Sian Gunney of Sian Gunney Consulting: 5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your…

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Sian Gunney of Sian Gunney Consulting: 5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your Industry

Global Superstars. Welcome to World Class where no introduction is needed it’s instant recognition globally a face, not just a personality. The world’s elite experts, Global Superstars have broken out of their niches and become recognised more broadly in their industries and across nations attracting following and opportunities worldwide. They command the highest fees, and firms around the world want to be associated with them so sponsorship opportunities here can be very fruitful. Also celebrities want to align with them and be seen with them.

As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sian Gunney.

Meet Sian Gunney she is wearing a flowing dress of bright colours, her eyes are glinted with some secret amusement and her voice is calm full of wisdom, clarity and compassion.

Rewind a decade ago and we would have met a very different young lady , suited and booted, coffee fuelled, frantically rushing around with a New York City untamed Vata mind, responsible for managing a big media company. Rushing from pitches, client meeting relay races and umpteen award ceremonies and events. Endorsing a toxic hustle working culture with no rest.

Who is this woman that we are interviewing today? Well, Sian Gunney is a success strategist, who now specialises in personal brands. Sian has worked with some of the biggest business leaders supporting product marketing and sales campaigns across the globe for over 15 years including some smaller luxury artisan and SME brands on home soil in Wales.

More recently Sian has become a trusted confidant, business adviser and strategist to some of the most exemplary thought leaders in the UK and celebrated personalities that have taken the world of sport and entertainment to higher echelons causing everyone to re-evaluate what they thought was impossible.

Sian Gunney believes in the art of possibility and is obsessed with teaching others how to work with clear vision to grow their businesses and profiles to new stratospheres. If you are looking for cheap mediocre marketing strategy with no creativity then don’t get in touch with Sian.

Sian is a new generation creative and holistic business strategist. She is all about future thinking and disrupts outdated brand strategy to not just stay relevant but to be cutting edge, she is smart and courageous and a great deal of fun to work with. A real master of disruption and transformation an exceptional professional with a remarkable ability to build relationships.

We would give Sian the title of ‘Digital Adventurer’ — Her drive to push innovation and change through the industry of social media marketing and digital PR is inspiring and it’s not often that we get to partner with marketing professionals that we can say, hand on heart, have a true holistic understanding of marketing personal brands and really “gets it Sian is one of those rare people.

Sian Gunney’s network contains the most extraordinary individuals and she is often personally recommended for high tier celebrities and projects to manage media and drive successful strategy implementation. Sian has phenomenal people skills, she’s naturally ambitious (which is infectious) she thinks differently and all of this is fuelled by a tremendous work ethic.

Sian’s invaluable knowledge continues to positively impact the way that some of the biggest business leaders operate. You can see from her written reviews and video reviews online that people genuinely feel a real affinity with her and can’t speak highly enough about her so it’s a real treat to be able to interview her.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Sian Gunney is a Success Strategist listed at 48 in the top 100 influencers worldwide on digital marketing by Onalytica. Sian has won social media marketing awards for innovation and results for brand campaigns such as Chrysler, Dominos Pizza and Skinade nutraceutical.

As a dedicated, versatile creator Sian designs and executes meaningful strategies bridging content and commerce across platforms and people.

“I always say quality is the best business plan, with that success is simple. Nothing on this earth is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs and have a plan to follow.”

Sian Gunney works with clients to lead change not be led supporting them to self-disrupt, refocus and reposition to stay ahead.

Over a decade of working with some of the biggest brands from Britvic, Virgin Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn to building brands such as Skinade, Biocol Labs and working with celebrities from celebrity gifting, personal brand management to business development with their commercial entities from Karren Brady CBE to Joe Calzaghe CBE.

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

I am an authority on thought leadership because I have built my business as a success strategist by taking business leaders and helping them create personal brands to be recognised in wider media as a credible thought leader.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

For years I have played down my success and joked that I am an incredibly lucky lady to find myself working with so many individuals of superstar status that are seen as heroes and heroines to their fanbase and following.

I even have jammy dodger style earrings which wear to symbolise the remarkable doors that always open for me. However, it is not luck, it’s damn hard work for my entire studies and career and a steadfast reputation to boot. Coupled with the wisdom I have acquired along the way from making mistakes. Then the support, guidance and Inspiration I have been honoured to have from a few very inspiring friends Dilys Price OBE, Enzo Calzaghe MBE, Keith Cass MBE, Cat Southall and Matthew Pritchard.

