How to become a thought leader

Thought leaders always use megaphones

Thought leaders always use megaphones

My new year resolution was to become a thought leader.

I’ve already achieved it.

I got my accreditation from the Society for the Promotion of Integrated Thought Leadership in the mail yesterday. How? That’s a very good question and, as a thought leader, it is my solemn duty to answer as condescendingly as possible.

There are two questions you need to answer before you begin the rigorous process of becoming a Fully Accredited Thought Leader:

  • Have you ever thought? (This is the hurdle into which many aspiring inspirers plough head first, never regaining their balance to finish the race. Keep in mind that “No I haven’t” is a thought.)
  • Are you a leader? (Don’t forget that, today, you are widely considered to be a leader if you have a loud voice, enjoy talking over people or have ever said “I’m a leader”.)

Once you’ve defied death making it through that horrifying gauntlet you come to the practical examination. It involves months, and often years (although in my case, days), of intensive tweeting and LinkedIn posting. The more earnest and self-evident the message, the more likely you are to gain the attention and favour of The Society.

But be warned: being a daily inspiration to billions can be a thankless task. Sometimes, though, you just have to make a sacrifice for the good of humanity.


An edited version of this article first appeared in the MyCareer section of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

You can read the column – Benign to Five – in those papers every Saturday, and if you miss it, you can look it up online in the Workplace section of The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, WAToday and Brisbane Times. (I now wankishly call myself a “syndicated columnist” on my CV.)

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