Thought Leaders - A Different Meaning of Leadership

Thought leaders are people who have an influence on how people think about an issue or situation. Through their development of models, theories or ideas, they end up with a following that stems largely from the apparent truth and/or usefulness of their ideas.

Thought leaders do not "intend to lead". Neither do they require formal power. Their "power to lead" lies with the apparent truth and effectiveness (and often innovativeness) of their thinking.

Thought leaders can affect others on a grand scale, through the exposure of their thinking in the media, or through books, personal influence and so on, but they can also affect others locally, within an organization, by presenting their thinking in compelling ways, so that those around them approach problems or issues from a different perspective. Often thought leaders are best known for innovative or "new" ideas.

What is a "thought leader"?