Thought Leaders Business School is our flagship program. It has a simple, single minded focus: to help you climb from white belt ($10K per month in revenue) to black belt ($60K+ per month) as a thought leader positioned as an authority in your domain of expertise.
The process for getting there is simple. (Not easy mind you, for if that were the case everyone would be doing it, but simple). We teach what we call the Cluster Strategy. A cluster is basically a commercial experiment. A test that you perform in the market to see if a particular niche of people will pay to solved their problems with your help. When a cluster succeeds, it will generate $10K per month in revenue. When a cluster fails, we take the lessons learned and apply them in designing the next cluster.
On average, clusters succeed about half the time, so in order to build $60K in monthly revenue in three years we need to launch 12 clusters (since half will succeed, and contribute $10K per month in revenue each). Do the maths, and you’ll see we need to launch a new cluster every 90 days. This is a pretty hectic cadence, and it requires a high degree of commitment. Most businesses don’t move that fast because most businesses are businesses. Meaning, they have many staff, and thick procedure manuals, and rigid cultures that say ’this is what we do around here’. A thought leadership practice has no such constraints. It’s just you and your ideas in service to the world, and there’s very little stopping you from moving quickly.
It’s this natural agility which is the primary inherent advantage of a practice, and the cluster strategy maximises the benefits.
The genius of the cluster strategy is that it helps you find the shortest path from the inception of an idea to the commercial returns, but as noted above whilst the strategy is simple, it’s not necessarily easy, and thus the danger we face in implementing it is that we ‘run out of steam'. In her book The Willpower Instinct, Dr Kelly McGonigal notes that willpower is a finite resource, and of course the risk we face when tackling a challenge is that we run out of willpower and give up short of the finish line.
Thought Leaders Business School recognises that while you’re determined to succeed, willpower alone is not enough to get you there. This program uses world-class structures and a powerful culture to surround each thought leader with the frameworks, projects, accountability and support required to continue making progress when willpower is a limited resource.
Let’s take a look at what’s involved.
Thought Leaders Business School is a rolling intake program, with entry points every three months. Our next available intake is November 2019.
Nov 28-30, 2019
Feb 27-29, 2020
8 places left
May 28-30, 2020
Aug 27-29, 2020
Presently, the educational sector is undergoing a revolution in the way that learning environments are structured. Lead most famously by the Khan Academy, but in various phases of implementation from primary schools through to Ivy League universities, the new paradigm of education almost completely flips the concept of teaching and homework.
Teaching now happens online, in video segments which are absorbed by the students in their own time, at their own pace. The classroom then becomes a workshop, where the teacher can work with each student on the particular challenges they face, and productivity soars as the students receive immediate help and feedback when working through the exercises.
This revolution has inspired the structure of Thought Leaders Business School.
We’ve created an online platform that teaches the Thought Leaders methodology. Over 50 videos that show you how to capture, package and deliver your ideas to move from white belt to black belt and beyond.
There are also over 120 resources to accelerate your implementation of this methodology–templates of the critical collateral you will need to launch speaking, authoring, training, mentoring, facilitating and coaching offerings into professional and public markets.
The first step in preparing for Thought Leaders Business School is to complete our <Foundation Program> which means you have access to this material as soon as you sign up. In the months prior to your first immersion you'll be learning the curriculum, refining your IP, and developing new commercial offerings that are ready to take to market. You'll be guided through the process of learning the curriculum, and enjoy the input and feedback from mentors and faculty as you submit your work, ensuring you're well prepared for your first immersion.
Everyone joining Thought Leaders Business School is expected to be at white belt running rate ($10K per month in sales) at the time of your first immersion, and the Foundation Program provides everything you need to build your monthly revenue if your practice is not already at that level.
Almost everyone will see a significant financial impact on their practice throughout the onboarding process, and by following the system many students are able to generate more additional income than the annual cost of the program... before they even arrive!
The cluster strategy revolves around a 90-day cadence, and we hold ourselves accountable to the process with quarterly Immersions to prepare each new cluster. Because you have learned the methodology as part of the preparation, these workshops are focused on implementation and mastery. We will deepen your skills around thinking, selling and delivery, and go to work implementing your gameplan.
