There’s a reason there are so few thought leaders in the world.
To lead in any capacity means putting yourself out there, making decisions, and then being responsible for the outcomes of those decisions.
Of course, thought leadership is not the same as having an opinion. Everyone has an opinion.
But few people are willing to make regular professional assertions and lead the conversation in their work or industry. It takes guts to do that.
Why? Because it’s one thing to be wrong with your own private opinions, where only few people care and the stakes are low. Anyone can do that.
It’s another thing entirely to publish original thoughts that may be imperfectly formed or could end up being wrong later on. Not to mention, your professional reputation is on the line every time.
Having this skin in the game and showing up regularly is what separates the opinionists from the thought leaders. This process forces you to continually refine and test your ideas. To make them better over time.
Which means accepting you’ll be wrong sometimes. But continuing to show up with new, more refined perspectives and ideas each time.
That’s what it means to be a thought leader.