5 Characteristics of a Thought Leader

What is a thought leader?

Wikipedia defines thought leadership as follows: 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.[1] The Oxford English Dictionary gives as its first citation for the phrase an 1887 description of Henry Ward Beecher as "one of the great thought-leaders in America."

Dealing with Disruption

There really isn’t anything like a safe job in a safe company anymore. Job security has become a casualty of disruptive innovation. Earlier generations spent entire careers in the same company in a ‘cradle to grave’ track.  My father worked for two companies in roles of progressively greater responsibilities during his career.  I have worked for or started six companies during my career. 

Win by Obsessing Over the Customer

Remember the Trojan Horse?  This military strategy used by the Greeks won for them a long running battle with Troy.  The Greeks loaded a wooden horse with troops secretly placed inside, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy while the Greeks pretended to sail away in defeat. At night, the Greek soldiers came out of their hiding place, and opened the gates of Troy for the rest of the Greek army who had sailed back during the night. The Greeks decisively ended the 10 year war with Troy with a surprise strategy that was both innovative and disruptive.

Results Based Leadership

Quotations from luminaries whether in business, sports, medicine, law, or politics can inspire and clarify. A great quote is concise and crisp, capturing a thought or idea in an entirely new way.

Great quotes can speak directly into our own unique situations. One quote from Peter Drucker on leadership said ‘Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.’ Of course, he is right about getting results, but in my own view Drucker leaves something on the table for debate.

Obsess Over Your Customer, and WIN!

In a recent Peer to Peer discussion with some CEO’s, most were defensive on the topic of how to deliver an outstanding customer experience. They mostly felt that their employees were always focused on the customer. One CEO said his company has data showing their consistent delivery of full customer satisfaction through customer surveys reflecting on time deliveries, rapid response rates on corrective actions, on time billing, and so forth.

Create Raving Fans via CX Mapping

Leaders in the New Economy must orient their companies to identify all customer touch points in every work category within their organizations, creating innovative processes which MAP to the customer experience. Then, each mapped process must be tested refined and improved before formal implementation. Enduring companies today have the Customer Experience at the core of what they do, and have customer experience mapping processes in place to prove it.