Fuck thought leadership……..

It’s 1am in the morning and I feel like Jerry Maguire at the start of his movie. I cannot sleep and I am scared that I have turned into the very thing I am shit scared to be.

A thought leader. 

Today I was sent an e-mail where I was called a “thought leader” and it has affected me all day.

Hi Troy,

I have noticed you have been absent from blogging and tweeting lately and was hoping you would be back soon as I look to you as a thought leader of our industry and like to read your posts.

I know you are busy with Talent Army and hope all is well.

Hope all is well,


Name removed

To the person that sent me this, I thanked you in email and again here, though I want to thank you again for making me open my eyes wide to the bull-shit that is happening in our industry lately.

Now, why I say this scares me is that; my/our industry in recruitment is now filled with “thought leaders” who post all the time about best industry practice and offer their pearls of wisdom in what you should be doing to be great at recruitment.

If you know me, you will know I am pretty vocal about my thoughts and tend to offend more people than I inspire. I have probably offended more than half my audience reading this by the language profanity I use. But hey I am ok with that as I am comfortable being me.

Some of the recruiting thought leaders will read this and disagree and I may cop some back-lash,

The truth is that most (not all) of them are just recruiters/sourcers who were not good enough to make a living actually doing recruitment or seen a way to jump out as this gig is bloody hard.

Though most are more marketers to be honest and really great at self promotion.

Some even get paid to tweet and or wear corporations clothing.

Fucking crazy right?

Some are great and they do this for the right reasons in order to help people and lift the profile of our industry to help the credible and hard working recruiters be proud.

Though most do it for the money and a way to make money by not actually recruiting.

Because the truth is that being a great recruiter is actually really hard in todays market. 

Well to those that do this and make money by (not doing a real job) as some of them say, and write copy or talk about about what we in the industry should do – I say good job but……

You are most definitely not a thought leader. You are a commentator of the industry if you are honest with yourself, most of your thoughts are either copied, stolen or stale.

My real problem with “Recruitment thought leaders” is that the supposed thought leaders of our industry are the ones from years ago and most likely the reason why some of us are left holding the can about “how dodgy and bad recruiters are.”

These thought leaders who tell us what to do are mostly the ones that gave our industry the bad name it has. 


Sometimes people tell me that they wish they could be doing as well as me in the recruitment industry and ask my advice on what tools, tips and hacks they should learn.

I will tell you what I tell them:
Great opportunity and success looks exactly like hard-work.
I am usually working at 6am in the morning and up until midnight most nights working too. I work my ass off to get my business off the ground and continue to do well in recruitment.


Watch this video from Chris “Ashton” Kutcher of all people who it seems feels the same way as me about the film industry.

I do not do well finding candidates because I am a “thought leader” in NZ recruitment. Not once has a candidate I have approached say;

Oh, hello Troy. Yes I am interested to be your candidate as you’re doing great things in recruiting.

I find candidates and fill roles for clients because I work a lot harder than most.
I will not give up when things are hard and actually enjoy the challenge of finding a needle in a haystack.

Of course I use tools and tricks to make it easier on myself, though the truth is that success comes from real hard work.

What scares me about being a ‘thought leader’ is that most of them are people who just get paid to talk at conferences and or online to get a tap on the back by their peers and invited to speak at conferences around the world.
I could care less for that. I happily talk at conferences and meetups only to help fellow recruiters who want to get better.

I often tell my wife if I end up like some of the “industry legends” in recruitment, to slap me and tell me to remember why I got into recruitment in the first place.

To help people find a job that they couldn’t on their own that makes them happy. 

So fuck thought leadership if you ask me. I would rather be known for doing great work.
(Now wondering, why I am writing this blog) 😉


To you young recruiters and the people who go out of their way to email me. I thank-you again for appreciating the work that I do. But I am not a ‘thought leader” and I don’t want to be one.  The best advice I can give you is to work you ass off until people know your name because of the work you do, not the profile you have on social.

You are the one working you ass off to be great and so I put it to you that you are the one person that can change your life. Go forth and break the rules of life by trying things, stop listening to what people tell you and go out and get a bloody nose by trying things. If it works great, if it doesn’t then fail fast and try again.

But hey, what they hell do I know. I don’t want to be a thought leader anyway.