Hats Off to a True Leader – St. Patrick!

By Anne McCarthy

St. Patrick is my hero.

It’s not just because he’s Irish or that we’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this week – but, given my heritage, those factors certainly don’t hurt!

St. Patrick is my hero because of the significant accomplishments he achieved – so many years ago – without the benefit of a bullhorn, a Twitter handle or an RSS feed.

Consider this:

·        St. Patrick transformed a nation to adopt Christianity;

·        St. Patrick earned his ‘rock star’ status as the symbol of Ireland in the 4th century;

·        St. Patrick helped the Emerald Isle become synonymous with the color green; and

·        St. Patrick’s annual feast day – March 17th – is celebrated by diverse citizens around the world.

As a professional who has studied, researched, built and executed Thought Leadership Platforms, I am intrigued with the leadership legacy St. Patrick left us.

With a nod to St. Patrick and his lasting legacy, here are a few questions to consider when evaluating contemporary thought leadership:

Lightning Rod. Does the message strike a chord and generate a movement?

Evangelist. Is the leader passionate about the topic and can he/she break through the noise to capture the hearts and minds of multiple generations?

Authentic. Is the message genuine and is it true to a cause?

Disruptor. Is the leader willing to swim against the tide and brave enough to change the familiar narrative?

Expert. Does the leader have the knowledge and credibility on a topic and the depth to challenge competing ideas and perspectives?

Real News. Does the leader insist on the compulsory journalistic practice of fact checking and accuracy and insist on verifiable facts?

Societal. Is the message grounded in empathy, altruism and ‘contributions to mankind’ like the countless scientists, scholars and authors who have devoted their life’s work to improve society?

Honest Broker. Is the message focused on serving the greater good rather than self-promotion and self-aggrandizement?

Insightful. Does the message offer fresh perspectives and new insights on everyday topics?

Principled. Is the leader adhering to an unwavering conviction or personal passion or simply manipulating multiple channels to drive more followers?

As the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day this year, let’s tip our hats to my hero, St. Patrick, and embrace the principles of contemporary thought LEADERSHIP when advancing a business priority today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends @Westmeath.

Infographic Download available at www.westmeathinc.com/essential-elements-of-thought-leadership/