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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  |  April 10, 2014

What is a Thought Leader?

My new TED fellow mentoree asked me this question. She has a great point — it’s a big word that means a lot of different things. Here’s my definition of a thought leader:

  • Someone who changes the conversation with their perspective
  • Someone who has created new benchmarks or criteria that the marketplace accepts as conventional wisdom
  • Someone who the marketplace looks to for guidance and perspective
  • Someone who the marketplace solicits for their views on related topics

 

Then I asked her what thought leadership meant to her. She said “someone who gives a lot of talks.” The answer floored me.

My take: it’s tempting to look at what thought leaders do versus the impact they make. Way too limiting. When you focus on the impact, many roads open up.

Further, it’s that impact on the crazy-noisy marketplace of ideas that separates the lead singer from the back-up singers. Your definition defines your journey.

So…what is your definition of thought leadership?

 

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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.