Is thought leadership important?

Sandra Mara tells Margaret E. Ward why it’s important to follow your dreams

Is thought leadership important?

Thought leadership is having a moment, but what is it and is it important?

In the second edition of our Broadly Speaking podcast, we asked Karl Deeter, columnist and financial analyst with Irish Mortgage Brokers, and Sandra Healy, head of enterprise and customer delivery with Vodafone, to tell us what they thought.

So what is thought leadership?

Here’s Sandra’s definition: “When a company or an individual have a unique or different perspective on something and they take that perspective and they inspire others with their knowledge, expertise or passion around that particular topic.”

She says this works most effectively when a company has figured out a unique way of doing something and they take the time to communicate this to the market.

Unexpected solutions

For Karl Deeter, thought leadership can mean turning an entire paradigm on its head, for example, putting forward the idea – as Gandhi did – that you can conquer someone through peace.

“Solutions can jump out of places that you wouldn’t think about… To change the status quo in a way that improves the world without trying to take from others is what thought leadership is all about.”

No job for a woman

To hear more on the lessons of thought leadership, tune into our second Broadly Speaking podcast, where we talk to Sandra Mara, author, investigative journalist and Ireland’s first female detective.

She tells Broadly Speaking CEO Margaret E. Ward how she overcame deaths threats and, at times, was forced to get police protection on her home to debunk the belief that being a private detective is not a career for a woman.

She was determined to follow in her father’s footsteps even though he told her that being a PI was no job for a woman.

First female PI

She went on to become the country’s first female private detective and set up an international business, working with Interpol and ex-chief superintendents of the gardai to solve cases all over the world. She also became mother to four children along the way.

“Don’t give up on your dreams,” she says. If you have a career path in mind, follow your ambition even if your friends, elders and teachers are all against it.

“Just go for it, but make sure that you know first what it entails” she says.

To hear how she solved her first case at nine and survived death threats and a stint undercover down the docks, listen in at

The podcast is presented by entrepreneur and broadcaster Margaret E. Ward and produced by broadcaster Tara Duggan.

At Broadly Speaking, we know you have something to say and we’re dedicated to helping you say it.