What is Thought Leadership?

According to a recent Forbes article “It’s a truism that thought leaders tend to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields.”  These individuals or companies have many different ways of becoming recognised as Thought Leaders, as well as number of different motives.

“What we’ve found is that some people take a very expansive view of the term, wrapping internal strategy and corporate culture into their definition. Other individuals are more constrained in their definition. Bluntly, there are many definitions of the term.”

I tend to think of thought leaders to be individuals (not so much companies) who inspire us and motive us to be better and improve who we are, what we do,  how we live our lives, and most importantly to have a positive impact on how we give to our relationships and the world.

Big stuff. A massive responsibility for a thought leader isn’t it? Not that they are responsible for our actions or liable, but good guidance and mentoring particularly in this day and age is golden. The Forbes article goes on to cynically imply that entrenched with in any thought leaders’ ambitions is to make a lot of money out of it! It more or less states that making money is intrinsic with thought leadership. I think this might be a little one dimensional. Some thought leaders have been categorised by others because they are particularly inspiring in their field of business philosophy, I’m not sure you can definitively say they all are out to make money out of it.

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Ian Hopkinson
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