Many folks have come into quite a bit of knowledge, know-how, wisdom, talent, and skill during their life experience, and now they’d like to put all that to very good use. They have been considering joining a think tank. Why now? It’s simple, maybe they’ve been downsized, or they have retired and they’ve got more free time on their hands.
Not long ago, someone told me they wanted to be a “thought leader” like me. Wow, that’s a heavy title to carry around isn’t it. And they figured if they joined a think tank that they might also become a “thought leader” and this entire line of reasoning intrigued me. So, I thought about that, joining a Think Tank to become a thought leader – hmm?
Well, here are some of the things which ran through my mind on this topic of “Thought Leader” – First, the people who generally call themselves thought-leaders are usually trying to sell something. And it is somewhat arrogant to call yourself that, somewhat absurd, as much of the stuff they come up with is nonsense. But, alas, people actually join groups so they can call themselves thought-leaders, and of course they are allowed to join as long as they agree with the group!
Most of these folks are not thought leaders, they are idea or concept followers.
Look at the Futurist group, they actually have seminars to teach people how to think like a futurist, what to read, what to consider, and Viola! they all think the same thing, thus, reinforce that thought, pat themselves all on the back, claim to be thought-leaders and go around advising everyone? That’s insane!
No wonder they are almost always wrong with their future predictions. Original thoughts don’t come from committees. Plus, except for a few of them, they are a big group of marketers, resume padders, and fluff-and-folders. There are only a very few people worth listening too who might accept the title of thought holder, some have been labeled that by others, but the ones who don that title on themselves, don’t walk away – run!
My acquaintance who wanted to join a think tank to become a thought leader, or perhaps just put that onto his resume; yes, wouldn’t that look nice; “From 2008 to 2011 – Thought Leader at a Think Tank!” – of course no mention that he was laid off. When I got back to him and we talked about this topic, he stated that “You’re more reflective than most, hence you think through these things more thoroughly than about 99% of the population.”
Well, in reality that’s not very hard is it, especially considering that humans don’t think, but they definitely “think they think” and will tell you “what they think” when in reality they’ve merely adopted other people’s thoughts, mostly from the ‘brain-wash-box’ aka TV. Anyway, unless you a superstar of humanity I would go bantering around the title of Thought Leader too much, it just makes you look silly to those who are. Please think on this.