My success is down to this and the fact that I care wholeheartedly about my clients, rooting for them to reach and surpass their goals and build a legacy.

I guess the most interesting story would be the one that is about to lead me onto the next chapter in my career.

I’m the type of woman that is a natural counsellor as part of my degree I studied psychology and part of my master’s philosophy and I have always liked to read a lot. When everyone else is lying on the beach reading holiday novels I was always turning the pages of self- development books and business strategy books.

I have always found that strangers will open up to me and start telling me all about their life and their problems. Then during the last few years I noted that my tasks were having to be moved, as my clients wanted more 1:1 advice and counsel time where they shared what was troubling them and I helped to guide them to a clear pathway and solution.

During the pandemic when my digital marketing expertise was in demand more than ever to help people to pivot online. The demand to solve business problems moved even further into personal problems. Even when I tried to refer clients and contacts to trusted clinical therapists and psychologists they only trusted me to confide in. This grew to an overwhelming rate where I had more daily calls than I knew what to do with from a huge amount of individuals and teams. I had to hit the pause button and reflect and re-establish my boundaries stronger than ever before.

In business we meet the demand and I soon came to the realisation that this was where I made the most impact. In understanding people and caring enough to practice deep listening, helping remind individuals of their own wisdom and personal power and help guide them. I knew how to get people to change state and to get out of their own way. I understood childhood wounds and could see when people were stuck in cycles of behaviour or self-sabotaging. What was most interesting was that because I had been through a lot personally during my life which left me feeling indomitable. I understood two things that without judgement we are all flawed and that we all need someone to help guide us.

Our mind has two purposes looking outwards and looking inwards. The last two years where we couldn’t travel because of COVID. However we all went on a journey internally and we were all changed because of it and left feeling like we were lost in-between worlds.

Here is where my new journey starts I have decided to dedicate funds and time to go back and study. As with most things in my life that come in three’s I have three courses I am looking to do|:

  1. Portuguese Language — which I have started at university in night classes at Cardiff University and will continue with tutoring and at home app study
  2. Marissa Peers rapid Transformation Therapy Training to be a licensed therapist I start in 2022
  3. PhD in clinical psychology which I am looking to start within the next 5 years

I am not attached to the outcomes, however I am looking forward to a new journey and the ability to be qualified to help people within a clinical environment.

I want to get people to understand that what makes them different, stand out makes them outstanding. I also want to help people explore what they avoid as success is often hidden in the top 10% of the bits you avoid doing, ‘at all costs’.

“Our deepest fears are like dragons, guarding our deepest treasure.” Rainer Maria Rilke

What will set me aside as a therapist is my wisdom from the inspirational friendships I have had. My best friend was 88 she was the oldest solo skydiver in the world with nearly 2’000 jumps under her belt her name was Dilys Price OBE and she passed away in 2000. Dilys dedicated her life to the service of others those with profound disabilities, creating a unique arts, movement and dance programme inspired by Laban all centred around the healing powers of touch it was called Touch Trust and it has its head-quarters in the prestigious Wales Millennium Centre. The Guardian wrote an amazing piece on our age gap friendship. I applied for Dilys to win the special recognition for Pride Of Britain awards (I don’t think I was alone in that application or many others that followed) I miss Dilys every day and I treasure all the gifts of wisdom and sight she taught me. I miss listening to Mozart and reading hiku poetry and discussing legacy projects and philosophy and psychology. I miss our adventures, our dancing she was the light I miss all of our fun she lit up every room.

Another one of my best friends was Enzo Calzaghe MBE he helped me cope with grief of losing my father and relationship breakdowns through the art of boxing and music. Enzo was the most decorated boxing trainer in British history, musician, actor and Member of the British Empire. When the question “Who is the greatest boxer ever to come out of Britain?” is asked, there are many, especially in Wales, who would volunteer the name of Joe Calzaghe CBE, who never lost in 46 professional fights and became the greatest super-middleweight of his generation. His father, Enzo Calzaghe MBE, who has died aged 69, was the man who shaped Joe’s talent and trained him from the day he took up the sport to his retirement in 2009.