In each immersion we:
Review. Look at what worked and what didn’t over the last 90 days and share our learnings and our successes.
Think. We’ll spend some time creating your intellectual property, reviewing it and getting mentoring on making it rock.
Sell. We’ll go to work on creating all the collateral and designing the conversations that you need to hit your sales targets over the next 90 days.
Deliver. We’ll work on delivery—how are you going to deliver your next program and what do you need to make that world class.
Celebrate. Each quarter we celebrate the different breakthroughs you’ve achieved. This creates a culture of success, and gives us space to share the victories we can’t share anywhere else.
Learn. We’ll bring in a rockstar, world-class presenter whose message will help accelerate your journey. We’ll also teach some of the finer distinctions and nuances of the methodology.
Plan. We spend some time creating the detailed plan for the next 90 days so you leave knowing exactly what you need to do.
Mentor. There is space for open mentoring at the front of the room through hot-seats, and one-on-one mentoring from the faculty at the Genius Bar.
Connect. There are lots of informal opportunities to connect socially with other students, the faculty and the presenters.
These immersions are the cornerstone of the program, and over 12 months you will share the journey with a group of peers on the same journey.
Thought Leaders Business School is lead by a diversely experienced and incredibly knowledgeable faculty of over 30 black belt thought leaders. These generous folk not only run their own black belt practice following the Thought Leaders methodology, they choose to contribute back by serving the community through a mentoring role.
Their expertise is as varied as their backgrounds; what’s common among them is their mastery of the Thought Leaders curriculum and their willingness to help others with their insight and experience. The faculty serve the tribe by leading sessions and conversations at Immersions, providing elective content throughout each quarter, hosting group and 1:1 coaching sessions, and providing helpful advice and insights to the feed on Thought Leaders Central. We are genuinely privileged to have them.
The cluster strategy is only as effective as your ability to execute it allows. Each decision you make and every action you take has an impact. In the wrong environment, decisions and action can be tiring. In Thought Leaders Business School, we make sure you’re surrounded by people who can help you make great decisions, and commit to the actions required to see those decisions come to fruition. At your first Immersion you join a coaching group, lead by two members of faculty, with whom you’ll have regular check-ins throughout the quarter to ensure you’re on the right track. Your group becomes a little ’tribe within a tribe’, within which you’ll form close relationships of accountability and peer support. In this tribe, you’re never far away from a friendly and understanding ear.
You’ll also track your weekly activities on the Dashboard, over which your mentors have visibility. This dashboard helps you keep your attention on the activities that matter. In a world as rich and complex as this, it’s easy to get distracted by new ideas and shiny things. Of course, occasionally a 'shiny thing' can evolve into 'the next big thing' and eventually 'your life’s work’, so we seek to create an environment where you feel empowered to explore, but also accountable to the actions that need to be completed week by week in order to drive your practice forward.
The humbling thing that we’ve learned delivering the program is that the most valuable component actually has nothing to do with us. The element of the program that is truly priceless is being part of a community of like-minded thought leaders on the same journey.
There is a lot of research (which we won’t go into now) that demonstrates the impacts of social norms, and how powerful the group dynamic is. We are hard-wired from tens of thousands of years as tribal animals to want to fit in. For most of our evolution as a species our survival depended on it.
The best way to to take advantage of this trait is to find a tribe that thinks the way you want to think, that behaves how you want to behave, and that is producing the results that you want to produce. James Clear describes it well in his best-selling and highly influential book Atomic Habits, saying “Surround yourself with people who have the habits you want to have yourself. You’ll rise together”.
Over the course of the year what’s normal gets redefined in your subconscious. It will become normal to write a book in 12 months (without taking any time off from your business to do so). It will become normal to earn $500k to $1.5M in your practice. It will become normal to think about $3,000 days and $5,000 days … and then $10,000 days and even $50,000 days.
And this change in mindset, which comes from the tribe much more than it comes from us, is what makes everything not just possible, but inevitable. The tribe gets together at the quarterly immersions, on Thought Leaders Central (our online hub) and through informal local meet-ups.