Leaders are very many; but Thought Leaders, they are a rare and a distinguished breed of individuals who are the visionary harbingers of tomorrow. When Leaders are striving to lead and live, thought leaders are creating a whole new world for us to live in! The classic example our world has witnessed is that of Nokia & Apple, the former Market Leader is still striving and thriving to sustain in this new world order, whereas the harbinger of tomorrow-the industry thought leader has banked on its spirit of thought leadership in innovation to bring our world closer to tomorrow. Simply put, Thought Leaders, do NOT wait for the tide to turn, they turn the tide and welcome the glorious tomorrow, today itself.
So what are THE distinguishing traits that separate the thought leader from the pack? Leaders may be born or made; but thought leadership is a different league altogether. There are 7 idiosyncratic traits of legendary thought leaders; we now show you how to embody these traits, in these 7 key steps to become the thought leader of your industry.
1. Follow your Passion
Passion prevails Profession. Period. If you are at crossroads between your passion and profession; don’t worry, as such a crossroad does not exist. The choice is simple: Your Passion has unrivalled power to fuel your Professional growth, and is the key contributing factor of thought leadership. Your Passion will open horizons, hitherto unknown or unexplored. Follow your passions to these new horizons, even if it is the road less travelled; the world will eventually follow you!
Where leaders demand following, thought leaders inspire it.
2. Find your BIG Idea: Carve your Niche
As Personal Branding Guru William Arruda says ‘What makes you Unique, Makes you Successful!’; regardless of your industry type, I am sure you all can find that one niche, that you can Create, Claim and Dominate. The message here is: Conceive that one BIG Idea or Create that one INVINCIBLE niche that you can proudly and more importantly happily pursue, lifelong. Remember what makes you happy, makes you successful too.
Leaders may be full of ideas, but the thought leader, is the Arjuna of Mahabharata: He fixates his mind onto the ONLY Idea which he truly believes in.
3. Be the Benevolent Visionary
Benevolence is the SOUL of Thought Leadership; unless your BIG Idea is able to touch hearts and Inspire lives, you haven’t reached your goal yet. Each Thought Leader has eventually created a legacy of inspiration for the world, in his own distinct way. Your BIG Idea should evolve into a BIGGER Picture that benefits the mankind, in either physical, emotional, mental, material or spiritual way. Find that one change that you aspire to be responsible for; transform the lives of people in the smallest way possible, rest will be history.
Aspire to Inspire; Inspiration empowers you to be THE Thought Leader, the credence of your industry.
4. Consistent Self Conviction
Every BIG Idea is first ridiculed, then opposed, then rejected before the world runs out of options to decry the nouveau idea. As the thought leader, belief in yourself, is of paramount importance. Quoting Richards Gere (from Runaway Bride) with a twist “I guarantee there’ll be tough times, I guarantee at some point, you will crave for a way out, BUT I also guarantee that if you do not uphold this insane self conviction paradigm, then you will regret it for the rest of your life, thereafter; because you do know in your heart, this is what you are meant to do!”
Self conviction is the first challenge of thought leadership; Belief in your personal brand and its vision is the secret of making the world believe in you.
5. Walk the Talk, with a creative twist
So you want to Inspire a change in the world? Brilliant; now BE the Change. Thought leaders are revered because they have the potential to practise what they preach. They are not a group of preachers who are eons apart from manifesting their dogma; they are the people who THINK, DO and INSPIRE ACTION because their own actions speak louder than their thoughts. Inspirations are contagious, as a thought leader it is your moral responsibility to create a thought platform that is capable of touching a million lives, in a billion ways.
Walk the Talk, but ensure that every TALK is as unique as the life you are about to touch. Explore, Express & Excite the world with a new thought manifestation, every single day.
6. Eternal Commitment to the Cause
The cause was close to your heart, to your life, to your raison d’être. And that is what it should remain, even when you are hailed as the Iconic thought leader, as the messiah of the change, as the most idolized individual of your industry. It is very easy to be consumed by success and power, but equally difficult to command the power of success with deferential dignity. Staying true to the passionate purpose of your life, to continue the perseverance even when it is not driven by the hunger for success, is the true characteristic of the thought leader.
Thought Leadership is not a conscious adoption for professional excellence; but a subconscious commitment for personal excellence.
7. Live your Brand; Inspire the World
The saga of your thought leadership is voiced by Your Personal Brand; it touches a million hearts today and inspires the world to come. A thought leader is always celebrated for having a strong Personal Brand, which is clear, constant and consistent time after time. It becomes his prerogative to create and communicate an Iconic, Inspiring and a truly Invincible Personal Brand Experience for his brand community which complements his Professional Excellence.
Live your Personal Brand, with unrivalled Elegance & Eloquence, such that it not only inspires others but immortalizes you, in their hearts.
Embody these 7 traits and become an Iconic Thought Leader, who Inspires Actionable Thought Leadership. Stop aspiring to lead the world; start inspiring the world towards a beautiful life. And remember Thought Leadership is not a moment of glory, but a glorious journey towards being ‘An ICONIC Brand‘ of your industry.
Leaders come and go; but thought leaders are immortalized in history as the true ICONS of the generation.
“Leaders make News; Thought Leaders, History!”