9 Successful Habits & Qualities of Thought Leaders


Did you hear about the discovery in epigenetics? Are you wondering, “What has Epigenetics got to do with habits of Thought Leaders?”. It has some good news for you. By changing the way you think and by choosing the type of proteins you feed yourself, you can change the pattern of thinking right at the micro-level of your DNA.

This means that, the way Thought Leaders think has got to do a lot with the habits and deliberate attitude that they have adopted. Here are some of them.

Don’t React

There are so many things happening in your own niche. Especially the overnight success stories, new technologies, scary disasters — all add up to the anxiety in the making of a leader. But, albeit their existence, thought leaders do not let themselves react to each of those distracting news. They chart out a plan and stick to it. They focus only on those aspects that matter to the success of that plan and nothing else!

Wide Radar

Often, Thought Leaders are referred to as being open. Honestly, I would call it having a ‘wide radar’. In fact, Thought Leaders bring about strong theories, opinions and frameworks that fuel their ideology. They have a wide radar rather than interests to evolve their ideas for cross-cultural acceptance.

Fluid Yet Strong

They keep a strong balance of fluidity and strength. The come with validated judgments and are not reactive or judgemental about people. But they are opinionated. What do I mean by this? They definitely bucket people to make the right use of them. I might sound rude but it is not a bad thing to know what each person in your network is good at and not so good at. At the time of crisis, this information comes in handy.

Great Readers

They don’t count the number of books that they read. They just read. They read everything and anything. However, you could step into a phase of life where you would like to structure your time and make the most productive use of it by only choosing to read very relevant books. For that, you can use the tool called the Reading Algorithm.

Great Learners

I was pleasantly surprised to hear in an interview by Indra Nooyi that she would set aside time to complete a course in coding or language! Why would the CEO of Pepsi need to learn something so basic? Well, the higher you climb up the ladder, it is all the more essential to stay connected to your learning anchors. Learn something new. The grand 5-hour rule that most successful leaders follow attune them to cater 5 hours every week to learn something new [1].

Charismatic and Magnetic

You can’t ignore their presence. Their core beliefs reflect in the way they speak and conduct themselves. This quality eases out when they meet new people, helping them to expand their network. They genuinely work towards building great relationships. They make eye-contact, modulate their tone, are not offended easily, take time out to help people, are empathetic, and use stories and anecdotes to enrich conversations [2].

Growth Mindset

I borrowed these words from another magazine that describes the Growth Mindset, “This mindset allows others to feel free to come forward with ideas as well as questions, and encourages them to readily embrace feedback from others. Perhaps most importantly, when your team feels free to share with you, it positions you to pre-empt failures or mistakes before their impact becomes severe.” [3]

A Growth Mindset allows you to pay attention to what is most important for now, but not ignore the matters that could be opportunistic in the long-run. Shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.

Culture Creators

Culture emerges out of a collective consensus of beliefs, values, principles, and traditions. A Thought Leader creates a culture of her own. Sometimes, it is so strong that a Thought Leader, just an individual becomes a whole culture. Such strength comes from an immense clarity of purpose. Thought Leaders constantly try and answer the “WHY?” of each decision.

The foundation of building a transcending culture lies in the core values and principles. This builds the ethos for the rest of the audience. It becomes an integral part of your personal brand.

Predictability and Routine-makers

Routines help you gain predictability over each day. 80% of a day is driven by the schedule that you have charted for yourself. There is always room for contingencies and emergencies that alter your day’s predictability. But, that would be only 20%. If the ratio is topsy-turvy, then you need to check why your day is prone more to handling emergencies and not your own schedule.

To sum it all, Thought Leaders are contagious.


Reference Reading

  1. Entrepreneur | The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk
  2. One Thing | The Science of Charisma and Becoming a More Magnetic Person
  3. SmartBrief | How Leaders Can Foster Growth Mindset

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