“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in Thought Leaders (40)


The thought leader's sales pitch 

When you are what is for sale, you can often confuse the client by rambling on and stuffing up the sale or pitch.

Thought Leaders often have to talk about themselves. I sometimes talk about Matt Church in the third person (second sign of madness). I've been doing this for so long that I have learned a couple of tricks to help me talk about this Matt Church guy.

Stage Names: My name is Matthew but I promote Matt Church. It is not ‘Beyonce' or ‘Will.i.am' status, but it helps.

Diagrams: I often rely on contextual diagrams or models to explain what I do. This way the focus is less on me, and more on my message.

Analogy: If I can explain what I do through an analogy it is easier to talk it up than if it is simply me I am talking about.

Future: Always focus on what is coming up as opposed to what you have done. What you have done is bragging. What it is you hope is going to happen, is exciting.

Rapport: People buy people. Be gracious, generous and positive in your conversations. If asked about a competitor the same rules apply.

Often as experts and Thought Leaders, we wish for someone else to sell us. The bottom line is, there is no-one better than you, to sell you.



Full Spectrum Ideas

The key to creating great messages is to structure them so that they dance across the full spectrum of left brain logic through to right brain creativity, and then from concrete specific examples up to high order contextual ideas.




In the spectrum model above, you can see that every idea exists at various levels of abstraction (the vertical axis). At one end of the scale, you have very concrete expressions. Tracking ideas across their compass points (speaking metaphorically) is an important part of motivational leadership.


Ideas also exist at various levels of logic and creativity (the horizontal axis). Just as we need both hemispheres of the brain, we need to mix logic and emotion.   


When you try to connect with someone, the attempt can be seen as a battle between putting in too much information (south point in the model), resulting in the essence of the idea being lost, or making the message so simple (north point in the model) that is not seen as practical or relevant by those listening to it.


A snapshot of the five components of an idea is outlined below, and the full pink sheet process is taught as part of the MDE Program.




Make sure your ideas are full spectrum so that you can create great messages.



The 3 Treasures

There are three things you need to treat as treasure in your career or business: 

1. Time 
Probably the greatest treasure for all of us is time. We need to become masterful at how we use it, what we do and what we don't do. One of my friends asked himself, 'How many summers do I have left?' The answer caused him to re-prioritise his days and how he spent his time. 

Value the time you have left and make it count. Value the time of your people and focus on high value work. 

2. Money 
Pay and Pray is gone. Businesses can not invest money on a chance. We need to make sure that every dollar returns value. Risk is good, but uncalculated 1980's excess is gone. 

Be smart with your money and where you spend it.Develop an evidence based decision making process. 

3. Attention 
If you have my attention, don't waste it! Don't speak to a group in a boring way, don't send out emails that say nothing and stop holding meetings because you think you should. Turn up prepared any time you have my attention. 

Build relationships with clients. Be relentlessly generous with your thinking. Share value often.

Complimentary Download | White Paper: The Art of the Start

This month's Complimentary Download is the White Paper; The Art of the Start, written by Guy Kawasaki.

Guy says... The truth is that no one really knows if he/she is an entrepreneur until he/she becomes one — and sometimes not even then. There really is only one question you should ask yourself before starting any new venture: Do I want to make meaning?
Meaning is not about money, power, or prestige. Itʼs not even about creating a fun place to work.

Among the meanings of “meaning” are to 
  • Make the world a better place.Save & Close
  • Increase the quality of life.
  • Right a terrible wrong.
  • Prevent the end of something good.
Goals such as these are a tremendous advantage as you travel down the difficult path ahead.
If you answer this question in the negative, you may still be successful, but it will be harder to become so because making meaning is the most powerful motivator there is. 

Download your complimentary copy here.




Not for Everyone

I've been on a mission to make sure I do work I like, with people I like, the way I like... it's actually harder than you think!

  • Defining the work I like, easy.
  • Defining the people I like, easy.
  • Defining the way I like, easy.

Resisting the 'wrongness' of those decisions as expressed by others... not so easy!

Is it possible that the reason many don't get more done is that they don't love what they do, who they do it with or how they do it?

