Leaders are very many; but thought leaders indeed, are a rare and distinguished breed. They may hail from the most unexpected echelons of life, and yet get immortalized as Icons; Icons who changed the world.
It does not matter who they were; but what they have do. A true thought leader is someone who envisions the day after tomorrow, today; and evangelizes the world towards it. Change is the soul of thought leadership; your thought leadership is the soul of your leadership; devoid of which your leadership journey is set on a compass that points nowhere. The 3 strategies that empower your thought leadership to navigate your leadership sojourn are:
Branding Your Leadership
If thou matters; show me how! In the journey of leadership, the destination is not as important as the reason thereof. The most important strategy while playing leadership is envisioning a journey worth taking; in other words branding the story of your leadership and its contribution in making this world a better place.
Your Thought Leadership is your Brand. Period. How you lead the change and grow your brand by mastering the art of leadership-is what legacies are made of. In this journey your thought leadership will serve as the magical compass, which will always guide you to achieve your brand’s beloved. The 5 traits of thought leaders who transform their passion into a legacy by leading their community, their organization, their world towards the change are:
- Passionate Perseverance: Passion prevails profession. But when the twain meet: Thought Leadership is born. If thought leadership is your calling: Either adopt your passion as profession or grow to love your profession. Following your passion, with relentless perseverance is the hallmark of a true thought leader.
- Ideation fixation: When you are in love with your work: It rains Ideas. Ideas that empower you to create, claim and dominate that one big Idea that becomes your Brand. Get drenched in the idea deluge till that big idea peeks out and bestows some warm sunshine on you.
- Super-Human Self Conviction: Every BIG Idea is first ridiculed, opposed and rejected before being celebrated. As a thought leader, self-belief is your super power. “I guarantee there’ll be tough times, I guarantee at some point, you will crave 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; because you do know in your heart, this is what you are meant to do!”
- Inspiring Change: Does your idea inspire a change in the world? Brilliant! Now be the change. Thought Leaders aren’t preachers; but doers. ‘Think, Do, Inspire action’ is the mantra for you.
- Eternal Commitment: Your thought leadership is the raison d’être of brand YOU. Staying true and committed to this purpose of your life is critical to your brand, even after being hailed as the messiah of change.
Living your Leadership
Lead all you may; but where to? Your thought leadership compass is due at north for the Brand YOU. But is it exactly where your tribe also wishes to go? The second strategy to adopt while living your leadership is leading the world to the place they wish to go to-and not where you wish to take them to! The Golden Rule of Leadership is to know the answer to the singular most important question in your tribe’s mind: ‘What’s in it for me?’ Under your inspiring leadership it is your moral responsibility to empower them to lead their lives to their next milestone. Know thy answer and ensure they understand it as well; lest you do that, you might end up north-alone or maybe not at all.
Leadership, when set upon together is a beautiful journey. It’s a journey where the power of ‘we’ is amplified to its best by your tribe; because unless there is a ‘we’, the leader’s ‘I’ factor matters naught. You truly become a leader only when you are a part of this ‘we’; only when you have something to offer that truly resonates with the needs and desires of the ‘we’; only then you shall get the chance to embark upon your journey of leading the ‘we’, and thus living your leadership. So, my dear friend, if you do not inspire the ‘we’; rest all becomes a moot point.
Growing your Leadership
Like Life, Like Brands, Leadership must evolve. Like your dreams, hopes, aspirations, passions and destinations, your brand and your thought leadership must also evolve-must move forward perpetually. Thought leadership is anything but a onetime fixation to accomplish a journey. Leaders may not always be thought leaders; but thought leaders are leaders forever. They are fuelled with an insatiable desire to lead the world to the day after tomorrow, every single day-even during the brightest dawns and the darkest nights. In the true thought leader’s day, even after the sunset, his thought leadership compass illuminates his journey up to the next dawn, and the day after’s, and so on.
The third and the best kept secret of the most iconic thought leaders is Growth: ‘They do more of less.’ My personal advice to each one of you reading this is to do exactly that: Grow the thought leadership of your leadership—‘Focus on the focus of your brand’s thought leadership; then every single day again focus on how to leverage on this focus to continually dominate and own your brand’s thought leadership.’ Simply put: Build and Nurture the singular Idea Tree of your Thought Leadership that is empowered to flourish come what may. Every day religiously water this tree and let it grow one more leaf that further amplifies that expanse and benevolence of your thought leadership. When you look back, I promise, you shall witness a beautiful legacy of your thought leadership growing and flourishing every single day-under the dedicated aegis of your leadership and commitment to its growth.
Leadership becomes a fascinating experience and not a liability when you brand it with your thought leadership. My closing words for you:
“Thou are not born to follow, but lead; and not just lead a few men, but the world through a glorious experience of your brand, your thought leadership…All you need is that compass pointing right towards this very change you seek.”