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Serendipitous thought leadership
Think. Write. Lead. - Issue #75
You never know what you’ll find when you get off the main road.
As we walked up a hill in Galicia, Spain, part of our second day of El Camino, we saw a discreet sign to our left.
Always the curious ones, my wife and I approached the faded sign in the middle of nowhere.
It said that further ahead was an archaeological site called Castromaior, an ancient settlement from the 4th century B.C.
You couldn’t see the ruins from the road or even from where we were standing then.
You had to take a detour.
We are nerds for live ancient history, so we did.
But nobody else seemed to be curious enough or even aware of the existence of the site.
Here we are, walking up the hill to the ruins…
People lived there thousands of years ago. And we got to see what they left behind.
And take a selfie.
Hundreds of people stayed on the main trail and missed this while we went off the path and found it.
Thought leadership is a lot like that.
You have to deviate from the norm.
Look for new signs and trends.
Take risks (maybe you won’t find anything).
Document your findings and build a framework.
Have you ignored new POVs or innovative angles for your content because it’s easier to follow whatever’s ranking or is popular already?
Are you too focused on your “roadmap” that you haven’t left room for detours or serendipity?
When was the last time that you deviated from the norm and tried something crazy different?
Write down a serendipitous thought leadership plan for the next 3 months. Yes, I know it sounds contradictory putting a plan for unplanned events, but it’s about setting yourself up for happy accidents.
Here’s what your plan could include:
Travel to a place you have never visited before, where you don’t speak the language, and interact with the locals.
Take a class or online course on a topic that interests you but it's far removed from your expertise—and start discussions with your classmates about what you are working on.
Organize an event and invite random experts, not just your usual connections.
Finally, start writing your book and go out and explore new angles and impossible outcomes.
Don’t be afraid of doing something different.
That is the mindset of a Solo Thought Leader.
Why be better when you can be the one?
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