The VIEWPOINT column is intended for thought leadership, provocative ideas and future thinking about the background screening.
What Is A Thought Leader?
A thought leader tends to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields or industry although it is possible for an outlander in this connected world we live in to emerge as a thought leader as well.
Thought leaders also tend to be the pacesetters in their industry, the forward thinkers that set the direction that others will follow. They are the people that conceptualize the future, the possibility thinkers, the individuals that move their company or in some cases their industry to a new paradigm.
The thought leaders are the people that are the ‘go-to expert’ in their company and/or industry, they are the person that you frequently here people say, “let’s see what JD thinks about it.” They are the people who are not content to simply become part of history, but the people that have the drive, courage, gumption and audacity to dare to shape history.
“To put it simply, thought leaders are not only known for radically changing thoughts or ideas about a particular industry, but thriving in it too. For example, Nate Silver became the premier thought leader on statistics when his blog, fivethirtyeight, accurately predicted the results of the November election exactly in both state majority and ultimate electoral college votes. After weeks of dismissive behaviors from analysts and research centers, Silver’s accuracy boosted him into the new role of election thought leader.
The moral of the story? Do something everyone else in your field thinks is dumb [or couldn’t possibly work,] and be right about it. Granted, that may be a bit oversimplified, but it’s that kind of hard left (or right, or 180-degree turn) that, when successful, can grab the right kind of attention.” (http://mashable.com/2013/07/09/thought-leader/)
The interesting thing about thought leaders is not only that they have weird, wacky and alternative ideas that work, but they also have strong enough ideas to transcend the inside talk of their environments, [industry] and educate the general public.” (http://mashable.com/2013/07/09/thought-leader/)
“A recognized thought leader has the power to persuade, the status and authority to move things in a new direction.” (http://sparksheet.com/what-is-thought-leadership/)
Thought leaders advance the marketplace of ideas by advancing new points of view. They engage in “blue ocean strategy” thinking, as opposed to simply recycling ideas, churning out incremental improvements in ideas, brand-centric white papers or curated content that shares or mimics others’ ideas; instead they “boldly go where no one has gone before.”
In the final analysis, thought leadership is not a position you choose to adopt, it is bestowed on you by others because your ideas have contributed to a new parade forming and makes a difference.