All influential leaders have an area of thought leadership that they own. Your thought-leadership is formed from your Big Idea and it incites people into action.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy started as a simple mantra: ‘I Have a Dream’. It is this mantra that shaped his thoughts, words and actions and the mantra eventually rose to the level of a Big Idea that will forever be embedded into our psyche. Below are the five elements allowed Dr. King’s mantra to catch wings and fly.

Be distinct or be extinct – Your big idea must rise above the noise or it will land in a sea of sameness.

It must be true, realistic and something that you can fully own among your competitors. If people do not believe that you have the authority or credibility to own it, it’ll fall flat.

Inspirational Bravado – It must have a level of inspiration and connectivity that excites and activates people in such a way that their proud to fully own and rally behind it.

–Magnetic and memorable – This makes your big idea teachable in a way that penetrates the mind and inspires people to share the message with others.

Commodity free – It must be sustainable such that it rises above the level of being considered a fad or a trend. This is how it moves without you and morphs into a movement of it’s own.

Martin Luther King is just one example because he was a brilliant orator and a heretic who wasn’t afraid to go his own way to lead. It was this very way of leading that captured the hearts and minds of millions and eventually allowed his big idea to grow wings of its own. It’s what changed lives and made his work legendary.

Another great example that I teach in my Leadership Branding Masterclass is Oprah’s‘Live Your Best Life’ mantra which on it’s own is not a Big Idea, but because touches every part of her brand and permeates everything she does, it now has wings of its own and has morphed into a Big Idea.

Finding your Big Idea as a leader takes time and it starts with your personal story. Download our free Brand Storytelling Guidebook as a first step to finding your brand’s Big Idea!