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Sync: e-bulletin July 2011 easy read


Leading into the summer

Just as the longest journey begins with a single step, so can the biggest changes begin with a single thought.

a painting of a field of tress, in the centre foreground is one tree that is actually a figure with their arms outstretched and ideas, like leaves, populating their branches.

It's almost the end of July - remember that the deadline for Sync Intensives is 5pm on the 29th July

Sync Intensives is our programme where you can get face-to-face contact and coaching on all things to do with leading and leaders.

Information about it is on the website - go to the section called intensives - just follow the link below to find out more.

The bulletin this month is looking at a type of leadership we’ve not looked at before – thought leadership.

No, it's not about how to control people's minds! Read on to find out more...

To find out more about Sync Intensives...

So what is thought leadership?

a cartoon of people following one person's new ideas

Thought leadership simply changes how and what people think.

Thought leadership isn’t about being a boss or running a project. It's about ideas not action.

Whenever you put forwards a new idea, a point of view or say what you think about the arts or funding, you can show thought leadership.

It's not all big and new. A thought leader can look at small things too - changes to a plan or project for example. It doesn't always have to be a big, shiny new idea.

Thought leaders persuade people; they change what others think.

They can do this in lots of ways - though explaining things, showing evidence or by showing what an idea looks like.

To be a thought leader, you need to have something new to say, something to put forward.

It helps to be good at getting your ideas over, and it helps if you are good at working with people and communicating with them. You need to get people to trust you too.

But the most important thing for thought leadership is what you are saying - your ideas.

So who can be a thought leader?

When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.(Albert Einstein)

A modern painting of Einstein with broad brush strokes and little detail.

So thought leadership is about having great ideas and being able to reach people with them.

Einstein explains his idea of relativity using 33 words and two sentences - and we can all understand it. That's being a thought leader! (He has some strange ideas about what people find attractive though!)

I’m interested in thought leadership, so I have been doing some reading about it. The more I read, the more excited I become.

Thought leadership is extremely flexible – you don’t need to be great at everything, or be able to work ridiculous hours. You don’t have to operate in the same way as thousands of others; you don’t have to fit in. It's great for disabled people and it's great for artists!

One thing I read had this to say: Think of the... artist who has no time to socialise or even sleep and can be quite hard to get along with, but if his or her art is highly original, leadership by example will be shown.

I'm not sure I agree that artists don't have time to have fun or sleep, but the idea is clear - it doesn't matter too much what you are like, if you have a good idea, if your work is great, the other stuff doesn't matter as much.

What do you need?

a cartoon of a person being pushed but strong in their head to take the knocks

What do you need to be a thought leader?

You need to be able to take knocks – are you good when people say you are wrong or don't like what you do or say? It's important to be able to take these things well if you want to be a thought leader.

You need to be strong minded. You have to know what you think and know you have the right to think it too. It's hard work.

Thought leading is about changing people's minds. It's not about running projects or making other things happen.

Who makes you change your mind?

Do you make other people change their minds?

Keep in Sync

Sync intensive 2010 people working

So enjoy the summer, whatever you are up to, and don't forget to apply to come on Sync Intensives if that's what feels right to you.

We'll be in touch in August to let you know who is on the programme for the Autumn and bring you up to speed on all things Sync!

Keep in touch,

All the best

Jo Verrent and Sarah Pickthall


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