The term thought leader is the highest of compliments, and arguably the hardest moniker to achieve. It’s not enough to be good at what you do; a thought leader is meant to be the greatest form of praise, geared towards someone who is on the absolute cutting edge of their industry or making big enough moves to warrant the distinction.
The term thought leader has a relatively traceable history. It was first coined nearly 20 years ago, in the pages of Strategy+Business, the business magazine of technology consulting firm Booz & Company. When discussing the publication’s profiles of major business icons, then-editor in chief Joel Kurtzman made the distinction that those worth talking to were called thought leaders.
The term was so popular that it became its own entity, encompassing leaders and even small businesses. But according to Forbes, the term thought leader is only reserved for those who are “capitalizing on the dramatically enhanced brand equity attained by being a thought leader.”
Today everyone wants to position themselves as a “Thought Leader”, but how do you know if you really are one?
It’s one thing to be the most successful, most efficient, or most management-oriented leader in an industry, and it’s quite another to be a thought leader. For one reason or another, a thought leader has earned his or her title because that person’s ideas have gone viral. When an idea multiplies and distributes itself throughout the Internet — with the person’s name attached — then leadership becomes thought leadership.
Sometimes, thought leadership is below the iceberg, those in the know can find it…you just need to know where to look….
So why do we claim the moniker of Thought Leaders in the Human Capital space…one might argue we don’t fit the definition completely. So I will do a little explaining….Well for one we have been doing the coolest HR programming for our businesses for the past few years. And yes we have all the bling (awards and press) to prove it…one only has to look on my wall in my office to see this. Beyond the bragging we have truly caused a paradigm shift in HR or should I say HC3.0
We certainly fit the latter part of the definition, those in the know…know us. And those who don’t should!
What are you waiting for….