According to Wikipedia, a thought leader is an individual or firm that is recognized as an authority in a specialized field and whose expertise is sought and often rewarded. These are opinion leaders and figures that people go to meet in their area of expertise. Thought leaders are notable experts and visionaries with positive reputations for helping others with their experience, knowledge, and insight. They are also said to be people who, based on their expertise and perspective in their area of specialization, inspire people with innovative ideas, offer unique guidance, turn ideas into realities, and replicate success in other areas of their life. Thought leaders can come in many sizes and shapes, and they can be found in all areas and professions.
ATTRIBUTES OF A THOUGHT LEADER
- Innovative Mind: Thought leaders have an optimistic mindset on how things will get better and do not focus on how things are currently. They strive for betterment, improvement, and transformation. They breed ideas and then invest in how those ideas can become a reality.
- Risk-Taking Ability: One of the great attributes of thought leaders is their risk-taking ability. They are not fazed by negativity around the ideas they have. They are focused on how they can give birth to their dream and goal. Their quest to make life easy and create transformation makes some decisions that require courage, confidence, and doggedness. There are going to be times when they will fail, but their resilience sets them apart.
- Real: Thought leaders are not people who fake their identity and success. They are people who are transparent with their moves and journey in life. They are not people known for double stances. Letting people know of their failure and success stories creates a heart to heart connection with their followers. It is not easy because people of high caliber are figured people look up to, and to be perfect is one of the mistakes people like them make.
- Conviction: One of the attributes that set thought leaders apart is conviction. A leader of big ideas and visions must be convinced about their thoughts and must withstand anything to make their visions survive.
- Consistency: Although they may fail, their conviction and passion will strengthen them to rise and try again. Thought leaders are frequently aware of what the people in their field need, and they create ideas to make things happen. They are not scared to make new approaches or take steps toward actualizing their dreams.
EXAMPLES OF THOUGHT LEADER
Henry Ward Beecher
Joe Polish is an American author, public speaker, entrepreneur, and coach. He is known as the founder of Piranha Marketing, GeniusX, Genius network, and other agencies. Joe was born in El Paso; his mum died when he was four years old. He and his father struggled with the loss, and he couldn’t turn away from drugs at the age of 14; and later graduated from cannabis to other dangerous substances. In his 20s, Joe found himself in a struggling carpet cleaning business and debt, which he was able to turn around and become a millionaire at the age of 30. Since then, Joe has been able to assist other carpet cleaning businesses to grow their business. He is a philanthropist and advocates against addiction.
Grant Cardone is an internationally renowned speaker on sales, leadership, real estate investment, entrepreneurship, and finance. He is the founder and CEO of Cardone Enterprises, and his primary goal is to help companies, small- or large-scale, grow sales, and be more effective in their conversion. Grant is an author, business enthusiast, speaker, real estate investor, and social media influencer. One of Grant’s best quotes states, “Success is your duty, Obligation, and responsibility.” He is a leadership coach who urges his followers to rise above their limitations and outdated ideas and focus on their growth.
Dan Sullivan – Thought Leader
Dan Sullivan was born on November 13, 1964, and is an American politician and lawyer. He is the founder and president of The Strategic Coach Inc. He is a highly regarded speaker, author, consultant, coach, and also an entrepreneur. Also, he is a leader to many entrepreneurs and has helped them achieve their goals and reach their potential. He once served in the US military and as a judicial law clerk (focused on commercial law and corporate) before joining politics.
Steve Jobs is an American businessman, investor, and tech enthusiast. He was born on February 24, 1955, and died of Neuroendocrine cancer on October 5, 2011. He was the chairman, chief executive officer, and co-founder of Apple (the tech producing company) and also the chairman and majority shareholder of Pixar (an American computer animation studio). And, he is known and recognized as a pioneer of the personal computer (PC) revolution.
As a child, he was adopted together with his sister. He said going to school became boring for him because, at that time, he was becoming a terror to the school and was known for his bad behavior. Jobs was first hired by a California company named Atari; its co-founder described him as a problematic but valuable asset to the company. Due to his passion for personal computers, he teamed up with Steve Wozniak to create their own company known as Apple. For several years, Apple is one of the leading manufacturers of Smart Phones (iPhone), Laptops (Macbooks), and other smart home gadgets in the world today.
Tony Robbins is an American author, public and motivational speaker, coach, and philanthropist born on February 29, 1960. His upbringing was described as chaotic and abusive, which led to him leaving home at the tender age of seventeen, and he never returned. His biological parents divorced when he was still young, and his mum remarried more than once, which many people attributed to his failure to attend college. He began his career by promoting seminars and motivational speaker events, which later led to public speaking and book writing. Robbins is a well-known coach and inspirer who holds both physical and online classes and seminars.
Rutger Bregman– Thought Leader
Rutger Bregman is a Dutch historian, author, and journalist. TED Talks described him as one of Europe’s most talented young thinkers and the Dutch “wunderkind” of new ideas. He was born on April 26, 1988, in the Netherlands and studied for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at Utrecht University and the University of California. He has participated in several shows and debates. One of his widely recognized arguments was in 2019 when he participated in the World Economic Forum and criticized the event for its focus on only philanthropic acts rather than fairness in taxation and tax avoidance by the rich. One of his notable works is the book “Utopia for Realists.”
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