The Four Hidden Roles of Thought Leaders

The Four Hidden Roles of Thought Leaders

Matt Church

Matt Church

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Published by Matt Church – Founder on 31 January 2023

No matter how your expertise turns up, it’s worth stepping into these four foundational roles.


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We are all experts in our field, be it project management, banking, insurance, real estate, emotional intelligence, or the science of strategy. Underlying these areas of subject matter expertise are some foundational roles, or expertise, that all thought leaders might embody or develop. Knowing these and exploring how these inform your specific area of expertise makes you a better thought leader.

  • We are all motivational speakers.
  • We are all futurists.
  • We are all behavioural scientists.
  • We are all master teachers.

As motivational speakers, we work on delivering messages that lead people forward, closing the gap between who they are and who they know they can be or where they are and where they know they can be. We inspire others, breathing life into their dreams and aspirations.

As futurists, we are all charged with mobilising people and businesses in pursuit of a better future. We make sense of the trends and draw a straight line between the past, present, and possible futures. We scan the environment for indicators of change and adaptation.

As behavioural scientists, we understand the science of performance and help people remove the blocks that hold them back from driving any positive performance in their life. The science of change, the essence of forming habits and encouraging people to grow and adapt all sit within this role.

As master teachers, we are always looking for ways to help people learn. We’ve become experts in andragogy, the education of adults. We know that learning may be our client’s best competitive advantage. We understand that learning is a lifetime process and commit to learning through being master teachers.

No matter how your expertise turns up, it’s worth stepping into these four foundational roles as well and maybe looking at your expertise through these lenses. What does a real estate futurist, real estate motivational speaker, real estate behavioural scientist, or real estate master teacher do differently? What does an expert in performance think of when applying these four roles as lenses? How might a wellness expert apply these four lenses?

Start to layer these four fundamental and foundational roles into your practice, realising that not only are you an expert in your field of expertise but you also might need to be an expert in these four roles applying them as lenses to your development.

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