Positioning for thought leaders

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Sure, it sounds attractive to be a “thought leader.” You just hold yourself out as an expert on something and then post a lot on social media and wait for the speaking and consulting gigs come pouring in, right? Not quite. There are a lot of pretenders out there. And there are a lot of … Continued

Memeflinger or influencer?

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There’s a way to generate influence that bugs me. I call people who do this “memeflingers.” Here’s how it works. First, identify the memes that are spreading most widely on social media, especially if they include meaningless platitudes about behavior and careers. Maybe even hire people to track them down for you. Second, repost as … Continued

Always doubt what you want to believe

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Good morning. I trust you slept well and soundly last night. As I write this, no serious news organization has declared the winner of the US presidential election. Based on current vote counts (9:15am) and the likelihood of remaining Democratic-skewing mail ballots being counted, Joe Biden is more likely than not to win the presidency, … Continued

How to make bold predictions in a terrifying time

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The world is changing rapidly before our eyes. If you advise decision-makers, they crave your leadership right now. But it’s a terrifying moment — you can’t just charge blithely ahead, fast forwarding past a crisis that has affected all of us. Whether you call yourself an analyst, a thought leader, a public speaker, or an … Continued

Beyond meaningless platitudes

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Experts build their business on an idea. If the idea is a platitude, they don’t deserve respect — and they won’t get clients. I am so sick of the aspiring thought leaders on social media sharing platitudes and imagining they are insights. “You must put the customer first.” Oh, now I see. I was putting … Continued

How smart people make a decision

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There’s a misconception that the purpose of experts is to tell you what to do. That’s not right. What they do is help you think. Imagine that you are a person making a momentous decision. You could be the CEO of a large company pondering an acquisition, a consumer deciding whether or not to buy … Continued

What’s your 3-second brand?

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A new year is coming up. Perhaps you want to try to get very well known for something this year — write a book, give speeches, become a thought leader. When people think about you, what will they think? What’s your personal brand? You may want to think very long and hard about that, and … Continued

How to speak truth to power

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I made a career out of telling important people things they might not want to hear. In my time as a technology analyst I spoke with CEOs, presidents, founders, and management teams at ABC, Best Buy, Cablevision, Charles Schwab, Cisco, Clear Channel, Comcast, Conde Nast, Cox, Discovery, EMI, HBO, Haier, Hearst, Home Depot, Intuit, Lifetime, … Continued