A to Z Challenge: L is for Leading from the Lectern

Perhaps today’s topic may not initially make sense. In my experience leadership and being able to speak in public goes hand in hand.

Now when I mention the word “leadership” the mind probably goes straight to those in charge of other people or organisations. Leadership is broader than that and is fraught with lots of connotations and emotional charge.

In addition to leading people and organisations, people can also be Thought Leaders.  Remember yesterday’s post on Knowledge? I ended off by saying that having broad knowledge and experience makes you an interesting person to converse with. Having deep knowledge and experience makes you an expert.

Forbes** explores what a Thought Leader is their article What is a Thought Leader? The article starts off by saying:

It’s a truism that thought leaders tend to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields. Furthermore, in the research literature, there’s a general consensus that being a thought leader whether you’re an individual or employed at an organization and you want to grow the business, or even an association seeking new members as well as more generous sponsors, being a thought leader can make a very significant and positive difference.

Furthermore they write:

From our perspective, no one can possibly be a thought leader unless they’re capitalizing on the dramatically enhanced brand equity attained by being a thought leader.

The article goes on to propose two definitions of what a Thought Leader is, one of them being:

A thought leader is an individual or firm that significantly profits from being recognized as such.

The perspective of the article is that of a person or organisation profiting from their knowledge. Thought Leadership is broader than this off-course. Within organisations, be they corporates, SMEs, schools and clubs, there are those who are the go-to people, the experts, the ones who have deep and thorough knowledge of the business of that entity.

These people may or may not profit monetarily from it (for example, clubs are usually non-profit organisations).

These are people who have a brand.

This is where the tie in with being able to speak in front of an audience is relevant. Every minute behind (or in front of) a lectern is an opportunity to assert one’s expertise which can be translated into a gain or benefit for the speaker and Thought Leader.

Let me know your opinion on this topic. 

** Forbes article referenced in this post can be found here http://www.forbes.com/sites/russprince/2012/03/16/what-is-a-thought-leader/

Come back tomorrow for M is for Mentor!

This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Twitter hashtag is #AtoZChallenge and Twitter id is @AprilA2Z


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