Thought leadership is overrated

It’s everywhere. And everybody wants to be one.

But why? And for what?

For more website traffic? Invitations to speak? Personal branding? Growing your network (or net worth as folks would like to put it)? Your Klout score?

I don’t believe in thought leadership for a simple reason that anyone can have thoughts and anyone can lead. Nobody’s waiting for anyone’s approval or permission to have thoughts or lead. You and I can have thoughts but they’re far inferior to the thought leader’s thoughts. Right?

Wondering if there’s a committee out there to certify thought leaders. If yes, it’s worth the consideration if you’re a personal branding hog. If not, the smartest thing you could do right now is to banish that term from your vocabulary.

And I’ll be honest — reposting the 17 productivity hacks for entrepreneurs or marketers from Business Insider doesn’t make you a thought leader. It makes a curator. A pathetic one at that because the best curators have a perspective and you don’t. In a way, they’re teachers which is what the world needs right now.

A few points to consider:

  1. If you call yourself a thought leader — you’re immature to understand that people would see you as an egotistical moron. You’re putting yourself on a pedestal of your own making. Please, stop!
  2. It’s a title that the world bestows on you. Not something you pick. And the world (not literally, but you know who I’m referring to) is wrong about this. Ideas, thoughts, and leadership are secular and for anyone to exercise.
  3. We’ve got too many thought leaders! And even more experts and entrepreneurs. The world’s getting a messy place.

Here’s another point of view you would appreciate:

I believe we should stop pursuing the “thought leader” branding and focus on mastering our craft and serving our audience. Doing so will help us gain perspective and communicate ideas that educate your audience, fans and/or customers. If this sounds like good old marketing, it is.

Just don’t walk around calling yourself a thought leader. Nobody really cares.

Just a thought! 😉

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