Of late I am seeing a job title that I swear came right off the pages of George Orwell's "1984." It is "Thought Leader." Really. Really? Yes, really. I guess this job title has been percolating for a while now, since I am seeing articles as far back as 2003. But really?
Here is an article on 6 Ways to Establish Yourself as an Industry Thought Leader
(I suddenly had to laugh... thinking about something my mother used to say about "too many chiefs and not enough indians.")
O.K., so where did this "Thought Leadership" idea come from? Marketing, that's where. "Thought Leadership" is no more than selling a brand. I especially found this blog amusing on the subject. There you can find out there is a "Thought Leadership" Seminar at Columbia. I probably missed it. Hmmmm.
Here is a good one from Fortune Magazine who advertizes this:
"Extending the magazine's cutting-edge content and exclusive insider access Fortune Conferences bring together the world's business people with government officials and thought leaders."I think I missed out on those conferences, too. I wasn't invited.
All those government officials gathering together with world business leaders and "Thought Leaders".....somehow that does not make me too terribly comfortable. There comes a point when too much input from too many people becomes a chaotic cacophony of nonsensical blathering. The loudest or the squeakiest wheel is going to get the most attention. This is why America was founded on allowing individuals to make their own decisions and lead their lives without tyrannical force, so "Thought Leaders" would leave us alone. Now we are generating a collection of "Thought Leaders," who have nothing else in mind but trying to tell you how and what to think?
Another funny thing about this "Thought Leadership" business is this: Everywhere I look I see the same thoughts. There is a veritable consensus of "thought" on the latest trends, sustainability in everything, global citizenship, social values and responsibility, environmental ethics, green economics, and "smart" anything. I find it quite mind numbing that the popular "Thought Leaders" of the day are all saying the same things. By the time everyone is inundated with the drip drip drip of the same thoughts and philosophies, whose brain is even trying to think for itself? Why bother? The "Thought Leaders" have done all of the thinking for you.
So whose thoughts are "Thought Leaders" leading? Can you think for yourself? If you read my blog, I hope you are thinking for yourself, but taking in enough factual truth to facilitate your thinking. Don't just read my writings, but read all you need to in order to form an educated opinion. Beware of "garbage in, garbage out.
As we have seen throughout history, "Thought Leaders" can be very dangerous to the rest of the human population. Marx's thoughts have already translated into millions of deaths. Now we are seeing Marxist methods and ideas permeating our entire nation. It is very clever that Marx's ideas are being marketed so adeptly by "Thought Leaders" who have learned to rename and package the entire doctrine under such cozy and warm sounding words.
Oh, here's one I just read:
"Having a blog doesn’t make you a thought leader in the same way that having an iPhone will not make you think like Steve Jobs. "Uh oh, I guess I don't qualify as a "Thought Leader." Oh well. Maybe you read all of this for nothing. And maybe you'll have to go think of something else ....on your own. Sorry. I hope I didn't ruin your day by warning you there are "Thought Leaders" about and you might want to watch out for them.
Here are some more sites on "Thought Leaders:"
Be a Thought Leader
Top 100 Thought Leaders