What makes Someone a Great Thought Leadership Practitioner?

What makes someone a great thought leadership practitioner?

I’ve been asked this question by:
📌Leaders hiring thought leadership practitioners and
📌 Job candidates seeking a TL role at a company.

One common job description looks like this.
The person must be great at ALL of the following:

🧠 Subject matter expertise
🧪 Original research
👀 Data analysis
🎤 Public speaking
✏ Writing
❤️Professional relationship building and nurturing

Clearly, this “ideal candidate” is a unicorn. 🦄
Good luck finding this person.

So, here’s a different question.
What are the core thought leadership skillsets?
What should you hire for?

Three foundational skills stand out to me.

🧩 Analytical Thinking, to see around corners;
🎣 Storytelling, to share insights compellingly; and
🙏Empathy, to keep us grounded in everyday situations.

When I interview candidates, these are
The base skillsets that I look for.

The very best thought leadership practitioners are strong in all three.
And that’s true whether they create thought leadership or
they curate or deploy it.

Many candidates are strong in at least one area.
If you’re hiring at thought leadership practitioner.
Be thoughtful in writing the requirements for the role.

If you’re hiring someone in thought leadership —
what do you really need the person to do?
Don’t create impossible job requirements.

And if you’re in a thought leadership role today,
Think about which skills you already have.
And where you want to grow.


I write about
#ThoughtLeadership #OrgTL and #Brand