The Future of Thought Leadership

Ask many who they would consider a modern-day thought leader and the answer would surely include people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. But, what about the thought leaders of the future? What is thought leadership and what makes a thought leader? This is not an easy question to answer. There are many definitions. In fact, some of the very qualities that we identify with traditional leadership are also found in thought leadership. Being a strong role model is one that comes to mind. Today’s successful leaders need to be even more insightful, more innovative, and constantly challenge their company to develop new ideas and initiatives. Complacency is not an option in today’s marketplace.

thought leadership

In general, thought leaders look beyond the horizon and are able to see the possibilities ahead. This is the simplicity and beauty of new ideas. Today’s and future thought leaders need to take it one step further. They not only need to recognize opportunities, but also need to have the wherewithal to challenge obstacles, identify risks, and assess the possible return on their investment. A colleague of mine recently gave me an interesting analogy. A person developing strategy is one hand of thought leadership and the person/people that develop those strategies into functional things or services represent the other hand. Applause takes two hands. Thought leaders have already begun to recognize that a big part of being successful is reaping the monetary benefits of your ideas and projecting your company forward visually and monetarily into the marketplace. A great idea that is not implemented to its fullest is not worthy of applause. Sadly enough, today’s society generally does not value invention or innovation without monetary connection.

Many factors affect the current speed of thought leadership. The largest factor is the technological advances that we constantly experience today. This also opens a whole world of opportunity in every industry. Thought leaders of today and tomorrow must have a certain level of self-awareness that enables them to see beyond the horizon while also recognizing the strengths of the teams around them.  Then, they must effectively advance the ideas to the marketplace and reap above average returns on their investment. All this while also staying grounded in the core competencies of the company and being able to adapt to the changing landscape of the industry. That’s a large calling. Perhaps the recently published article in Forbes said it best, “Becoming a thought leader is about making money and making history.”1

 

Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current Form ADV Part 2A brochure, copies of which are available upon request at no cost or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. Hewins does not provide tax, accounting or legal services.
Gretchen Halpin
Gretchen Halpin

Chief Strategy Officer

Gretchen Halpin is the Chief Strategy Officer for Hewins Financial Advisors, based in Chicago, IL. Gretchen specializes in business strategy, professional coaching, marketing and entrepreneurship, with experience as the driving force behind several successful business ventures.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed

The Future of Thought Leadership

time to read: 2 min