Thought Leaders: How To Capture, Package and Deliver Your Ideas for Greater Commercial Success
By Matt Church, Scott Stein
and Michael Henderson
(Harper Collins, 2011) $35
This book should have been titled ‘How to become an overpaid business guru spreading a bunch of arse’.
At least that way the authors could be forgiven for dressing up the mundane as something “amazing”, “unprecedented” and always needing a capital T and L.
The Thought Leaders they’re talking about are the travelling showmen who sell business books in the millions and pump the audience at management conferences. You know, Charles Handy, Tom Peters, Daniel Pink et al. The book is endorsed by one of the stars of this travelling circus, Seth Godin.
And why not? If you are an academic or a consultant or an executive with a history of moderate success in a blue-chip corporation, this speaking circuit can bring rewards: free travel, massive speaking fees, fame and plenty of gorgeous PR luvvies to meet you at the hotel. It’s kind of rock ’n’ roll.
The book is a manual for these wannabe stars: how to develop your unique perspective, choose your medium, refine the creative delivery and evangelise your message. In that sense it works well.
And for exposing the management gurus as formulaic, self-aggrandising, balding men, it also works well.