By Andrew Ballenthin
The timeless adage "don't fix it if it isn't broken" is the opposite of what thought leaders aim to do. Seth Godin, an illustrious thought leader, recently stated, "want to know why so many companies can't keep up with Apple? It's because they compromise, have meetings, work to fit in, and fear the critics...". As a thought leader is he right?
In 2009 we saw a horrific number of U.S. businesses being broken as bankruptcies rose 38% according to Reuters. Bloomberg reports 8 million jobs were lost due to the recession over the same period. Without a doubt a complex set of factors had its insidious hand in the restructuring of corporations and American lives. But how much of this demise was caused by the malaise of satisfied accomplishments that accompanied years of success and seemingly endless prosperity?
Thought leaders have a duty to assist in the continued destruction of our prior templates for how businesses run. It was a tragedy that the grim reaper of recession tapped market forces on the shoulder and gave a wake-up call, but it was due to happen.
Sally Hogshead, has become a thought leader as an after affect of getting marketing results, winning a variety of industry awards and becoming a best selling author. In her latest blog she started with, "I believe you do not have to be an asshole, or work for one, in order to do great work". Great thought leaders call out the elephant in the room and remind us of the obvious so we come back down to earth and move on to better things.
Who Is Helping You Destroy Status Quo?
As you look forward into 2010 ask yourself what criteria you are using for finding a thought leader that helps you destroy your old ways of compromising. If you're reading books and blogs and attending corporate events that reinforce what you know, you're not in the presence of a thought leader. Whether you are a business owner, an executive or someone making their way through the shuffle of life we owe it to the grim reaper of 2009 to not settle back into status quo.
Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image, reminds us how to filter a noisy world of advice and determine who is the right thought leader for us, "If you're following someone and they're really not adding any value to your life (your growth, development and education), drop them." Think of all the books, blogs and articles you've read during your lifetime. How many people have really helped you destroy your old way of thinking and move onto something better? How much was just noise? Have you been inspired lately to 'destroy your business' based on better advice?
An Opportunity To Participate In Destruction
Share your story below about how you assisted the 'destruction' of a business with your leadership or tell about how a thought leader (in a book, event, coaching, etc.) helped you destroy your old thinking and move into innovation. 2 free tickets (worth $399 each) will go to the person who has the best comment below for The Art Of Marketing held in Toronto on Tuesday March 2nd. Note: tickets are not transferable to cash, collection at the event is required.