By Gemma Morris
12th November 2015

For our third article in KDR’s Thought Leader series we focus on the responsibilities and the opportunities that being a thought leader can give you. We are lucky enough to have been able to present our questions to three of our favourite Thought Leaders: Mike Ferguson, Chris Bradley and Howard Dresner. If you’re wondering if it’s really worth all the time and effort, take a look at what some of these top thought leaders had to say:

Mike FergusonMike Ferguson – an Independent Analyst and Consultant specialising in Business Intelligence/Analytics, Data Management and Big Data

  • The responsibility is to help people be successful and to not assume you know everything
  • There is also a responsibility to communicate in writing and in presentations
  • The opportunities it has given me are huge. I have created my own small business and gained the trust of others to allow me to continue working for myself for almost 23 years.
  • It has also allowed me the opportunity to travel the world and meet people I would have never dreamt possible”

Howard DresnerHoward Dresner – Chief Research Officer and Business Intelligence Author

“In my current role it’s my goal to provide a different perspective or lens into the industry and help people take advantage of its benefits and avoid its pitfalls. It’s also about giving back to the industry without the expectation of compensation.”

Chris BradleyChris Bradley – an Information Management and Data Governance Evangelist and Independent Data Strategy Advisor "Responsibilities:  Not overtly favouring one supplier over another but keeping a fine balance of maintaining professional independence, whilst still providing useful advice to your clients / readers.

Opportunities:  People & organisations frequently have either directly heard you / read your papers or have heard of you.  So unless they absolutely hated or disagreed with what your said this may result in you rising up their consciousness and becoming a go-to person for advice. The flip side & I have seen this many times is people have said, “great paper / presentation, that’s given us lots of ideas to go with & now we’ll go off and do it ourselves”. There is always that danger that people take your family silver without credit.”

Does the idea of being a Thought Leader appeal to you, or does the level of responsibility outweigh the advantages?

Part four in our Thought Leader article series uncovers the best advice our top thought leaders would give to those aspiring to hold the status. Don’t miss this top career advice from these fantastic industry leaders.

If you missed part one, catch up here: What are thought leaders made of?


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