Attributes of a Thought Leader

Posted by Tue,Mar 15, 2011 @ 09:00 AM


As social media grows, research shows that trust in “credentialed experts” and “company technical specialists” is rising. There's a hunger for thought leadership in social media. These leaders must be well-rounded enough to be comfortable in a number of arenas. From Chris Koch, here are some key characteristics of a thought leader.

Relevant Experience - A leader must have experience that sounds relevant to the target audience. He or she can't be seen as peer however. They need to be perceived as an expert, with either deeper experience or a wider breadth of experience than the target audience.

Presence - Hard to define, but you know it when you see it. Comfortable with themselves and able to take over a room in a non-threatening way. Able to make others receptive.

Rapport - Good people skills, plus the ability to adjust to others' pace, without pandering or patronizing.

Curiosity - Intellectually and about people. Good ideas informed by a wide range of other inputs and opinions.

Synthesis - Able to pull insights from complex information streams to create a new idea or a new way of looking at an old problem.

Storytelling - Able to weave insights into a cognitive narrative that brings ideas to life for others.

Courage - Not afraid to question the status quo and defend their ideas. Patience in the face of harsh criticism.

Empathy - Able to see things from the perspective of others.

Humility - Acknowledges that they don't know everything and makes others feel welcome to contribute.

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Tags: Social Media, Word of Mouth Marketing, Thought Leadership

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