Tips for Achieving the Steadied Calm and Measured Perspective that Thought Leaders Project
I believe that true thought leaders are much more than mere content creators, as I’ve written in the past. When you think of a true thought leader in business, law or among your own personal interests, who comes to mind? Is it simply the most prolific content creator, or is it someone who has earned your respect, trust and admiration?
There’s a certain quality to the intellectual makeup of a thought leader, and content creators who wish to ascend to the mantle of thought leader should consider what is common among those who have achieved such status and renown.
I believe thought leaders exhibit a measured calm, a steadied presence. They follow the long arch of time and trends, often ignoring immediate impulses and resisting the urge to react to sudden changes in market dynamics. They dictate the course of conversation, rather than react to externalities. More proactive than reactive.
If an attorney, then, wishes to attain thought-leader status, I believe he or she needs to emulate and achieve the thought leader’s mind, body and spirit.
I asked my network on LinkedIn to provide their suggested “tools, resources, books, podcasts, philosophies, etc., that enable a busy professional to achieve the calm, steadiness and measured composure that thought leaders exhibit, amid the unsteady, tumultuous and harried world in which we live.” I’ll share those suggestions with you below, but first, here are my recommendations.
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Focus on What’s Essential
My most frequently recommended read is, I believe, the intuitive starting point. If you haven’t yet examined and articulated what’s truly essential to your life, you will forever remain beholden to someone else’s priorities. No thought leader subordinates their priorities to someone else’s. Must read: Essentialism, by Greg McKeown.
Clear the Clutter
Deep Simplicity by John Gribbin is a great read that will help you simplify your life so you have the processes and courage to focus on that essential outcome you identify upon reading Essentialism. It also happens to be high on Charlie Munger’s recommended reading list. (Charlie Munger is one of my partner Jay Harrington’s personal thought leaders of choice..)
Pivot and Commit
Speaking of my partner, Jay released a book earlier this year that guides attorneys through a Productivity Pivot, so that they can re-channel their energies away from reactive priorities and toward a proactive, self-fulfilling system of business development and thought leadership.
Once you’ve committed to becoming the master of your own fortunes, you will be well positioned to focus on “Quadrant Two” in the Eisenhower Matrix: important but not urgent tasks, where thought leaders spend the majority of their time and energy. (Most attorneys spend their days reacting to the urgent-and-important work of billing hours and serving clients. There is a balance to achieve, however, if you truly want to become a thought leader. And there’s a system that The Quadrant Two Academy will guide you through in order to make this important pivot.
One of my go-to resources for staying centered is Brian Clark’s “Further” newsletter, a weekly distribution of critical content geared specifically for Gen-Xers like myself. As a thought leader himself, Brian has earned my devoted and committed attention to virtually everything he writes, every week. Though I believe his content is universal to anyone looking to achieve holistic health in mind, body and spirit, his ongoing study of the proven science between regular exercise and “reversing the aging process” is critical for busy professionals who feel the effects of stress creeping nefariously into their physical and mental well-beings.
Take a Walk
I no longer consider myself to be an exercise buff, but I do commit to a brisk 45-minute walk daily (accompanied by my four-legged companions). Brian Clark frequently cites (and by now I’m sure you’re aware of) research that repeatedly reinforces the benefits of daily exercise that even the couch potatoes among us are likely able to commit to. Even walking daily has proven, demonstrable benefits to both body and mind. Even if you have 0% body fat, the mental benefits of walking (or more rigorous exercise) are reason enough to commit to a daily exercise routine, such as walking.
This is where I defer to you to determine the appropriate fit and resources for “soul,” as you personally define it and identify. My only urging is that you consider what this esoteric, somewhat abstract component of the human physiology does to your overall well-being and ability to acquire the chemical makeup of a thought leader. Just know that spirituality, theology and philosophy are significant components of our intellectual and emotional selves. To ignore the “soul,” even if it is conceptual to you, is to discard an important element of achieving calm, centeredness (some say “mindfulness”) and the measured composure of a thought leader.
I don’t claim to know what’s “right,” only that there is something “right” for you out there. For a sampling of this, here are some of the suggestions my colleagues on LinkedIn urged me to include:
The Best of the Rest
Jay Harrington vouches for The Stoic Philosophy, among other things:
Legal Marketing Consultant Rob Foil recommends mindfulness apps:
Entrepreneur and small business mentor Armando Ojeda advocates for religious or spiritual pursuits:
Financial planner and wealth management advisor Brendan Walsh vouches for a few of my favorite techniques for clearing the clutter and staying focused on the essential:
My partner and master of the visually aesthetic, Heather Harrington, expands on the idea of journaling with a fantastic book recommendation:
What Would You Add?
Feel free to join the conversation and add your favorite techniques, resources and tips for achieving centeredness and attaining the mind, body and soul of a true thought leader! LinkedIn permalink is here.
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