Sticks and stones may break my bones, but…




Richard Moss

Name-calling never feels good. But there is some benefit to it when trying to decide what type of thought leader you want your business to be. As part of The Thought Leadership Project Richard Moss takes a look at the different types of business thought leaders. 

I’ve been called some names in my time. Apparently I’m a Plant, a Protagonist and a really nice guy (OK, I added the last one). All of these names got me thinking about the different approaches to thought leadership I’ve come across. The names I’ve chosen to describe these approaches won’t win awards for originality… but I’m sure most of them will feel strangely familiar.

1. The Shotgunners

The shotgunners have an opinion on almost everything! For them it’s about presence, awareness and always having a voice… after all, isn’t all publicity, good publicity? Success is measured by quantity. The number of quotes, round tables, social posts, speaker platforms and column inches achieved.

2. The Alignmenteers

The alignmenteers love order (and a framework). For them everything must have a place and key messages must be followed to the letter. They spend weeks crafting their message grids and building consensus internally. They measure success through the lens of key message delivery ..and the number of people they’ve ‘aligned’.

3. The Campaigners

The campaigners are the new kids on the block.Their mission in life is to help their organisations take a lead and be seen as the authority in something that matters to its stakeholders. They still produce clear messaging grids and some central assets, but their primary energy is put into inspiring and facilitating others to participate in and forward their agenda. Success is measured by outcomes, ultimately the leads or business generated.

Thought Leadership is of course a name. If it was a person, they would have huge potential but would be grossly misunderstood. They would be crying out for a mentor. A guiding light to harness their potential, someone to champion their cause and demonstrate what they can deliver.

That guiding light of course has a name. Is it yours?

Thought leadership works. If you are interested in finding out more about how it could work better for you, join our LinkedIn group, or if you would like to attend one of our events, or contact Holly Dedman on

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Headshot photo of Richard Moss

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