The world seemed to stop every time Steve Jobs presented a new Apple product. Fans and competitors would wait with great expectation, in part because of the veil of secrecy that surrounded each launch, but also because of the potential for some new, brilliant idea that would revolutionize the market (like the mouse, the iPod, and the iPhone, to name a few).


Steve Jobs and the Apple team were considered “thought leaders” in their field. This term has become a buzzword in leadership and business circles today. In its simplest definition, thought leaders are individuals who contribute new ideas to the world. They influence through ideas, innovation, and creativity. Such leaders move and inspire others with innovative ideas they turn into reality, and then help others replicate their success.


The whole point of being a thought leader is to leverage that virtue to produce results. In the business world, people leverage their perceived thought leadership to sell more products, increase their company’s market share, and ultimately, make more money. We, on the other hand, are more interested in leaving a lasting legacy, influencing the world for good, and ultimately bringing the Kingdom of God on earth.


The question is: Are you a thought leader? Here are four characteristics of thought leaders which have the potential to influence, empower, spread ideas, and leave a lasting legacy.

  1. Expertise: Thought leaders are good at what they do (whether it is playing the guitar, programming computers, or interpreting Scripture).

  2. Generosity: Thought leaders share what they know with the world in meaningful and understandable ways.

  3. Authority: People recognize a thought leader's opinion as “authoritative” and come to them for answers and wisdom.

  4. Specialization: The knowledge of a thought leader is somewhat specialized. They recognize it is better to be the best at one thing than to be very good at everything.


Are you a thought leader? Do you want to be a thought leader? These are the obvious questions, but I challenge you to go a bit further today. The reality is the world needs thought leaders who are committed to building the Kingdom of God. So, a better question is:

Are you willing to become a thought leader for God?

by Norival Trindade