Joe was under no illusions as to the important role his father had played in his successes. “If it wasn’t for him, I’d never have laced up gloves in the first place,” he said. “I think we’re the greatest team!” Enzo was a musician by trade and he only got Joe into boxing to help him with self-worth and confidence as he was getting bullied in school. What they achieved on a shoe-string is unheard of worldwide. I loved being such close friends with Enzo, he made me believe that anything was possible and we would laugh and sing and tell jokes and stories and have so much fun together. He made sure my right hook was epic and my heart and head strong and resilient.

There are some things that no books or courses can teach you. Fresh thinking and an understanding that there is not a one size fits all approach. The part of me that I am most proud of is my natural ability to think differently and the difference I can make to other people’s self-belief and personal power.

I want people to feel that they are enveloped by a tremendous tenderness, warmth, confidence and power.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I ever made in business was winning a multi-million pound pitch that we had been working on relationship-wise for 19 months and walking out of the meeting , shaking hands and instead of heading to the exit walking into the broom closet. Well that’s one way to win people over, make them laugh. I went bright red and quickly said that don’t worry my Marketing was far sharper than my sense of direction.

People want real they want humans you see just like everyone else. I get things wrong all the time! I just don’t let it hold me back. Social media conveys a false sense of perfection that is unobtainable and enforces this imposter syndrome and I am not enough movement in young people. Everyone has cracks it’s how the light gets in. I think with the advancement of AI people will value instinct, creative thinking and these human imperfections more and more.

“The only thing I think is more dangerous than ignorance and that’s arrogance, no-one is superior stay true to yourself honest and real. It will win you the right people’s hearts and minds.” Sian Gunney

“In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless and uninteresting.” Robert Glover

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different than a typical leader? How is a thought leader different than an influencer?

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?

The benefits of becoming a thought leader are as follows. You become a credible expert who is often quoted in the press and media. I have seen company founders increase business value through a cleverly crafted persona PR strategy so that the exit sale exceeded its estimate five years earlier by over 200%.

Your social media accounts become credible via verification and increase in valuable connections.

You are offered new income generating avenues and are sought after for paid opinion pieces, keynote speaking opportunities, paid column requests, TV show opportunities, paid NED roles.

A successful Thought Leader strategy could result in the following wins

  • Producer and agency interest own show or documentary
  • TV and Media opportunities hosting regionally / Nationals
  • Literary agent / Publisher interest
  • High profile speaker opportunities
  • High profile podcasts
  • Highly valued and engaged Forbes council member
  • High tier mastermind invites
  • Increased high value PR activity around
  • Increased award opportunities
  • Increased award nominations for entrepreneur awards, female leadership, inspirational awards
  • High volume of inbound requests for press opinion pieces Nationally
  • Pick up for high profile opinion pieces Nationally and Global interest
  • Collaboration and joint venture requests and proposals

Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?

A thought leader is an interesting and often exciting, credible visible expert. They often think differently or express themselves in a way that is refreshing making complex theories easy to digest or implement.

Let’s talk about rising stars in business as this is often the Thought Leader level where people gain entry to the thought leader space and often find it difficult to elevate due to fear of judgement around visibility. A key part in establishing your personal brand comes down to confidence. Remember confidence is a skill not a talent. This means it can be learned and practiced. Access where you might be holding yourself back. What story do you need to let go of?

This information steams from my speciality for persona lead business marketing can take a business to local hero or industry leader status. Having someone at the helm of that business that has gone from anonymity to authority helps to build trust and in order to sell anything you have to leverage trust. People buy into people not businesses. They buy into personality to moments of fanocracy of aligned values and interests.

If you have a thought leader in your company that people see as an innovator a trend setter with tremendous work ethic and reputation for results you will always have an organic volume of inbound new business enquiries. That person not only has invaluable knowledge but continues to positively impact the way the company does business.

People like them, people listen to them, people follow them and people buy from them. It’s quite simple a Thought Leader in your business is an asset. What I would steer against is allowing the thought leader to only be the owner or founder. That’s when the first point of success and failure of a bricks and mortar business rests solely on the shoulders of that one individual. It also means that if you don’t build the other people in the business up around this person you are in a place of risk if they leave will business income leave also. A simple example is if a restaurant markets themselves solely on the Michelin star chef and the chef isn’t a shareholder and leaves the bookings stop. More recently the Happy Sexy Millionaire Steven Bartlett (It’s his book title) leaving social chain raises an interesting question should the other shareholders and leaders within the business been profiled alongside Steve in wider media? Or will Stevens ever growing profile and success still drive business their way. (I think so)

Building an identity outside of just what you do for income is where Thought Leaders reach new heights. Here are the levels of developing yourself as a trusted and valuable thought leader.

