7 Defining Traits of Thought Leaders

Confident Businesswoman

By Evan Bailyn (Huffington Post)

Most people probably think that the only trait a thought leader needs to have is good thoughts. Sadly, that is not the case at all. What they need are the seven things I’m about to reveal.

But before I share these traits with you, let’s define the term “thought leader.” To me, a thought leader is someone that has significant influence over other people because of their ideas or public image. They attain that influence by having one or more of the following characteristics. I have never, however, heard of a thought leader that has all seven. Most really famous people have 3-4 of them.

One of my idols, Walt Disney, had only three of the seven traits at the start of his career. While lacking money, beauty, extraordinary intelligence, or connections, he was a highly charming man (mostly because of how driven he was), a gifted storyteller (his chief ability in life), and the image of self-confidence (which is how he sold his first cartoons without even being a talented artist). And in fact, depending on your definition of success, some of the most successful people in our society have less than half of these qualities going for them.

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