‘Thought Leader’ and ‘Influencer’ are very much buzz words across the digital space (that’s another one!). Very few people who become leaders in this field actually set out to self-style themselves to be a thought leader or influencer in my opinion.
I think they just did their thing, shared it, and people began to be interested and a following developed. Digital marketing has made it an aspirational value to be a leader of this style. We are encouraged to now position ourselves in this vein by social media platforms like LinkedIn and through other mediums, such as blogs (like this one!).
Personally, I don’t consider myself to be any sort of leader, but more of a contributor and a participator. To me that is the value and the pleasure in engaging with people through these channels. I enjoy it. I meet and interact and learn from others through the experience. Often from sources you might not expect. Sources, from which a wisdom ahead of their years, sometimes pops up…
I thought of this when I quoted my 9 year old son the other day on my Aghy’s World Facebook page and in my blog The Sowing and Sewing of Friendships, “Friendship is like sewing. Making strong stitches takes time and needs attention. But then it lasts long, hopefully forever”.
Dragon Sisters Facebook page quoted a Little Dragon who said, “If you don’t invest in the Kindness Bank, you won’t get much of a return”. I love that these kids come up with original, authentic, empathetic thoughts. I want to encourage that. After all, isn’t that what we want in our thought leaders and influencers of the future? Looks like they are already here!
I’m not suggesting that we want to groom our kids so we can launch them off digital platforms! Rather, that we just encourage them to keep thinking the way that comes naturally to them. Whether they become leaders or influencers is not important. That they become increasingly aware, empathetic and considered in their thoughts is what is important.
On the A Mighty Girl Facebook page I read a quote from Bette Midler, “I didn’t belong as a kid and that always bothered me. If only one day I’d known my differentness would be an asset, then my early life would have been much easier”.
Very often with kids it is the differential which sets them apart from the crowd, which can be tough when they’re young, but can herald great character and creativity. Let’s always make time to listen to them.
If you have a creative kid quote, please share it with me — I’d love to hear it!