Lots of smart people have inspiring ideas. Lots of people write books, do a TED talk, give speeches, create new products & companies, and are thought leaders who influence us. But the thought leaders who actually shake us up, who create new ways of thinking, who are founders of major enduring movements...those are more rare.
As a former President of a publishing company, I am lucky to know a lot of smart, inventive, creative and driven people. Over time, we published hundreds of books that reached best-seller lists, which meant that the ideas they contained were read and praised by tens of thousands of people worldwide. But what really excited all of us was discovering that rare and amazing author whose book sales actually grew over time. When the sales curve grew year over year, we all knew that something very special was happening, and the ideas within that book were taking hold and were having a unique power. The growth of such an ideas revolution are manifest in more than book sales. It is about the magic of a top-ranked TED talk, or a keynote speaker who gets asked back over and over again. It’s about the power of a set of ideas to inspire us and to change lives. It’s about movements that endure and grow and the brave souls who lead those movements. So what combination of traits, passions and abilities create a thought leader who leads an ideas revolution?
Debra Hunter gets much too excited about leadership and learning and the junction between the two. For 14 years, she was CEO of Jossey-Bass, publisher of top thought leaders in those areas. She's also a mom, photographer, and consultant.