property isn’t supposed to be hidden under a mattress. If you’re afraid of it being stolen if you broadcast it, then your claim to it is tenuous.

More to come.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.


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