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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  May 07, 2015

How Do Smart People Become Thought Leaders?

Whew!  Just now coming up for air after helping TED fellows at SupporTED Collaboratorium get more traction for their ideas. So many smart people doing so many great things. Almost gave me an inferiority complex.

We had a great conversation about how smart people become thought leaders. The first step is defining what a thought leader really is. It’s a valid question, as “thought leadership” has become one of those terms used so often that the meaning is getting pretty fuzzy. Here’s what I told them (and want to tell you):

Thought leadership is a relationship between brilliance and people who need that brilliance. It is a bridge that connects the right insights to the right marketplace where their gifts can do the most good. The strength of that bridge is based on positioning your contribution to the hidden agenda of the marketplace.

You can’t just tell folks what you know and expect them to engage. You have to meet the market where it’s at and apply your talents from that perspective. If you build that bridge strong enough, you will help people and, in return, you get attention, influence and the benefit of the doubt. Everybody wins.

 

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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.