Level 1: Resident Experts. These experts are well regarded within their businesses and by their clients, but they have little visibility outside of those audiences. They are behind the scenes and they care about people and results. Most Visible Experts start their journey here.

Level 2: Local Heroes. These individuals are beginning to become known outside of their businesses. They are more active in their local business communities and visible online in local circles they feel very prominent, often speaking at business functions on local business podcasts and radio shows and blogging and winning awards regionally and getting regional press. They are often self-sabotaging as the first point of success or failure within their businesses and are prone to burn out due to demand and popularity

Level 3: Rising Stars. These experts have developed a strong regional reputation. They are fairly-well known among peers in their area and industry as top performers, and they are asked to speak and write frequently on their area of expertise. Rising Stars tend to bring in higher-quality business and charge higher fees. It’s too easy to get stuck here and be a big fish in a small pond. A bit like growing a business from zero to its first million the rocket uses more fuel and takes more effort to do the take off and first bit than the rest of the journey. So this transition from 3–4 and getting to the top of Industry Rockstar takes some commitment and trust in the process.

Level 4: Industry Rock Stars. These names are well known across the industry and their niche has started to feel like an often repeated strapline. They are well respected and peer revered and championed on many expert panels for being the go-to expert for… They attract premium clients and fees and often have a 12 month plus waiting list and a team managing them. As a result, they become significant assets to their hierarchy of brands and receive a lot of inbound media enquiries. Often they don’t want to invest in something that can feel ego driven to jump to Global superstar status. Or they are looking for the media, lobbying or viral opportunity to gain celebrity status to take them to global superstar of the thought leader space.

Level 5: Global Superstars. Welcome to World Class where no introduction is needed it’s instant recognition globally a face, not just a personality. The world’s elite experts, Global Superstars have broken out of their niches and become recognised more broadly in their industries and across nations attracting following and opportunities worldwide. They command the highest fees, and firms around the world want to be associated with them so sponsorship opportunities here can be very fruitful. Also celebrities want to align with them and be seen with them.

Get ready to meet some of the Global Superstars of the Thought Leader space.

The quickest way to break down a barrier to buy is to mention that a product or service comes from a Global superstar in the Thought Leader space. These Thought Leaders utilise already established brand equity with the Thought Leader to help it launch and sell its newest product. It’s how you can create sell out businesses and brands leveraging superstar influence and buy in.

A global super brand is Virgin (business)

A global superstar thought leader is Richard Branson (personal brand)

A global super brand is Calzaghe Academy or Calzaghe MiniDragons (business)

A global superstar thought leader is Joe Calzaghe CBE (personal brand)

A global super brand is Vayner Media (business)

A global superstar thought leader is Gary Vee (personal brand)

A global super brand is SpaceX (business)

A global superstar thought leader is Elon Musk (personal brand)

A global super brand is TMobile (business)

A global superstar thought leader is John Legere (personal brand)

Personal vs. Business

  1. Personal is a face. Business is a logo
  2. Personal is one voice. Business is many voices
  3. Personal is conversational. Business is promotional
  4. Personal is about character. Business is about capability
  5. Personal grows fans. Business builds advocates
  6. Personal is opinionated. Business is informative
  7. Personal is personal. Business is business

Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.

All of the below strategies start with going to see a personal branding expert a success strategist to give you to stepping-stones you need to navigate the levels of Thought Leadership to where you want to be in terms of both position, profile and impact.

A personal brand strategist will break it down into 5 simple steps you need to get set up they are :

  1. Brand — brand identity and guidelines from a signature logo to the brand personality
  2. Website — keeping it up to date with articles and trust signals media and press
  3. Social Media Management — listening in — broadcast and community management — personal brand content marketing and social media management including growth
  4. PR and Media — proactive and responsive personal brand Thought Leader PR specialist
  5. Management — Admin/ Personal brand Publicist Filter and field enquiries

Brand is an intangible asset which is created by a thought leader’s performance, achievements and values. Brand refers to the image and “personality” . Definition of a brand is ‘whatever your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your name.’ In other word’s its your reputation. Your brand is what your customers tell their friends. These values need to go through every business in your portfolio.

