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Think. Write. Lead.
Did you see the news?
By Diego Pineda • Issue #33 • View online
Bienvenido to this issue of Think.Write.Lead. where I rant about everybody talking about the same issues on social media, show you why thought leadership is not about commenting on trending topics, and challenge you to be a leader, not a follower.

The media (and social media) may not tell you what to think, but they do tell you what to think about.
The war in Ukraine. Gun control. The Jan 6 panel. Roe vs Wade.
Millions of things happen around the world every day. Yet, we are mostly aware of the trending topics.
And that’s what we discuss. Over and over.
The more people talk about it, the more we feel like we have to comment and weigh in.
Is that The New York Times?
Is that The New York Times?
Who sets the agenda?
Those who have the audience and the platforms. Everyone else follows.
And although aspiring thought leaders have the challenge of building an audience and leveraging the platforms where their audience hangs out, those are not the main goals.
In fact, just having an audience is not enough.
Influencers and entertainers have large followings, but they’re not leading with their thoughts.
And owning a platform does not make you a credible authority.
Media tycoons and social media owners may have the power to censor and manipulate information, but that doesn’t make them thought leaders.
  • Thought leadership is about seeing what others don’t see yet.
  • It’s about putting into words problems and solutions not obvious to the masses.
  • It’s about spotting trends, predicting the future, creating categories, going against conventional wisdom.
Are you leading or are you following?
The questions below are more of the self-reflection type, but they set the scene for what comes next.
  • Are you purposefully setting the agenda for your niche audience or tribe?
  • Are you focused on creating disruptive thought leadership content or are you simply giving your opinion on popular topics?
  • What do you care more about (honestly): building an audience or building a thought leadership framework?
  • Is your writing more about the past and the present or about the future?
  • Write down 3 article/post ideas that are innovative but not currently trending on social media.
  • Write down one prediction of the future of your industry (5+ years) based on your expertise and research.
  • Write down 2-3 new categories you would like to create, even if you don’t have the ideas fully baked.
There is a place and a time for being a virtual panelist of the news of the week, for sure.
Supporting causes and expressing your beliefs is part of the social media experience, no doubt.
But the outcome is that your readers will simply put a label on you.
“Oh, he is right wing, or she’s a feminist, or he is pro-choice, or she is XYZ.”
And after they put that label on you, they’ll say, “I agree” or “I disagree.”
You make friends and enemies. You get followers (not a bad thing per se).
As I’ve written before, you need radical stands and opinions as a thought leader.
But those opinions must go beyond what the news is blasting out.
Create you own thoughts. Lead, don’t just follow.
Be different, like this guy.
Be different, like this guy.
Recommended Resource
Discover your thought leadership score
Did you enjoy this issue?
Diego Pineda

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