I’m a big fan of assembling a Personal Board of Directors to help guide you on your unique career journey but I recently came across the concept of Thought Partners. Barbara Stanny wrote a great piece in Forbes about successful people, who in addition to having career mentors and sponsors seek the wisdom of Thought Partners.
According to Stanny, a Thought Partner
- Challenges your thinking.
- Causes you to modify or change your paradigms, assumptions, or actions.
- Has information or a way of thinking that provokes you to innovate or otherwise leads to value creation in your business, career, or life.
You may have heard of a Thought Leader but that is different. Thought Leaders are widely recognized as experts or visionaries in their respective fields. Thought Partners (may also be Thought Leaders) have a way of thinking that will challenge you to take action.
Stanny suggests some of these possible scenarios for Thought Partners:
Technology Thought Partner
Marketing Thought Partner
Strategic Thought Partner
Divergent Thinking Thought Partner
Expanded Pie Thought Partner
Be Bold Thought Partner
You get the idea…you get value from these folks by engaging in ideas or challenges you have and seek ways to turn issues into opportunities. Stanny likens it to a jam session with musicians. Let the ideas flow and play off of each other to create something new and different. As you assemble your career gurus be sure to add Thought Partners to your team and jam often!