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What are the Qualities of a Thought Leader?

What are the Qualities of a Thought Leader?

What are the Qualities of a Thought Leader?

Thought leaders are those people who change the world with their ideas, rather than by military conquest.

Thought leaders know that you cannot force a mind.

If we want to change the behaviour of society, then we must change its prevailing ideas. Ideas change societies, therefore we must use ideas, not force, to change things.

History shows us how a single good idea has the power to change everything:

  1. Darwin's ideas on natural selection transformed the world.
  2. Thomas Jefferson's idea that all people are "created equal" and each of us is endowed with "unalienable rights".
  3. Martin Luther King's idea of equality changed the world.
  4. Modern ideas of "sustainable energy" are in the process of changing the world.

Thought leaders should always be clear, rational, and positive.

1 A Thought Leader must be Clear.

Thought leaders make thought and communication as clear, precise and accurate as possible.

They carefully avoid ambiguity, vagueness or over-generalised language because such language causes miscommunication, confusion and error.

Clear, accurate and precise language causes greater understanding and cooperation.

So, strive to be clear and distinct in your thoughts and in your use of language.

2. A Thought Leader must be Rational.

Some thought leaders are clear, but they may also be clearly wrong.

Therefore, thought leaders must offer good reasons to believe that what they say is true, right, good and practical.

  • True: Your message corresponds to the facts.
  • Right: Your message corresponds to proper ethics.
  • Good: The implementation of your ideas will result in progress towards your goals.
  • Practical: Your ideas are capable of being put into practice in the real world.

To make your communication more rational, use logic.

Logic is the method of reason. Thought leaders ensure that conclusions are based upon a logical evaluation of all the available evidence.

If we fail to provide a rationale for our ideas, then nobody will have any reason to believe them. But, if we do provide a logic for our ideas, then people will be more inclined to believe them.

3. A Thought Leader must be Positive.

Thought leaders try to imbue their communication with a sense of positivity.

This means being as optimistic as the facts will allow. By being optimistic, we believe the future will be better than the present.

Be friendly - assuming a likeable tone, good humour and respect - with a "can-do" attitude.

A can-do attitude means we focus on what can be done and how; not on what cannot be done and why.


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