Thought Leadership

Putting it together: read our most popular Thought Leader Zone Post Series

post series part 1 2 3 thoughtleaderzone.comSome topics demand more than a single blog post. That’s why we’ve discussed several timely, key topics as a multi-part series. This compilations list provides easy links to our 5 most most popular series.

Leadership, Communications and the Annual General Meeting

Being a Social CEO

Planning for the CEO’s First 100 Days

Pink Matters: Female Leadership

Gray Matters: Cross-generational Leadership for Age 50+ Executives

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Being a Social CEO – Do Keep Up! (Part 3)

reasons ceos don't use social media

Some of the reasons CEOs stay away from social media
(Full infographic is here.)

Right now, 70% of all Fortune 500 CEOs don’t have a presence on social networks. An estimated 16% of CEOs use social media to keep up with their customers currently, but that number is expected to jump to 57% in the next three to five years, according to an IBM survey published recently. See the survey results in infographic form or in a short video at the end of this post.

Another survey published on that site presented a finding that may make you want to be an early adopter and lead the way with social networking. Continue Reading…

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You’re Cordially Invited to a C-Suite CV Clinic

c-suite cv clinic at thought leader zoneAre you a thought leader with an ailing CV? Does your resume need a dose of dazzle and a shot of wow to make it stand out? Here’s your chance to get an accurate diagnosis. Thought Leader Zone is offering a free “C-Suite CV Clinic” on Skype during the week of 25 February.

The inspiration for this clinic comes from some client work I’ve tackled recently. Last week I finished reviewing an executive’s CV – a seven-page resume that demonstrated an ability to accept increasingly challenging responsibilities. Continue Reading…

Three Actionable Steps to Make Your AGM a Thought-Leadership Showcase (Part 1)

empty speakers podiumAhhhh, the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Chairman’s Office owns it. Legal runs it. Investor Relations designs it. Finance provides the figures. Communications and Marketing create the messages. What could possibly go wrong!

AGMs offer a once-a-year opportunity to display the best thinking your company has to offer investors and other attendees. They’re also the ideal brand showcase for you as a thought leader. Don’t waste this magic moment.

It’s soon reporting season so now is the time to take a close look at what your AGM says about your company and about you. Are you focusing only on past results or are you also presenting at least a snapshot of the present and a glimpse into the future? Continue Reading…

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How to Know If You’re Sitting in the Catbird Seat

catbird tweeting sitting in the catbirds seatWhen it comes to thought leadership, are you ”sitting in the catbird seat”? The question you might ask is, ”Would you want to be sitting there?”

The answer should be yes, but I’ve found that Americans are more familiar with that English phrase than Brits or others as it was the title of a popular short story by U.S. humorist James Thurber called ”The Catbird Seat.”

You can read more about Thurber’s short story and other uses of the term on Wikipedia. But here I’m using ”sitting in the catbird seat” in its original meaning of ”being in an enviable position.” Continue Reading…

What’s Coloring Your Decisions? Color’s Critical Role in Branding

Last summer a series of blogs on this site focused on a color theme and looked at pink matters and gray matters and even the varied colors of the Olympic rings. But is there a color connected to thought leadership?

color increases brand recognition by up to 80%

Over the last few months, a new communications group I belong to has been considering that question as we put together our consultancy website. More about that in the future; but in the meantime, I invite you to review some of the interesting articles I’ve found on using color to market products…products like ”brand YOU.” Continue Reading…

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Do you have Klout?

unattainable klout score for thought leadersOn most scales I’d be happy to rate a “10” but not on my Klout score. OK, OK, Justin Bieber is the top of that scale with a Klout score of 100 – clearly my influence is much lower. But since I have a very active virtual presence, I expected to rate higher than 10. I was slightly comforted to find out that my favorite columnist Lucy Kellaway, who actually has 20,000 followers on Twitter, also only rated a 10. In a recent article, she claims she’s proud to have no Klout. I, however, would like to have more and here’s why. Continue Reading…

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Here’s the Scoop on the Sacred Cows of Thought Leadership

Thought Leader Zone page on ScoopIt

Visit Thought Leader Zone’s page for this article and more recommended reading.

Have you ever used It’s a “curation platform e-zine,” which in plainer English is a site where individuals can curate or edit their own content and put it into an online magazine. The new site for Thought Leader Zone is and will be regularly updated.

One of the featured stories there now is about the “sacred cows” of thought leadership, which links back to the article at the site Fiona Czerniawska, co-Founder of Source for Consulting, says that clients think thought leadership is one of the most effective ways in which a consulting firm can market itself. Continue Reading…

Global Thought Leaders Tackle Tough Water Issues

Global Water Leaders Group LogoOn the eve of the American Water Summit, about 40 global water leaders met in Chicago on 13 November 2012 to discuss how best to communicate the value of water to the public. The CEO-level roundtable dinner was sponsored by the renowned trade publication Global Water Intelligence and its sister publication American Water Intelligence.

Among the goals of the roundtable dinner were the following:

  • to provide a networking opportunity for thought leaders in the industry
  • to create a body of influence for promoting and communicating the value of water
  • to determine the best path forward for the group

One additional question posed at my table yielded some interesting answers: What makes a water leader a leader?

Water leaders, according to participants, are or should be conservative, compelling and clear ambassadors for the value of water. 

This question prompted a discussion of the specific skill set needed for water leaders, but the description applied equally to all thought leaders.

Water leaders, according to participants, are or should be conservative, compelling and clear ambassadors for the value of water (or their own value proposition.) They need courage and confidence as they champion the cause of water (or their company’s cause), and they should do so with an authentic voice (as all thought leaders should).

Collaboration and alignment of interests will help build a stronger sense of community as water leaders (or any other thought leader). A partnering mindset will help break down silos, which will be necessary to move the water industry (and any industry) forward with one voice.

Highlights of the full water conference can be found in this ”Top Tweets” post from the Twitter feed #aws2012.

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Top Tweets from American Water Summit, Chicago, 2012

American Water Summit Chicago 2012Key question at the conference is embedded in theme ”Business Models of the Future”: How do we advance the state of water? #aws2012

Bob Bailey, CH2M Hill, opened water conference with observation that the future is closer to now than ever before. #aws2012

Bob Bailey, CH2M Hill, explained the challenges of water industry that’s complex, fragmented and slow to react. #aws2012 Continue Reading…

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