While having dinner with a group of thought leaders last night, I was “shaken and stirred” by fellow thought leaders who stood up and shared what thought leadership means to them. Being the only accountant in the room, I always feel “not good enough” in their presence. Here are the best thought leaders on leadership, motivation, sales and speakership in the presence of a left brained bean counter.  

Ah! Their use of the English language makes me feel I need to go back to my accountant’s chair and stick with doing tax returns! Well that’s how I felt for eight hours until I got up this morning and gave myself a lecture on “unleashing my inner power” to quote Tony Robins and stop this mindless chatter of a bean counter! So I thought as an introvert accountant, I would jot down my thoughts on what thought leaderships means to me and how I can use the bit that I learnt the past 18 months from the leaders of TLBS Matt Church and Peter Cook. These are my thoughts that I hope would help you and especially those who have an inner conversation of “not being good enough”: 

1.    A thought leader is a champion of novel ideas.

We need to be in tune with life and people so we can see through the cracks of human imperfections and then... Boom! we come up with an idea, a thought, an insight to help humanity make sense of yet another f…king change! If I think "this is it, I nailed it well this time, I am now the owner of this IP and it's now all my precious", then we would surely lose our thought leadership in no time. For our thought leadership must be dynamic yet grounded, compelling yet assertive, evolving yet sustainable. And the key to all of this is ongoing personal growth and reflection as well as an abundant sense of curiosity. In summary: no rest for the wicked!

2.    A thought leader is an advocate for positive change in a changing world: 

Our society is now obsessed with keeping up with change. Darwin is responsible for the hell we are in especially the woman’s human condition! He is responsible for the type A people, for the super mums and for the feminist ideal of "having it all" while we bitch about the husbands not doing 50% of the housework!

When are we going to sit by the pool drink Pina kaladas all day reading trashy magazines? Why can't we just chillax for a few days, months or years perhaps? When is the mind going to stop the chatter? When are we ever going to reach and find peace?

Never! 

For this thought leadership is not about survival of the fittest. It's about thrival in a world that's obsessed with maintaining order and keeping the status quo despite all the noise we make about “conquering change”. Our thrival is dependent on how we see ourselves. For we must see this thought leadership not as a job with material perks and worldly status (relax if you know your stuff money happens!) but rather it’s a calling. A calling from the deepest realms of our hearts. A calling to our essence of what it means to be human, what it means to be imperfect and magnificent, passionate and indifferent, genius and insane. A calling towards enlightenment. A calling towards bettering the world not only for ourselves as thought leaders or the few elites we prefer to serve (don’t forget the dairy farmers and think before accepting work with Fonterra!). It's a calling to our core that we are all connected with the universe and we must put the interest of the collective and the universe first and in the forefront of our hearts and minds.

3. A thought leader is an anchor of compassion and contribution to society:

So how do we that? How can we as the individual and the collective of thought leadership do that? How do we put the interest of the universe first? How do we become authentic thought leaders?

It's not how many degrees we accumulate or how many models we create to express our IP although they will help refine our message. It's something that’s not taught at universities or in corporate offices. It’s a feeling and a state being that we choose to allow to infiltrate our hearts. It’s Compassion.

Compassion allows us to become professional human beings. It allows us to connect to our deepest desires, feelings and dreams. It allows us to connect with others and understand our human condition and that of others. Walking in our own and another's shoes demands from us to exercise all of our faculties of body mind and spirit. Through this process of pure compassion, our thought leadership would be worth sharing. Starting with our "Why" that originates from our heart, from the source of what we care about.  

Money Intelligence and thought leadership:

There is one thing I know I care about the most in this world and that is my family. Caring about my family also means I care about every human family. In this age of globalization and fast technological advances where people with dreams and aspirations are viewed by a heartless system as economic units that can be replaced by cheap labour from overseas, by machines and soon robots, I like to believe that I can make a difference in people’s financial lives.

In a changing Australia from a fair go and free society to one obsessed with consumerism and trickle down economics, I like to think that I can speak up and remind government representatives to “advance Australia fair”, stop the relentless assault on Medicare, don’t forget the most disadvantaged in our midst and help our young people get good public education at schools, TAFE and universities. I like to think that I can make a difference to families working hard to stay afloat and to young people wanting to make a difference to the world while making money. 

So I let go of all the mindless chatter of “I am not good enough” and “who do I think I am?”, and submit my heart to the universe asking it to help me become a professional human being with compassion for self and others. It's from this place that I wish to share my thoughts on money intelligence. With all of the human family in mind, with love for this earth in my heart, I venture out from my accountant’s chair and share my thoughts on money, family and sustainability. I will share with you in the coming weeks how the dots are all connected - what we think, how we feel, why we do what we do and how money makes sense/no sense. My calling is to help people navigate the point when money ends and where love takes over with the help of my two favourite disciplines - art and philosophy.

Helping you connect the dots to make sense of money so you can make informed, wise and sustainable financial decisions in order to resource the joy in your life and learn the art of placing LOVE not money in the center of your life would make me the happiest accountant on the planet. Talk about resourcing the joy in my life! 

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Susan Wahhab —CPA, SMSF Specialist, Entrepreneur, Working Mum, Small Business Supporter— is Australia’s leading Financial Strategist and Money Mentor. Susan is the founder and managing director of Accounting and Financial Services firm Winner Partnership (www.winnerpartnership.com)   

Susan is the author of the transformational and practical book Money Intelligence® - Anchored in Values. She believes that people can become financially liberated by developing a healthy relationship with money. Learn more about being money intelligent www.moneyintelligence.com.au