Every time you get clear on what you want, there is a universal test of sorts to make sure you are clear. Know what you want, have the courage of your convictions and design your world around a clear intent and set of decisions.


When all else fails, choose again.


P.S. For Thought Leaders, MDE is the perfect program for achieving this clarity.


Who are the Thought Leaders in your organisation?

I've recently spent some time mentoring amazing thought leaders (subject matter experts) within large organisations. I call these thought leaders 'intrapreneurs'.

They often say to me.. 'I'm not a thought leader, I'm just doing my job'… Seriously though, they are.

Sure, they may not sell their expertise as a well known author or conference speaker, but they often speak at conferences. They may not get paid to coach individuals, but they are doing it all the time in their day-to-day jobs.

In my mind, the 'intrapreneurial' thought leaders who may be the head of Learning & Development within an organisation, or the Project Manager on a major project, are just as much a thought leader as the well-known author speaking at their annual conference.

Your senior partner could and should have a book published. They all share the same fundamental issues. It’s only the commercialisation of their ideas that differ.

It seems to me there are 9 fundamental questions you need to be able to answer well in order to establish yourself as a thought leader (subject matter expert) in any field...

  1. How is it relevant?
  2. Do you know how others think?
  3. How can you be persuasive?
  4. What do you know?
  5. How do you communicate?
  6. How do you sell what you know?
  7. Who are you?
  8. What do you do?
  9. Who needs that?
Each of these questions, as simple as it sounds, has a whole amount of learning and depth attached to it.


Mode Capabilities

Extract from Matt's soon to be released new book; Sell Your Thoughts - How to become a million dollar expert...

What we have identified below follows 6 modes of communication and the key capabilities to think about in each. We recommend for people at the white belt level to focus only on those skills they need to get their capabilities functional in each mode. Mastery is a great pursuit but often one achieved at some commercial cost. Speak well enough to share your ideas, coach well enough to serve your ideas but leave mastery for later. In other words, it is best to just start and begin to achieve the easier skills, then when you are up and running, focus on the higher level skills.

Speaker Mode

Speaking is about telling. It often involves speaking to many people in a direct way that delivers a specific message. Speaking is the broadcast channel. The minute a speaker gets platform, they are able to influence significantly more people than the other modes. It’s a leveraged way to gain influence. The nature of the love experience is such that people get caught up in the positive energy of the crowd as they respond to your great ideas. Speakership is the 21st century voice of leadership, it's the key to greater influence, engagement and driving energy through your business.


Authorship is also about telling, however through a different channel. It is the transference of your message to others on their time and in their place. Alongside speaking, writing is one of the most powerful and common means of delivering your ideas. Writing enables you to speak with one voice to many people at great distances regardless of time and if translated, even language barriers. Writing gives you huge leverage in a global market. The word author comes from the root word authority and as an author, it immediately positions you as an authority in a chosen topic. Usually when we think of a writer or author we automatically assume they write books. This has been the traditional model for the past 400 years. However during the past two decades, and especially in the past 5 years, authorship has reached the electronic age. Thought Leaders now publish their ideas not only in books, but also through whitepapers, e-zines, blogs, or other leveraged products. In fact, in many respects these electronic forms of writing are more effective than publishing a book. Electronic publishing can be written and distributed quickly to capture a moment and market interest--and e-books now outsell physical books!


Training is about showing. It often is sharing a process to a group of people that allows them to learn a new skill. Training allows you to show others what they need to do--and how to do it. It is about providing a set of skills and a process to create a behavioural change across a group of people. Training allows others to take these ideas and implement them step-by-step in the pursuit of a better outcome. This is a skill as it requires thought to analyse the unseen steps that occur in a particular way. It also forces you to find new approaches of showing ways to improve skills and capabilities--and often allow others to change their approach. When you develop an effective training approach and the group you are training enthusiastically apply what you have taught them, great things happen. Targets are surpassed, people are unified and results are amplified across a group of people that are aware that they have accomplished something that they may not have been able to before the training.


