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Thought leadership – challenges

In a crude definition, Thought Leadership refers to an individual or a firm that can be recognized as a decisive authority over matters concerning various fields of specialization. Thought Leaders are often regarded as trouble-shooters. They have a unique ability to look at the problem areas of the organization at different angles. Their manner(s) of approach towards the identification of the problems and seeking of the optimum solutions is/are out of the box; that is why their expertise is highly sought in the corporate world.

Given that they are leaders by default, so we cannot simply imagine that they are totally immune to all the hardships, hurdles and challenges that any other leader faces in a day-to-day life at the company. Thought Leaders also undergo the same phase of facing certain challenges that are listed as follows: –

  • Prioritization: –

Thought Leaders face this particular problem most of the time. What to put first, then what next and finally what at last are some questions that create a nightmare like situation for the Thought Leaders. They have to apply the strength of each and every neuron of their brain to emerge victorious, from the struggle, with the best outcome. In any organization, one can observe multiple to numerous activities, operations, tasks, etc. going on, in a pipeline mode, simultaneously. It is extremely difficult for the Thought Leaders to prioritize and enlist the plethora of these activities in such a manner that –

  1. No or minimum crossings/clashes of operations occur.

  2. Resources don’t get overused or go redundant.

  3. Human Resources are utilized at the optimum capacity.

  4. Completion of operation does not exhibit any lag or delay.

  5. Chances of inter– and intradepartmental conflicts are reduced to none.

Since every department has its own style of working, set of employees and rate of task completion, synchronizing the overall prioritization is another challenge that comes with the one that is already being dealt with. Among all the things that need the most attention, finances come at the top. Be it financial procurement, investment, expenditure, finance allocation, financial management or anything related to it, finances is the most crucial aspect of running a successful business.

Dave Ramsey of The Dave Ramsey Show was a broke once but by prioritizing the expenditure of his finances at the right places, he earned 10 million views weekly.

One if his famous quote is – “The most powerful thing humans have at their disposal is the ability to choose!”

Thought Leaders focus on not only conventional financial procurement methods, they also go for executing means for more investments as well as an increase in corporate donations. This makes them a bit different from regular financial managers in pacing the businesses towards acceleration.

  • Planning: –

Although planning is one of the responsibilities of those sitting on the managerial board, Thought Leaders are a unique species of personnel that can perform this task also; sometimes even better than the conventional managers.

What do Thought Leaders do differently regarding planning then?

The answer lies in the word – engagement. Where managers rely on subordinates like team leaders, union leaders and supervisors for remaining “in touch” with their employees, Thought Leaders rely on direct personal engagements. So, the planning is not only on the mini- and micro-level, it also incorporates the interest of the biggest stakeholders of any organization, the manpower that keeps it functional. Planning by Thought Leaders requires taking into concern the following –

  1. Organizational structure.

  2. Corporate culture.

  3. Inter-departmental divisions.

  4. Hierarchy of all business personnel.

  5. Finances, resources, sales & marketing strategies.

  6. Target customer-base.

  7. Public Relations / Publicity / Advertisement.

  8. Failsafe / Contingency plans.

  9. Feedback system.

  10. Grievance redressing mechanism.

The author of The Power of Positive Leadership, Jon Gordon comes up with “Great leaders see greatness in others!”

Micro- and mini-level planning for the above-mentioned points gives the edge of uniqueness to the overall business environment because inclusiveness of the workforce is a big driving force, and Thought Leaders get it perfectly.

  • Formulating a better business plan: –

Thought Leaders are very skilful at planning and when there is business planning to deal-in, they work more efficiently. The requirement of a better business plan clearly indicates that the current model isn’t working/functional anymore.

What conventional managers do is that they turn over a new leaf; devise & adopt a fresh business plan. But Thought Leaders go out of the line and adopt mechanisms & strategies that make the existing plan, first work and then later become better.

How do they do it then?

The answer to this is also one worded – connectivity. Thought Leaders overhaul the connectivity of the existing business plan. They first disassociate and then re-associate inter- & intra- departmental connectivity. The biggest reason behind the failure of a business model is its constituent departments getting asynchronous/detached.

An American-Belarusian entrepreneur & wine-critic, Gary Vaynerchuk, quote “Nothing valuable comes quick!”

Thought Leaders understand the importance of connectivity and patience in any business and thus make the magic happen. A better business plan is formulated by them by not only removing the bottlenecks from the existing ones but also bettering the core factors running the overall business.

  • Business evolution & orientation: –

Thought Leaders are also burdened with the responsibility of evolving a business. For that, qualitative feedback is required. A business becomes stagnant if it only focuses on sales & profits. It has to evolve and Thought Leaders know the exact ripe time to adopt new, latest & trending techniques in the market and evolve their business by executing them in their very own business model. For a Thought Leader, evolution & orientation go hand-in-hand. Staying one or two steps ahead of their top competitors is the motto behind perpetual market R&D.

The considered godfather of modern-day marketing, Seth Godin quotes “Being aware of your fear is smart; overcoming it is the mark of a successful person!”

And there are many more examples of Thought Leaders who showed the world the right direction during troubled times. Some of them are Simon Sinek, Tony Robbins, Carson Tate, etc. Thought Leaders don’t fear taking risks, they just love making the subtle little ruckus every now-and-then.

Kalyan Gali
Kalyan Gali
An enterprising professional and an astute strategist with an impressive track record of nearly 17 years in setting up tech start-ups globally, product & technology consulting, product design, process operations and implementing strategic interventions. An incredible professional journey of several challenges and opportunities, I commenced my career as a Software Engineer, UX/UI Design lead and then have worked in senior positions as a Sr. Director-Technology, VP-Product Development, Tech Innovation Manager and Media Head with renowned IT corporates. Presently, I am handling diverse assignments as an Independent Entrepreneur /Expert Strategist/ Consultant. Known best as a passionate leader and a Technology Evangelist, I have outstanding contributions in enhancing revenue streams by recommending tactical solutions, implementing best business practices, technology transfers, facilitating creative synergies and streamlining the operational framework. I have extensive experience in the areas of Product Management & Consulting, Business Development, P&L Management, Media & Communication Strategies, Research, and Content Management. Demonstrated excellence in Technical Administration, Masterminding Business Expansion plans, Optimising Resources and establishing the Systems & processes in place along with a high level of client satisfaction. Deft in analysing the business dynamics, visualising big picture, managing multiple stakeholders and providing leadership to the cross-functional teams. I am a people-oriented leader, strongly believing in maintaining long term mutually beneficial relationships by way of effective communication and collaborative efforts. Entrepreneurship is in my genes. My dad and mom have inspired me to do things differently and be a trend-setter. I have learned the skills of business handling, strategy and people management from my parents.

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