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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  |  December 08, 2015

How Thought Leaders Tell The Truth

I got my start in this business by promoting a personal growth speaker, so personal development has a special place in my heart. According to this Fast Company article, I am an idiot.

But let’s look past the message. This article is a great example of how thought leaders tell the truth without sounding like a jerk. The three-step process:

  1. Show the grain of truth. Note that each myth starts with something everyone can agree with. Yes, The Secret was a bestseller. Yes, reading different perspectives helps us grow. Who can argue with that? And…this beginning makes the reader feel okay for the myth in the first place. So far, so good.
  2. Show where the wheels fall off. Then, a cogent reason why this perspective won’t work. Because mind hacks only create small improvements. Because our brains won’t change easily. And no, increased confidence doesn’t mean your life will have less drama. Pay attention to the explanations: analogies, examples, and simple explanations. Identify the nuance, then help people understand the distinction.Related: One thing cool thought leaders discuss that no one else does 
  3. Show the best next step. The reader realizes they’re wrong. Now what? Show the path forward so you can end with a ray of hope. Again, use an example or an analogy. But make a case for an alternative so folks know what to do next. In this article, we’re told to assess the market (yay!), remember that your own path is unique, and maintain a balance between dreams and reality.

 

People who tell us the truth are respected only when they appeal to our intentions and intelligence. People who tell us the truth so they appear superior are ignored. The difference between operating in the spirit of service and “telling the truth” out of an inflated sense of ego is stark

 

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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.