by Karen Armon, CEO/Founder, MarketOne Executive
Did you know that the thought-leader executive is one of the most heavily-recruited and sought-after top talent today? The problem is that many executives think they are Thought Leaders. But given my research, many do not understand this definition.
As a thought leader, you should experience not only a financial payoff but also inner satisfaction. Thought leaders are like children playing in a sandbox. They love it! They have found the role of their dreams.
In this article I would like to give you a better understanding of the successful thought leader. And for those of you who need some help, there are questions at the end of the article that you can ask yourself to become a hot property, too.
Thought Leadership Defined
With all the rhetoric out there, it is tough to decode what decision-makers really want but I’ve boiled it down to three major characteristics:
1) Creative: Creative thought leaders are a metaphor for companies desiring executives who can be inventive about finding new revenue streams.
Many executives that I work with are required to find linkages between current product offering and new iterations of those products or new customers for them. The creativity lies in seeing new opportunities within the old. That’s a tough one for insiders!.
Executives who can express their experience in terms of their ability to find hidden streams of revenue within the existing business model are highly sought-after today.
2) Innovative: At first this seems like another word for creative, but it isn’t. Innovation is code word for resourceful.
Again, in my work with top executives throughout the world, many are asked to develop a depth of resources and services to both business units and customers while keeping costs low and headcount down. The innovation lies in being able to act as a “CEO” of a department and build a business-within-a-business model.
Leaders who can present themselves as proven entrepreneurs will get top billing when looking for their next opportunity.
3) Opinionated: Most of us equate the word opinion with making personal judgments that are harsh. The implication is that we have to have lots of evidence and state a case, as if in a court of law.
Rather, the word opinionated means having a strategic viewpoint based upon lessons learned. The desire is that an executive comes into a new role with a set of biases for action that are based upon battle scars and wars won. It means that leaders have developed a framework that allows them to filter opportunities and make good decisions.
The MarketOne Executive Bottom Line
Top talent who can demonstrate their past as having value to an organization’s growth path will find many opportunities for new roles.