Thought Leadership

Hello Friends!

What makes a thought leader? Who do you look to for new ideas and perspectives? What role does thought leadership play in your life?

These are questions I ponder often. One of the most rewarding aspects of my role as a leadership coach is getting to meet, interact with, and learn from people who have different experiences, perspectives and thought processes to mine. It is so enriching to be able to experience the world through so many unique lenses.

It is my belief that thought leadership is about connecting the dots. About seeking out and discovering new “dots” and making connections that others perhaps might not have. And it is very much about stimulating others to think too. “That’s a great question!” is one of my favourite compliments. “Thought-provoker” is one of my favourite titles (I even use it in my email signature! 😉)

How about you? Are you a thought leader? And what does that entail?


As the brilliant Susan David stated recently:
In the future world of work, human skills – empathy, emotion regulation, the ability to connect with values, the ability to be curious – these skills are the skills of the future. […] The differentiating skills are going to be less about human knowledge and are going to be more about human capacity to connect with the self, to connect with others, to collaborate, develop relationships, lead effectively and to navigate the self in times of complexity and change.
In other words, thoughts and thought leadership remain uniquely human skills. They can’t be outsourced to AI. These soft skills are what make us distinctly human and differentiate us from AI and from one another. 
And in a fascinating twist, I actually stumped ChatGPT for the first time ever! Out of curiosity, I had given it the following prompt: 

For the first time ever, no answer came. Rather proving the point – thought leadership is a human skill and ability.

So how are we going to build on that?


As Lilia Stoyanov, the CEO of Transformify recommends, “Read a lot. The daily industry news, analysis, scientific research, anything and everything that’s related to your field.

I would even go so far as to take those last 5 words out. Read anything and everything! Expose yourself to new ideas and thoughts. 

I vividly remember the scene in the movie Working Girl where Melanie Griffith describes how she came up with the novel idea that catapulted her advertising career: she was reading the newspaper and saw an article about a company on one page, and a photo of a society woman on the next. That created a connection in her brain and boom! A brilliant idea was born. 

What have you read recently that sparked your curiosity and interest? It doesn’t matter what you read, what matters is that we are reading and exposing ourselves to new perspectives and ideas. You never know where inspiration will come from! 

Reading is also provides significant health benefits as well. A study conducted by researchers at Yale University found that reading books significantly increased lifespan! “Book readers survived almost two years longer than those who didn’t crack open a book.” So not only will reading propel your thought leadership, it will also prolong your life!


My coach said to me recently, “If you want to be a thought leader, you need time to actually think.” Which rather blew my mind. Because I haven’t really had a lot of that white space in my calendar lately – and I’ve been feeling it! I know I haven’t read nearly as much as I usually do and I am feeling the lack of that.

We need time to think. And that means time that isn’t dedicated to something else. As James Clear points out, “The reason people get good ideas in the shower is because it’s the only time during the day when most people are away from screens long enough to think clearly. The lesson is not to take more showers, but rather to make more time to think.

“In 2012, researchers found that letting your mind wander can lead to better creative problem solving. And anecdotal links between daydreaming and creativity abound. From Einstein to Nobel Prize-winning chemists to the inventor of the Post-it note, many of the world’s great thinkers have espoused the benefits of giving your mind a rest.” [Link]

I haven’t heard anyone lately complain of being bored!! We all have our calendars so booked that that is almost never happening. The lesson here is that “doing nothing” and “being bored” could well be critical elements not only to wellbeing but also to creativity and thought leadership! 


What would happen if you discovered, after wanted to honour your late father by digging into your roots, you discovered he was not in fact your father?? This is the true story of Kyo Maclear in Unearthing. It’s a beautiful story and memoir of her own life, and her complicated relationship with her parents, related through tales of her past, the journey she went on to find her birth father, and trying to unravel the story of her birth through her mother.
I love reading works by Canadian authors and really enjoyed this story. 

With all this in mind, I’m taking the weekend off and going to a wellness hotel with my family to read and do nothing! Looking forward to letting my mind wander, having no obligations, and with a bit of luck, having a few creative ideas and insights! Hope you can find some time to enjoy a bit of nothing too!

Be emotional. Stay healthy.



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