Premier thought leaders and experts share several characteristics.
And to tell you what they are, I wish I was able to just look in the mirror and report back to you.
Thankfully, my fact-facting process is fairly simple.
It involves finding a magnifying glass in our family’s “junk drawer” and then squeezing in a podcast to listen to while I walk the dog and putz around the house (while dodging wedding plan discussions).
If there’s not breaking news or a major disruptor – like the Tigers on TV – I’m good to go.
My tried and mostly true “outrospection” technique never fails to support my personal journey toward average.
I listened to a “sales and marketing” leadership podcast which presented several memorable points relevant to school leaders and communicators.
At least I thought it did according to the scribbles I had scratched out on tiny scraps of paper.
See? That magnifying glass is no stage prop. Scribbling stuff down right away and then deciphering it later is the only way for me to actually remember “memorable points.”
They never stop growing their base of knowledge and contacts.
You won’t see thought leaders and experts ever resting on their laurels.
Unless, of course, I happen to get a laurel sometime… then you’ll see it.
I’m the kind of guy who was born to rest on a laurel.
The second gold nugget I gleaned was the fact that thought leaders and experts rarely rush into things.
While I’d like to imagine thought leaders and experts frantically juggle multiple projects and dash about from here to there, they don’t.
And they dedicate blocks of time to “sit back and take in” their new learnings.
Some call this “thinking.”
And what do thought leaders and experts do next?
They do something surprising.
And this is gold nugget #3.
Thought leaders and experts are bold and forthright in expressing their perspectives and beliefs after they’ve thought them through.
They aren’t timid about sharing their ideas and opinions.
They take the approach that if they’re going to “be wrong,” at least they’re going to “be strong.”
And then they’ll repeat this three part cycle over and over again:
• pondering & reflecting
• and clearly communicating.
I was afraid a never-ending “repetitive cycle” would somehow worm its way into my research.
This isn’t good news.
I had hoped becoming a thought leader and expert would only take a weekend.