In personal brand PR, it’s not about clip books. It’s about reaching your building fans. The experience sells the products or services your business offers but that has no space in the personal brand world. Focusing on product or service attributes alone is a race to the bottom. Think like a thought leader. How does what you do impact the wider business world? How do your services make people feel.

Also don’t be afraid to let people in. If you let people into your homes you get into their hearts. Inviting fans into our inner world melts barriers between fan and thought leader. Let viewers get glimpses of how you live well that builds intimacy the emotional connection that feeling of closeness , knowing that builds your die-hard fans and starts your journey as a personal brand.

These fans want to feel heard, understood and special it’s how we create engaged and loyal fans for life. Which is why having someone run your social media to respond to people matters — this is your community management. Thought Leaders and high level coaches will have a community manager and someone that runs all of your systems to support the mastermind group coaching and cohorts.

Developing a personal brand is similar to product branding. The overall goal with branding is to differentiate yourself (the product) The process includes defining your brand and brand attributes, positioning your brand in a different way than your competitors building your fan base and then managing all aspects of your personal brand.

To be outstanding you must first stand out! You already do… just by being you. Anything that makes you unique is your superpower it is how we build your personality online and how we grow a thought leader brand.

The C’s of personal branding are

The best personal brands deliver on their brand promise every day in everything that they do.

  • Clarity — Purpose and reason for what we do
  • Coherence — Style of your personal brand- your signature style from voice, tone, fonts, colors, designs to fashion (the magnet to form alliances and coalitions / affiliates and referral partners)
  • Commitment — Clear vision of who you are and want to be and how you plan to get there. Without this there with be inconsistencies on how others perceive you and confusion about what you stand for
  • Constancy — Designing a plan so people hear your message frequently.
  • Consistency — Lack of consistency brings lack of interest

Strategy 1

Create a compelling story choose or create the right platform to share it on and then let others continue tell your story and share your story. Making your fans your marketeers.

MICHELLE MONE, OBE — Lady (Michelle) Mone, Baroness of Mayfair OBE Published her best-selling autobiography in March 2015 titled My Fight to the Top. Michelle started telling her story regularly in the press and on social media of how with grit and determination she fought her way to where she is today. People love a rags to riches and zero to hero story, everyone champions a relentless work ethic that has generated both success and a health happy life. Michelle is also looking to broaden her reach through an exciting new initiative which is currently in development with the view of supporting the empowerment of women.

SHARMADEAN REID MBE — Being passionate about millennial girl culture Sharmadean started a fanzine called WAH in 2006 while still studying at Central St Martins. Positioned as a reaction to the wave of booty shaking videos in 2004, and to promote females in creative industries she quickly gained a global following by being an early blog pioneer and gathering like-minded women in panel events as early as 2008. Sharmadean knew her audience and her niche coupled with her social media skills enabled a viral explosion onto the screen one recognised by peers but also the queens honours list.

In 2021, after over 10 years of organising women’s communities and events across beauty, business and self-development, Sharmadean launched The Stack, a meeting place for women who are changemakers, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Strategy 2

Be known for success and honesty. Champion other people’s success and stories and then when you share yours it will travel.

TIWALOLA OGUNLESI — Tiwalola Ogunlesi is a globally recognised coach specialising in positive psychology, Master Neuro-linguistic Practitioner, international speaker and the founder of Confident and Killing It. Confident and Killing It is a purpose driven organisation and community that wakes women up to their worth so they can be confident, unstoppable and dare to live the life they truly desire. Through engaging workshops, coaching sessions and podcasts, Tiwalola equips women with the tools they need to overcome fear and self-doubt, programme their minds for success and take action in life.

Since starting in 2018 she’s upskilled over 3000 women in London, NYC, Lagos and delivered engaging experiences for brands/organisations such as Google, Facebook, The Times, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, UN Women UK, The Wing, Beautystack and The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy.

