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How to be a thought leader

Association CEOs reveal the method, and the necessity, of exercising thought leadership in interdependent world with many stakeholders


Sept. 27, 2019
By William Ehart

Earning a reputation as a thought leader is increasingly important for CEOs and the associations they represent.

Thought leaders use their expertise and reputation as a trusted authority to influence a wide variety of stakeholders, including members and potential members in the industry or profession, competitors, decision-makers in other sectors and policymakers. Thought-leading executives and groups may also reach out to the general public as part of their efforts to accomplish goals in an interdependent world.

Thought leadership doesn’t require original ideas, just the surfacing of essential ones, no matter where they originate.

Those essential thoughts can come from scanning the horizon for industry and societal trends that might affect members, or from letting concerns bubble up from your membership.