What Does The Ideal Thought Leader Partner Look Like? — Sherie Hickman

2 min readSep 23, 2022


The partnership between a thought leader and a thought partner is of great importance since both play roles that are vital for a business’s growth. Although both positions may sound similar, they have distinct roles. A thought leader is an “individual with industry expertise who creates engaging and quality content that boosts their visibility and credibility to their peers and audience”. On the other hand, a thought partner is a “team with expertise and knowledge that complements a thought leader’s ideas and expertise”.

Recently, I read an article published by Forbes titled “What Does The Ideal Thought Leader Partner Look Like?”. Being a thought leader with over two decades of experience, this article greatly resonated with me. It discussed and described the qualities of an ideal thought partner as well as how to ensure the partnership between a thought leader and thought partner is reciprocal and beneficial.

Below are the qualities of an ideal thought partner in any business sector -

1.Challenges Your Team’s Thinking

Having someone to constantly challenge your team’s thinking may sound disagreeable but it actually adds value. It pushes the team to think outside the box which can produce valuable content. However, the team must be willing to “listen, learn and adapt as needed”.

2. Supplements Your Teams Knowledge

A thought partner may have insight and knowledge in an area that complements your business field which you and your team members may not be aware of. “They can complete your content, rounding it out and adding to your knowledge.” In other words, they can add to and expand your team’s knowledge.

3. Encourages Innovation

A good thought partner’s ideas may differ from the team’s. But, this actually encourages new ways of thinking and innovation.

For a successful and effective partnership, it is important to ensure that there is mutual respect and empathy, equality, and valuable collaboration amongst the thought partners and thought leaders.

“A thought leadership partner can be a valuable asset to your strategy. With the right fit, a thought partner will not diminish your influence or accomplishments as a business or company but rather will help them grow.”

You can read the original article here.




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