Thought leadership used to be about revolution.
Thought leadership had its own set of Fight Club rules: primarily, that one could not become a thought leader just to become a thought leader. Becoming a thought leader was a natural extension of pursuing knowledge, growth, and innovation.
‘Thought leader’ wasn’t a title you could give yourself. You couldn’t be in it for the ego. You were in it for the resistance, for the passion. To be a thought leader was to be a changemaker.
The great American poet Kenneth Koch, in a poem called The Boiling Water, writes:
Seriousness, how often I have
thought of seriousness
And how little I have understood
it, except this: serious is urgent
And it has to do with change.
There is no impact without change. There is nothing serious, nothing committed, without a need for change, now, urgently and meaningfully.
Serious, committed thought leadership can only be a function of change.