Thought Leadership, Sierra Leone, Oceans, Juventus, Skateboarding || The Weekly | Brigadoon

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Thought Leadership, Sierra Leone, Oceans, Juventus, Skateboarding

The Weekly | Brigadoon
March 17, 2018
Curation and commentary from Marc A. Ross

Reporting from Alexandria, Virginia

The Weekly  = Enterprise + Culture + Sport + Policy

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How to think about communications + content + commerce and why thought leadership is important: Today the customer is in control.

Full stop.

Just this week, Snapchat, United Airlines, and Toys R Us were discounted, disrupted or defeated because customers took control.

No longer is the seller in control of the sales process, and hard sales are losing effectiveness daily. 

Gone is the day when the seller could show up, make a presentation, offer some price reducing inducements, close the deal, and move on.

Next time you are in a retail store see how people are using their smartphones. Some are taking notes to generate ideas, some are snapping photos to develop a wish, and some are even purchasing the same product from an online competitor.

For those selling services or subject matter expertise, before buyers even buy your offering, they go to your website, view your Instagram account, check out your LinkedIn page, read your blog posts, and of course do research to see what others in the same space charge.

So what is a seller to do? 

A seller must think thought leadership.

With so many goods and services available from providers around the planet, this abundance of choice can be a thought leader's differentiator.

Buyers want to be led. 

They want to be informed, guided, and managed in a respected manner that makes them feel like they are part of a special cause bigger than themselves.

Enlightened organizations that embrace thought leadership from the start can develop lasting relationships with customers. Such a relationship which is shaped by forwarding thinking leadership will move a buyer to new thinking, a unique viewpoint, and a new paradigm.

Thought leadership is a choice and is not off is some inaccessible Ivory Tower. 

We all have the power to be thought leaders.

Thought leadership demands merely that we are committed to working with customers and clients in a respectable manner by creating value in every step of the buyer's journey and thinking long-term.

But many of organizations continue to struggle with how to do that and connect in a meaningful manner.

As a first step, organizations must abandon aggressive sales behaviors that buyers are resisting and employing behaviors shaped by thought leadership management.

Working with boardrooms and C-Suite executives from multinational corporations, trade associations, and disruptive startups, I have seen first-hand leaders who do create compelling communications, focused content, and winning commerce are thriving and making a difference.

To harness the power of thought leadership to foster sales in this new environment, employ strategic thinking and thought leader tactics.

Use a strategy that thinks education, experience, entertainment, and easy.

Use tactics that reinforce, reward, recognize, refresh, and supported by research.

Let me know how you are getting on or have examples of organizations and individuals using thought leadership to generate revenue and make a difference.


Meet the tech evangelist who now fears for our mental health: Guardian reports, Belinda Parmar was a passionate advocate of the digital revolution – but has started keeping her family’s smartphones and laptops locked away to protect her loved ones. Is she right to be so worried?

Sierra Leone just ran the first blockchain-based election: TechCrunch reports, the citizens of Sierra Leone went to the polls on March 7 but this time something was different: the country recorded votes at 70% of the polling to the blockchain using a technology that is the first of its kind in actual practice.

To find meaning in your work, change how you think about it

The Verge: What an ‘infinite’ AI-generated podcast can tell us about the future of entertainment

Blue-sea thinking: Technology is transforming the relationship between people and the oceans. Humans are starting to use the sea more as farmers than as hunters.


You know you got something to say: Looking for a place to share ideas, comment on business, tell a funny story, or provide expertise?

This is the place.

Send The Weekly 500 - 750 words on any topic that would benefit the Brigadoon community.

Please note, I do my best copy editing after I hit send. So, whatever you send me, I suggest you do a bang-up job on the spelling, grammar, and editing before you send it over.


First Team: Juventus: An American and Italian six-part docu-series about the top-flight Italian soccer club Juventus FC. It is the first on-demand series about a professional soccer club on Netflix. With narration from D.B. Sweeney (the supreme actor who played the former ice hockey player Doug Dorsey in the 90s classic The Cutting Edge), the first three episodes came out last month. The series follows the club throughout the 2017–18 season, by spending time with the players behind the scenes both on and off the field; the other three episodes are set to be released this summer.

You can see the official trailer for the new Netflix documentary:


The Digiday Podcast - Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed: I am a big consumer of Business of Fashion. Sure I like to buy clothes and find vintage goods that I can weave into my closet - feel free to ask me about the stunning OP windbreaker I picked up last summer and my high-low strategy for dressing. Also, I worked as a stock boy in high school at The Limited and Roots. But the business of fashion is fantastic and a vital industry to explore to be a better entrepreneur and thought leader.

As Miranda Priestly right points out: 'This... stuff'? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet, and you select... I don't know... that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you're trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise. It's not lapis. It's actually cerulean. And you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns."

Fashion as an industry is one that punches well above its weight. Fashion touches business, culture, marketing, finance, branding, employment, nostalgia, entertainment, happiness, geoeconomics, and domestic politics like few industries. It is an industry that decides what is fashionable, fresh, and right for the planet. From Chinese Communist Party members wearing a smart suit and tie to kids in Lagos sporting Stephen Curry endorsed Under Armour gear. Also, it is an industry we engage with multiple times a day as we change to clothes and outfits that fit the task, mood, and assignment at hand.

The Business of Fashion (BOF) daily email is a must read for me as it captures the business and analytical aspects of selling fashion, clothes, and gear to people globally. Designed to be a business tool for CEOs and even entry-level assistants, BOF provides insights on marketing, branding, and finance like few news outlets anywhere.

Earlier this week I listed to a Digiday session with Imran Amed.

Amed started his journey at McKinsey and began BOF as a blog he wrote for himself. Today, it has grown into a leading news and analysis website for the fashion industry employing nearly 100 people with offices in London, New York, and Shanghai. BOF has grown several revenue streams: events, online courses, a careers website, and most recently, subscriptions.

Even if you don't consider yourself a clothes horse, this session is smart and timely. Amed discusses subscription strategy, events, and content that fills a need for a tribe of thinkers and doers.

Want more on Amed? Check out this recent WSJ article: How to fix the fashion industry: Imran Amed, the ex-McKinsey impresario behind the ‘Business of Fashion,’ discusses who is winning in retail right now.


The War On Drugs - Holding On


SI: USA, Mexico, Canada joint 2026 World Cup bid reveals final city list

Without US soccer to root for, Fox and Telemundo double down on Mexico: Bloomberg reports, the Americans’ collapse elevates the Mexican national team for both networks and intensifies the competition for the 21 million bilingual viewers in the US.

Riding the waves to better health: Navy studies the therapeutic value of surfing.

Skateboarding, not surfing, should be California's official state sport

Thanks for reading and supporting this passion project. Feel free to send me an email with news, gossip, commentary, and restaurant tips - 


Marc A. Ross

Established in 2013, Brigadoon is the global community where creative, curious, and compelling entrepreneurs and thought leaders gather bringing together diverse talents to exchange insights and drive creativity.

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Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.