Firstly, for context, I love genuine thought leaders. Without them we would still be living in caves...
I have two real concerns about how easy it has become to access "thought leader" content these days and both of them revolve around different "agendas"
I will come back to my greatest concern later on...
My first concern is that people are setting themselves up as thought leaders, in fact they are told to do so by other thought leaders (What's that all about?)
More often than not what they are saying isn't anything new, let alone original, and isn't overly thought provoking BUT what they have managed to do is re-package it in a "branded" way.
It may well be useful information but it is simply curating (that's a great word isn't it), re-branding and mass marketing it. When (IF) there is any original angle to the content it is often just regurgitated post after post after post, because there isn't real depth to it.
The whole idea of being a true thought leader is about sharing, giving and unconditionally helping others which then attracts followers and business follows. When the agenda is to attract business by using questionably original reconstituted content to set yourself up as a thought leader it starts to feel very sleazy.
Maybe we need to be more discerning?
My bigger concern revolves around potentially genuine thought leaders, and especially the new, sometimes radical ideas that get some traction. These genuine thought leaders often use phrases like... "I can visualise a time when..." and they may well be right. Eventually some of their ideas may well become the mainstream, but even in todays rapidly changing world it is unlikely to happen tomorrow and it is unlikely that everything that it replaces becomes immediately redundant.
In the same way that electric vehicles will probably, eventually become the norm it will be an evolution that takes decades, not years and the combustion engine will be about for a generation or two, then the processes and technologies that are breaking ground at the moment will take a long time before they are the everyday norm. They may also only be available to large corporations with only radically diluted elements realistic for small businesses.
The problem is, and I see this far too regularly in the world of sales, these new ideas and developments can fuel procrastination. They can create a feeling of analysis paralysis resulting in people not knowing what they need to do. Often no-one is putting things into context.
This can however often suit people's agendas as it can seemingly validate their choices not to do some of the things that they feel less comfortable doing.
Maybe, again, we need to be more discerning?