Thought Leadership Traits Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue No. 94

This week’s reflection point: I am here in Palm Beach, Florida, participating in Alan Weiss’s Thought Leadership Symposium. Surrounded by 28 global thought leaders from 7 countries, one of the many topics we discussed today was identifying the traits of thought leaders. Here is what we quickly came up with.


  1. Are prolific publishers of great content
  2. Engage emotionally
  3. Are Contrarian and provocative
  4. Convey sincerity
  5. Are concise
  6. Care about their audience
  7. Help their audience see the future, communicate trends and predictions
  8. Have a unique perspective
  9. Are passionate about their work
  10. Come across as authentic and original
  11. Are risk-takers
  12. Communicate strongly and effectively
  13. Innovate and reinvent themselves
  14. Have strong work ethics
  15. Execute with great discipline
  16. Are bold and fearless
  17. Quickly synthesize and articulate their point of view
  18. Market themselves effectively
  19. Are charismatic
  20. Show intellectual curiosity and openness
  21. Are pragmatic
  22. Don’t seek validation
  23. Embrace speed
  24. Are seen and heard publicly
  25. Have verbal and written skills
  26. Demonstrate critical thinking skills
  27. Have published multiple book
  28. Demand high fees
  29. Inspire derivatives
  30. Lead with their name as the brand
  31. Use metaphors
  32. Develop intellectual property constantly
  33. Often have a teaching and coaching connection
  34. Are altruistic and here to create a legacy
  35. Exude confidence and high esteem

This week’s tip: Select the top traits that apply to you and then determine how you will improve them over the next year.

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