I am not a thought leader, not by any stretch of the imagination! Nor (in my humble opinion) is anyone that lists “Thought Leader” on their LinkedIn or Twitter profile, or anyone that drops it into conversation – there is another word for those sort of people. Albert Einstein was a thought leader, Isaac Newton was a thought leader, but most of us are not, and will never be.
But it’s ok! Not being a thought leader is absolutely fine. For starters, because if everyone was a thought leader or visionary of some sort, very little would actually get done! We’d all be far too busy having ground-breaking ideas that we could never put into practise, or coming up with incredible concepts that remained in their concept form forever.
A great leader (in this case a great thought leader) needs (thought) followers – the people that help to hone a new idea and bring it to fruition, the people that can take the big idea and carve it up into smaller ideas. The people like you and I, the thought followers.
I think that it is OK to be a thought follower, to be the second person to comment on something, or the person that helps explain the big idea to others. You don’t have to be a thought leader to express an opinion – in fact if you read the comments section of the Daily Fail, you’ll see that quite the opposite is true! You don’t even need to be a thought leader to start a discussion, or impart knowledge to an audience, or help others with their problems – all you really need is a considered opinion and a way of expressing yourself…..
So be happy with being a thought follower, it’s a good place to be