Mentoring is about sharing your past experience. This often is in a 1:1 setting that allows you to show insights that you learned in similar situations or similar roles. You actually get to participate in the journey of the person you mentor and this helps refine your thinking and clarify your instincts in such a way that you can leverage them again and again. Rather than just getting the benefit with mentoring, you get to capture it. This of course serves the person you mentor but it serves you, the mentor, just as much. Mentors make it their job to understand what they do so well that they can reverse engineer it for other people. They have to go from being great at something to masterful. The mastery comes when you know it inside and out and are able to teach the process to others so that they get benefit.


Facilitating is about asking a group of people questions. Often this is to guide the group in a particular direction by drawing out their viewpoints. Facilitation allows you to draw out of a group of people their ideas, aspirations and thoughts. By asking questions to a group of people, you are able to set the tone of the discussion without telling them what ideas to discuss. This allows you to be viewed as a guide encouraging exploration of issues, concerns or solutions that all come from the group. Another advantage of facilitation is that it allows you to maximise your time by asking common questions to a group of people--rather than individually.


Coaching is about asking an individual key questions. Often it is about allowing them to explore their own viewpoints and reflect on the issues that they currently face. Coaching is the art of asking great questions to an individual in a one on one setting. To be a coach you do not need to be an expert in a particular skill, position, or industry (unlike a mentor). You need to be able to ask powerful questions that inspire a higher level of thinking and understanding in your coachee. Coaching often provides a touchpoint that assists them in focusing in on a particular area--without you having to tell them exactly what it is. Great coaches ask questions that plant a seed in the individual that blossoms and takes their thinking to another level.

For more details, refer to Chapter 6: Choose Your Channel in the Thought Leaders book, here we identified the 6 modes and the 102 skills including the 6 key capabilities and an additional 5 Competency and 5 Mastery Skills.

When to Use Which Mode...

To be successful you will need to select the most appropriate channel for the outcome that you desire. Be careful not to get “stuck” by using just one delivery mode to get your message across. Also never, ever have on your business card your title as the primary mode that you deliver in. Every time we meet someone that has “coach” or “trainer” on their business card we cringe. Unfortunately this has labeled you as only able to deliver in just that one mode. You need to establish your expertise above the mode of delivery--and demonstrate that you have the capability to leverage your ideas in a range of delivery methods.

Remember these skills take time and many masters demonstrate them naturally. Your task is to select the right channel for the right person at the right time! The skills for delivering your Thought Leadership are awesome and developing mastery in the modes is key to sustaining a brilliant black belt practice. In this book we are focusing on the commercialisation of 6 modes and how we can use them to achieve strategic direction.

Not all modes are created equal...

The tell modes (speaker and author) need you to have platforms and a list. A list of people will buy your book if you tell them about it. Equally there is no point having a speech if you cant find a bunch of people in a room who are happy to let you stand on a platform and share your ideas.

You gotta know people.

The show modes (trainer and mentor) need you to have deep knowledge and contacts. If you don’t know people who can help accelerate their career or path of a protege, then it's hard to be a mentor. Equally, if you don’t know a subject inside and out then it's hard to be a trainer of much worth.

You gotta know something.

The ask modes (facilitator and coach) require you to have deep relationship skills and be tuned into what is happening for people in the moment. It's about having a strong awareness of whats happening in you, in them and in the room or conversation.

You gotta be present.

Modes are like the channels you use to deliver and sell your ideas. They also act as strategy filters. Each mode helps you organise your ideal cluster--and leverage your income.



Lumpy Billings

A classic problem for most service based consultants is the challenge of getting work when you are consumed delivering work. A project ends, a client adjusts their plans and you're left holding the empty bag. You think it's ok and you're priced well but after a few years you wonder why it's not working. The answer is actually one you know.

You are an expert but you are not an authority.
You need to become a thought leader.

Your ideas are valuable if they are relevant.
Your ideas are even more valuable if they are thorough.

If you can then make them elegant and unique, you are ready to rock and roll.

This way you can start to truly leverage your positioning and get free of the lumpy billing syndrome.

Drop me an email and we can discuss how you move from subject matter expert to industry authority.



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.


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

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