Dave Gardner, thought leader

Dave Gardner of Gardner and Associates Consulting on Thought Leader Life 011

Dave Gardner, thought leaderby Michael J Procopio

This week Dave Gardner of Gardner and Associates Consulting is our guest. Dave is a  management consultant with 25+ years experience helping companies accelerate growth through change. Fast Company Expert Blogger writing about Dell, entrepreneurship, business models, new technologies and business execution. BA/MBA. Speaker. Writer. Web site:

In this episode, guest thought leader Dave Gardner shares his insights on why thought leadership is a ‘journey’ rather than a ‘destination’.

As a mass customization expert with 22 years of consulting experience, Dave is recognized for his ability to accelerate business growth of companies through enterprise-wide change initiatives. Mitchell (who is taking on this episode without Michael who is on vacation) and Dave exchange some interesting thoughts on how someone can be a thought leader by establishing himself or herself as a ‘go-to’ person in a specific field or area of expertise.

In the interview, Dave traces back his journey from the time Mitchell offered him to write a book on mass customization in 2007 and finally published the book Mass Customization: An Enterprise and Business Strategy ( in 2009. He eventually became an expert blogger for The Fast Company ( and had written articles about large companies such as Dell and HP, with a style that is edgy and provocative and which points out what is not going well about the company. And by doing so, Dave has been approached by these companies to ask his help on improving and advancing their ideas in the marketplace. Dave points out that it is so hard to stand out in today’s world because there’s so much stuff being written, and what a thought leader like him does is to know how to engage with the marketplace and understand what is provocative for the marketplace.

Dave refers to Mitchell’s thought leadership funnel ( as he notes that the most important part of the thought leadership journey is creating awareness, and this was exactly what he did when he wrote the book to get his “opinion out there to the world”. Dave takes inspiration from his mentor Alan Weiss (@AlanWeiss) who said “speak and write, speak and write, speak and write.”

Towards the end of the show, Dave gives a preview of his meeting with the Dalai Lama at his Alma Mater, Sta Clara University and shares the reason why this meeting is a fulfillment of his bucket list.

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Here is a couple aha moments from the episode. See more in the upcoming book (

  •  A great technique of a thought leader is to point out not just the good things but–when companies are going off course–the bad things as well. @THINKAha
  •  You have to do things that are appropriate and budget-conscious, yet really add value to your organization. @Gardner_Dave
  • “I love what I do. It’s fun!” is a statement every thought leader should be able to make. @THINKAha

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