Other great examples of championing other people’s success is Will Smith Goalcast an inspiring community of achievers. The healthiest addiction you can have is watching and sharing these inspiring videos. I couldn’t forget Lewis Howes The School Of Greatness podcast. Not everyone needs a podcast, but Lewis Howes does.

Strategy 3

Unique Tapas — Teach original lessons and share in a fresh way and bitesize way.

You just have to look at Instagram at Dr Nicole LePera better known as @The.Holistic.Psychologist with over 4.2 million fans to understand how giving away regular valuable bitesize pieces of your expertise creates fandom and builds a powerhouse of a Global Superstar Thought leader brand whilst helping the world to become self-healers and as her book saying How to Do the Work!

Other mega stars in the educational world of thought leadership with their bitesize courses available online are coaches Rachel Hollis and Jenna Kutcher.

I would look at these ladies as leaders in the personal brand Thought Leader space!

Tell them Sian Gunney sent you 😉

Strategy 4

Embrace your uniqueness as a superpower!

Rich is easy , personality is hard. If you are not willing to create a disruptive brand then you are not going to have an impactful or indeed profitable thought leader brand.

In order to be outstanding you must stand out. To be a Thought Leader you must have a “personality” you must be someone who stands and stands up for things!

JP Sears saying yes to your weirdness is TED Talk that went viral and should be sent to every child or person that feels like they don’t fit in! — Good you were not made to blend in, but to stand out and make your mark.

Also standing out might mean doing it with class, with grace, with minimalism and with a calm confidence and a steady gaze.

When the world is shouting over each other to be heard, whisper your truth and watch how everyone goes silent to listen.

“I have always said my father is a man of few words, but when he talks people listen.”

Strategy 5

Stand for something and repeat it often

We need to normalise if a piece of content travels far online with great engagement and response. That piece of content is not a one trick pony, it has a greater purpose and value and should be re-used and explored.

If you have a message that you want to put out into the world think of a million different ways to say it.

In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has that has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach.

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is a New Zealand politician who has served since 2017 as the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and as leader of the Labour party.

She is leader who embraces people and is not afraid to show emotions or compassion as a female in power never does she shy away from who she is. To keep integrity you must stay true to who you are. To become a thought leader you must not be afraid to stand out.

Jacinda Arden is the most popular leader in 100 years. She has huge buy in on all of her decisions 92% support on her plans and action so far. She works as “us” “ we” not I she leads with true authenticity. When she did a speech about the work to keep COVID at bay she did not take credit she thanked her team of people, i.e the population, she said “this is thanks to my team of 5 million people.” (It hits you right there, doesn’t it?)

“We act together!” Her response to the Christchurch shootings, she embraced people in the mosque that were grieving for their loved ones. She gave a speech to unite the world against hatred she said simply “They are us!”

She champions the things that matter climate change and sees each initiative through no matter how big or small, she listens to everyone from young children to old people, she listens she takes notes and she talks about what she learns from each one.

Lastly her approach to motherhood and not being pigeon-holed as a Mum who is a leader, but as a woman who approaches motherhood and multi-tasking with style and heart and she unapologetically returned to work within six weeks of having a baby and even stood up and gave a speech whilst holding her baby. She shows women everywhere that there are many ways to live this life and that there are many ways to lead and that she will not be squashed into a “should” box (Or become a should head) by antiquated, outdated thinking or societies beliefs that do not serve the life she wants to live or the mother she wants to be.

She is more than inspiring she lights the way for so may females that need a legitimate role model in the media.

I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?

I haven’t heard that as yet but I presume it’s the same as influencer and coach fatigue that has happened a lot in 2020 and 2021. This often happens where there is no regulation on qualifications or verification status to confirm being a Thought Leader I’m pleased to see Arianna Huffington clamping down on regulation for only credible sources to have access to Thrive Global platform for contributions asking people to show evidence of their expertise to write on a subject with authority.

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

Read the list below and cherry pick what you think would work for you.

