Related to what I just said about holding questions, I often feel anxious when people bang on about thought leadership.
There’s no doubt there appears to be a huge market for big name experts, so I get the appeal.
There’s something about setting out to be the expert people look up to that feels rather aggressive to me. And perhaps equally suspect are the people who make a living claiming that their life mission is to help you present yourself as one. You have to ask yourself, what game are we all playing here?
Your mileage may vary, but the people I’m most attracted to are the ones who seem fuelled by curiosity and enthusiasm. If they take strong positions on things I sense that its because they really believe it. I think I’m getting better these days at spotting the little clues that people are just striking a pose – clever jargon, the tossing of precise facts with faux-casualness etc.
And, ironically, it’s when we stop trying to be clever and accidentally leave our intended audience confused rather than trying to lead them, that we may get more attention. As ever, the Pythons make this point much more effectively than I could.