Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thank you for sharing the 2010 journey with me!


Thanks so much for paying attention to what we do at Matt Church, and a huge thank you to everyone who has participated in the Global Thought Leaders Movement.

We are taking everything to a new level in 2011 so I hope we continue to stay in communication.

A couple of things for you to know:

  1. We will upgrade our email newsletter system over January. For this reason, we are asking everyone to opt-in to continue receiving my newsletters. If you would like to continue receiving my newsletters, please opt-in here.

  2. We have just confirmed that my friend Michael Port (New York Times best-selling author), will be down-under especially for our event in March 2011, the Million Dollar Expert Retreat. Woo Hoo! Put the dates in your diary (Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 March 2011) and stay posted for more information in the January launch.

Rock on everyone.

Make 2011 your best year ever.

Love to all.

P.S. Don't forget to opt-in to continue to receive my weekly ramblings.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A special excerpt

This week, I would love to share with you an excerpt from my new Thought Leaders book, which was written in collaboration with Scott Stein and Michael Henderson.

As someone else, who is interested in thought leadership, I trust you will enjoy the Preface I wrote...

It began as a love affair for me. I fell in love with thinking puzzles. Not the recreational kind but the practical kind. Sitting with a napkin and thinking through some challenge I had or had heard about. Doodling in notebooks and spending a day wandering physically in a whimsical way while my mind ruminated with obsessive focus around one idea, pure heaven. The struggle to create clarity around a particular idea became my grand obsession. It has never been a chore but rather a passionate pastime. It’s something I will do when I am tired and just as a great song can refresh a tired soul, cracking some thinking code seems to bring me to life. To be able to turn that passion into a profession — no, a vocation — has been a true blessing.

I don’t normally share this obsession in public but since I was asked to write the preface in the first person I felt it might help you, the reader, to have a little bit of background as to where all this comes from.

This has been my default thinking space since I can remember. As a struggling teen in a dysfunctional family, I found solace in the works of the 1980's Thought Leaders. A family friend gave me a copy of Brian Tracy’s tapes and with a linguistic prowess he changed my thinking, shifted paradigms and rocked my world. It was a great honour to then have the privilege in 1993 to host him as the keynote speaker 10 years on at a conference I was running. He did not disappoint; he is a great thinker and a commercially smart one to boot.

My rock stars don’t do drugs, they don’t trash hotel rooms and they don’t pursue the celebrity gained for light entertainment and selling tabloid magazines. They are professionally famous and are able to endure for years. In a way this celebrity gets better with age!

Since then it has been my privilege to work with thousands of great thinkers. Each one is unique in their perspective and contributes their little piece of magic to this small blue dot in the universe. Surely, humanity’s ability to create a world to live in and alter it is the greatest opportunity (and possible threat) to our continued planetary existence and evolution as a species. At the time of writing, the Thought Leaders Community numbers over 1000 people. That’s a tribe of cross-category, multidisciplinary innovators who come together to make the world a better place — a better place in which to live and work. Is there anything grander than that?

There is, however, a difference between ideas that matter and mental masturbation. I have always felt a major disconnect with thinking for its own sake. My key filter has always been: ‘So what?’ How does one particular piece of thinking help tackle a problem that needs solving?

It’s for this reason that this book focuses on the idea of commercial success. The ultimate test of value in my mind is a commercial application for any specific piece of thinking. I love to hear stories of academics who take a great idea and become entrepreneurs. I think business, like a surgeon’s scalpel, can do good or bad; it depends on the wielder and the intent. So, this is not a book on capitalism, but rather a book on how clever people can be commercially smart with their ideas. The money or commerce is simply a way of keeping score.

As I write this preface some of these great people have used the power of Thought Leadership to create sustainable solutions to environmental issues. Some have built orphanages and revolutionized altruism in the process; some have even found a simple solution to providing fresh drinking water in Africa. In each case commercially smart Thought Leadership has made the world a better place. Some of these Thought Leaders are revolutionizing educational platforms around the world, making sure schools are run on twenty-first century pedagogical principles. Thought Leaders are consulting on projects that range in significance from how to serve others through to how to completely transform the future of how we live. Of the hundreds of amazing stories already in place, we have selected a few to act as inspirations and guiding lights for you and your Thought Leadership. We hope you get as much from them as we do.

This book is a call to action for you to think well! We want you to capture your great ideas, package them up so you can share them with others and then ensure that your ideas do something great — that they get out into the world and are so valued that you get commercially rewarded for them.

Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero once said: ‘I prefer tongue-tied knowledge to ignorant loquacity.’ In this I feel he called on all Thought Leaders past, present and future to prioritize message over method. Not message instead of method, but rather a focus on making message a priority. This is the essence of what we mean by ‘capture’ in the book’s subtitle.

American author Oliver Wendell Holmes once said: ‘Give me simplicity on the other side of complexity.’ In this he was asking for Thought Leaders to smarten down (not dumb down) their ideas so that they can be accessed by more people more of the time. This is the essence of what we mean by ‘package’ in the subtitle.

And, finally, anthropologist Margaret Mead once said: ‘Never underestimate the power of a small group of like-minded people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has!’ In this I feel she was saying that there is often no wisdom in crowds and that the leading thinkers of our time need to develop a bias for action and not, like scholars of the past, stand idly by in ivory towers while poor thinking takes root in society and brings down all the good that humanity can still achieve. This is the essence of what we mean by ‘deliver’ in the subtitle.

With this spirit of like-minded people to which Mead refers, I’d also like to use this opportunity to recognize the amazing work of my co-authors Michael and Scott. Both have been engaged by some of the leading companies on the planet — which have sought their wisdom, expertise and Thought Leader capabilities to help drive results in organizations. They are brothers in arms, as are all Thought Leaders, on this journey to raise consciousness by inspiring thinking that facilitates conversations that rock the planet.

Imagine a place where great thinkers can come together, financially resourced, strong in their views, articulate in expressing them and focused on value. What a force they could be. What kind of legacy could a group like that make? It would be a kind of immortality. A loosely put together carbon structure of genes and DNA seems doomed to entropy and finally death. But a collection of ideas, a meme pool, will and always has served the world long after the grey matter responsible for it has passed.

But only if it’s more than talk!

Don’t just think about it, do something.

Matt Church

Founder, Thought Leaders Global

Author, Thought Leaders, How to capture, package and deliver your ideas for greater commercial success. Published by Harper Collins, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speakership

To many, the art of Speakership doesn’t come naturally. To be a dynamic, confident and engaging public speaker, you may want to consider these tips when presenting.

  1. Say something worthwhile!
  2. Nerves are a result of incorrect focus.
  3. Turn on before you turn up.
  4. Be prepared.
  5. Make your answers broadly interesting.
  6. Move with purpose.
  7. Don’t read your speech!
  8. Show your point while you tell it.
  9. Don’t make too many points.
  10. Ask and tell your audience something.
  11. You are the presenter.
  12. Say the same thing differently.
  13. People connect to emotions and energy.
  14. Tell difficult people less detail.
  15. Stay true to yourself.
  16. Acknowledge interference.
  17. Know how to use the tools you have.
  18. Work less when you speak in public.
  19. Make a difference.
  20. Only consider qualified feedback.
  21. The best use a coach!

In my Speakership week, I will be expanding on each of these elements, and ensuring you capture each during the speech writing and workshop building processes.