I was asked an interesting question recently to define what is thought leadership.
“Thought leadership means one would be able to think 5-10 years ahead in terms of what one would want to be known for and contribute significantly as a super-specialist. This could only be achieved from achieving knowledge based excellence in this domain so as to be globally recognise among his / her selective target stakeholders. This should be equally demonstrated by recognitions of high quality in teaching, research and advocacy. For achieving the long term goals, one needs to lay out the different incremental steps of these paths through which he/she will be able to meet the long term targets without compromising the short term goals. These steps frequently need updation depending on contextual changes but the end objective doesn’t shift. However there must be a continued demonstration from his/her own side of striving to move towards that goal.”
“Thought leadership is also about balancing the ability to dream and comprehending the scope of dreams in light of the practical constraints to achieve the dream. Dreams and action, without complementing one another, both lead to failure in realising thought leadership.”