Don't you love the title Thought Leader? Perhaps not. I am not even sure how it actually came to be, nor do I really care at this point. It seems to me that it sounds a little like the old adage - "Those who can't do - teach." I have spent a great deal of time listening and reading what thought leaders have to say. I think it is important to study the industry where you reside and to know the key players, as well as understand what success looks like.
What does success in the HR or Recruiting Industry look like? Is it when your blog is read or tweeted by hundreds? Is it when you get asked to speak at a conference? It is when you write a book? Is it when you make your 500th placement? Is it when you and your business survive a downturn? Is it when a client calls you back? Is it when you make a great placement? Is it when your business grows continually? Is it when somebody buys your blog? (By the way, Jerry Albright's is for sale - it's best if your name is Jerry or maybe you just like the name Jerry - www.JerrytheRecruiter.com) Is it when you make the latest Best or Most List that is based on a specific algorithm that nobody really understands?
Is it when you're client/hiring manager is content and calls you for the next requisition? Is it when your candidate is happy? Is it when YOU are satisfied with your work and the outcomes you are able to produce? Maybe you just want to think and write about the industry and are not worried about producing anything. Is that a Thought Leader? Or is a Thought Leader's product inspiration or motivation?
I sat next to Jason Davis at TRULondon last week just briefly between sessions and an announcement was made that sounded a lot like Jason had been deemed a Thought Leader in the recruiting industry. Jason leaned over to me and said, "I don't want to be a Thought Leader or even thought of as a Thought Leader..." I have never thought of Jason as a Thought Leader. He is a worker bee, he is a Doer. He doesn't sit back and count awards or money. He doesn't rely on anyone else to do the job he needs to do. He is constantly evolving, looking for the newer, better way, chasing after the next big idea, putting that idea into action and surrounding himself with incredible people.
What exactly would the job description of a Thought Leader look like? Umm..., Think deep thoughts? Inspire thought in others? Have a Doctorate in Thinkology? Are you more inspired by someone who thinks or someone who does? What do you want to be when you grow up? Are statues built of Thought Leaders? Perhaps, but guess who built them? Now you get the picture.