By Brian Chernett, Founder, The Academy for Chief Executives

This month, a number of Academy for Chief Executives speakers, chairmen and members will be writing about thought leadership. Each week there will be four articles on this topic which I believe is important for businesses to understand and begin using.

My own definition of Thought Leadership is quite simple. I view it as sharing knowledge that others might find useful, informative or motivational. I intend to offer practical thoughts that you can use (or not, as you choose) to enhance your business or personal performance.

For this first article I thought I'd take a personal look at the topic by asking the question why do I blog and why did I write a book — The Entrepreneur Within - that was published this year?

Let me first establish that I'm not just working from theory when I write about business. My first experience of business was in 1951 aged just under 15 when I worked in menial jobs for an accountant and a bank. After National Service in the RAF, in 1957, I joined the John Lewis Partnership as a management trainee - I was 21.

Now, 53 years later, I've spent many years wrestling with the issues and enjoying the highs of being in business, as an employee, manager and CEO. I think I’ve learned some important lessons that will save others from having to learn them the hard way.

For the past 14 years, since 1996, I have been running The Academy for Chief Executives. During that time I have been advising, coaching, mentoring and supporting current and future CEOs - many hundreds have worked with me. I wanted to share some of that knowledge so that CEOs and potential CEOs know that they are not alone and that help is out there and so that the ability of business to create wealth and motivate people is enhanced. There is a commercial motive, too. I want to gain the attention of a target audience so that we can extend what The Academy is doing and reach more people and help them build better businesses.

The other writers on these blogs also have their own personal Thought Leadership agenda and theirs are also probably part altruistic and part commercial. We are all in business after all.

They are also part of my agenda for the Academy. By showing that The Academy is a focused, thinking, progressive organisation, we hope that some of you will want to know more and want to gain access to some of what our members already receive. What they receive is valuable. They gain knowledge, support and motivation from the like minded people around them. They also gain the ability to help each other, to be able to give back to the group members. Sometimes helping is more important, and teaches us more, than being helped. They also share a day each month with people they can trust and who will give them honest feedback — both things that they probably can’t get inside their business.

Through the blogs this month, I hope we will encourage more entrepreneurs and CEOs to begin sharing their insights and experience and become thought leaders themselves. UK Business is charged by the Government with creating wealth and restoring the UK economy. Knowledge sharing can help to improve businesses and increase wealth creation to the benefit of all.

Don’t worry about sharing information and knowledge. Knowledge is only power if it is employed and if it is shared. We’ve all learned from many people along the way. These blogs (and the book) continue that process. Being a member of an Academy Group accelerates that learning process even more — we call it Experiential Business Learning — and it works!

Watch a video of Brian Chernett, Founder of The Academy For Chief Excecutives, explaining how The Academy For Chief Executives inspires business leaders.


Brian Chernett is founder of The Academy for Chief Executives (ACE) - He has 43 years' experience as managing director of private and public companies, including subsidiaries of Booker Bros McConnell, the Landmark Group, and several other major companies. Find out more at www.chiefexecutive.com. We always welcome your feedback on the articles. Email them to brian.chernett@freshbusinessthinking.com

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