  1. Set your values. Values can help you to stay in alignment. Values help us prioritise and focus your attention where it counts and be intentional when it comes to the daily doings of your purpose and path.
  2. Decluttering is so important in every area of life to stop you saying yes to stuff that you know deep down isn’t for you. I help you create a work-life balance that lights you up, rather than wears you down. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Be the curator of your life. Slowly cut things out until you’re left with only what you love, with what’s necessary and what makes you happy.” Leo Babauta
  3. Define What Success is to you. Then in each option ask yourself does this choice support my definition of success. It’s not surprising that when we don’t take time to understand what success really means to us, let alone make decisions that are aligned with them, that we’re left feeling depleted, frustrated or just lost. Your focus matters as your best interest is where the highest interest gets paid.
  4. Prioritise self-kindness “Remember all other relationships in your life are governed by your relationship with self. Tame your thoughts and master your mind through carving out time for self-practice daily, time to breathe, time to meditate, time to move and time to journal.”Sian Gunney
  5. Quality is not an act it’s a habit and to be at your best to deliver the quality consistently you need to prioritise your health, wellness and happiness first.
  6. Atomic habits are a must get up and move and sweat and stretch daily. Listen to what your body needs and look at your ayurvedic body type and mind type and choose a workout and diet to work with this
  7. Life is the space in-between work . The hustle culture was so 2011 “Always work from rest.”
  8. Boundaries maintain brilliance, if it is not a wooping yes, it’s absolute NO!!! Don’t be a should-head, where there is any feeling of resistance or obligation there will be resentment. Don’t go back on your initial instinct.
  9. Rise early and always keep a morning meeting diary reminder a non-negotiable appointment, with your CEO yourself to check in and start each day with gratitude and journaling practice
  10. No screen time before sleep. Guided meditation and reading
  11. When there is no time to fit in exercise or self-care or wellbeing stop and make more time than you would normally. This is a warning to upgrade your self care not let it fall at the wayside.
  12. Prioritize nutrition — go plant based. Look for athletic greens subscription it will help. Cooking nutritious meals and enjoying the kitchen and exploring new ayurvedic recipes.
  13. Community matters, small significant circles. Healthy hang outs with friends (where friendships are based on booze everyone loses)
  14. A massage once a month (if not twice) is a non-negotiable
  15. Self massage stimulate your vagus nerve
  16. Fail often and frequently and be okay with this take the learnings and don’t take it personally, each failure takes you a step closer, don’t let it stop you and become a limit or slow you down and make you live smaller. Let it help you grow to the next version of self.
  17. Forgive yourself frequently
  18. Do the love languages quiz with your partner and look at where service tasks are not enjoyable or worth your hourly wage and delegate to outsourcing these to buy more time back.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If you try and control everything you enjoy nothing! Too many people choose fear not love and they micromanage their lives to the point where nothing can flow freely and creativity is lost. We must confront without fear and let creativity and joy flow again in order to innovate. Our realities are… ours to create! You can have all the wealth in the world and still work and live poorly and have awful relationships. You can have no wealth and live a wondrously rich life with healthy happy relationships.

I want to help people to embrace their soul self and their soul-purpose their dharma. Helping people to become their truest, brightest, boldest most colourful expression of self. What a crime it would be to have lived never being brave enough to express your true self. I always say to client’s life is your canvas throw as much paint on it as you want.

“I tell my clients what if I told you, you are an old man/ woman you are 78 years old and you are about to write a book. The title is The life I should have lived. Wow! Even as I say it , it has the same impact. I then tell my clients if you GO FOR IT now and live and work expressing your true self now. You never ever have to write that book. “ Sian Gunney

I would also like to do a passion project with my best friend Cat Southall where we become joy coaches and create a programme of joy and freedom with retreats worldwide. We are just fun… and I think everyone in this world can be prone to become ruled by their egos, judgemental, or can become, snowflaky, rigid, so caught up in the trivial, squabbles and complaints, comparison, negative self-talk, blame, shame, serious, dull, formal… just so lost… we need more fun and more soul joy. We all deserve it!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I have three favourite quotes of the moment

  1. My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage.” — Aunt Frances via Author Alice Hoffman
  2. “You own your own journey. Your path. Your story. What you do today can improve all your tomorrows” Ralph Marston
  3. “Our deepest fears are like dragons, guarding our deepest treasure.” Rainer Maria Rilke

How can our readers follow you online?

Yes, I’d love you to connect with me on my Instagram and say how you found me. Here’s my Instagram link below :

Sian Gunney Instagram

If you would like to do business with me you can connect with me on LinkedIn here :

Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.

Sian Gunney of Sian Gunney Consulting: 5 Things You Should Do To Become a Thought Leader In Your… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.