Over the past several years, thought leadership has moved far beyond the province of a few professional services firms and into new, prominent formats. Increasingly, companies are thinking in terms of campaigns instead of one-offs. But for all the ways thought leadership is evolving, the fundamentals are more important than ever.
No one knows that better that Allan R. Gold, who has spent more than 22 years on the front lines of thought leadership at McKinsey, including a stint as editor of the McKinsey Quarterly. So, I’m very pleased to announce Allan will be joining Leff as a senior adviser.
In this capacity, he’ll work with clients in support of their thought leadership efforts. He’ll also fulfill a quality assurance function internally so that all our work consistently meets a high bar. He’ll bring his substantial talents to help mentor our editorial staff. And he’ll be invaluable in helping guide our strategy and business development.
I met Allan nearly 20 years ago. When I joined the McKinsey Quarterly, he had already been serving on the board of editors for several years. As I progressed through different roles at the Quarterly, eventually becoming managing editor, I benefited greatly from his guidance and direction. I left the Quarterly to join Chicago’s Olympic bid in 2007, and he planned an excellent party as a send-off.
When you embark on such transitions, it’s easy to assume that you won’t be crossing paths with your former colleagues again. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The world can be a small place, especially with so many tools to keep track of people and stay in touch.
I can’t recall when Allan and I reconnected, but over the past six to seven years, as Leff has grown, he has proved an invaluable sounding board and fount of wisdom. Allan is the top of the heap when it comes to crafting thought leadership; he knows what great looks like and how to work with experts to extract and refine their ideas. He also excels in mentoring and professional development. The scores of editors who have benefited from his insights over the past 22 years can attest to his generosity in sharing what he knows.
Beyond his expertise in thought leadership, Allan checks several other boxes that I believe are essential in a colleague. His taste in music is impeccable (during the summer of 1978, he followed Bruce Springsteen on tour). He’s thoughtful and empathetic, so his feedback is typically spot on. As a husband and father, he can claim partial responsibility for sending three great kids into the world. And he’s a lot of fun to hang around, a quality that’s particularly appreciated during difficult projects.
Please join me in welcoming Allan to Leff. We’re very lucky to have him on the team.