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What’s the difference between being a thought leader and a thought reader?

Hi there! It’s Peter Winick. I’m the Founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. And today, I wanted to share a thought with you and get your response and reaction too. And it’s really about when is it appropriate or when is it the right place to be a thought leader. And when might it be interesting or appropriate to be a thought reader.

So, let me first differentiate between the two. Most of us aspire to be thought leaders. We’re putting in the work. We’re putting in the effort. We’re doing the research. We’re synthesizing our thoughts. We’re adding to the conversation. We’re leading the body of work that we represent in new directions, in bold new frontiers, if you will. And that’s true thought leadership. And there’s a place for that. Right. And there’s a time for that.

There’s another piece. And I think people confuse the two. Where you’re really just a thought reader. And being a thought reader isn’t a bad thing. Let me explain. A thought reader is someone that is up to date on trends, is well read, is well spoken, can engage in a conversation and add to the conversation a little bit. But ultimately what they’re doing is sharing with you ideas that they’ve taken in, that they’ve read, that they’ve been exposed to that aren’t necessarily theirs. Right. It’s not their unique thought leadership. They’re sharing and adding to the conversation. Hey, I just read this article in HBR, or I was in a meeting and heard someone, or I watched this Ted Talk.

So again, I think there’s a time and place to be a thought reader and a time and place to be a thought leader.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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