Those looking for deep significance: Look elsewhere.
Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?
I mean, you have your experts, your gurus, your bigshots…but none of them compare to thought leaders.
Because the rest of us are supposed to be thought followers, waiting for thought leaders to tell us what to think.
Or, I suppose, to lead us to a proper way of thinking?
The more I think about it, given the arena in which this wondrous term tends to get used most often (that arena in which everything is business, one way or another), I think the term’s slightly wrong.
Here’s what it should be:
We’re the consumers–we buy what they’re selling. If we don’t, they’re not good thought leaders.
(If you think you’re something more than a consumer, if you think you’re a citizen who forms his or her own thoughts, well, then, good for you. So do I. Which is one of several reasons I cringe every time I see library patrons/users/members referred to as customers. But that’s another post.)