Practicing The Art of Thought Leadership
May 12, 2017

THE EGR BLOG / LEADERSHIP

BY BRITTANY JOHNSTON | 3 MINUTE READ

“Leaders can have great ideas, but true thought leaders have the courage to express their ideas and inspire others to implement them.”

(What Is Thought Leadership, and Why Does It Matter?, Business News Daily)

What is the real purpose of thought leadership? Business-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and companies alike have always believed it helps communicate their company’s values, beliefs and furthermore: their brand. However, while thought leadership does, in fact, help establish all those elements, it is also a way of expressing what most companies lack: the authenticity of original ideas/advice in their field of expertise and the ability to inspire others to implement them.

When putting to use the practice of thought leadership, you are essentially tapping into the talent, experience, and passion for your business or trade to answer questions in the minds of your target audience. Establishing this kind of rapport begins with consistency and a diligent effort to share information that becomes cumulative to how people perceive the world. Usually, types of things that influence people the most involve either aspect will help their life or their work.

Here are a few things you can consider when utilizing thought leadership:

Clarify your area of expertise.
You need to be clear and consistent on your stance within your area of expertise. Have an opinion and stick it. Your audience isn’t necessarily looking for differentiated content, but rather the best answers to their questions.

Build credibility.
Gaining experience takes time, patience, hard work and a willingness to listen and learn from others so to develop your thought leadership with your brand value in mind, not the amount of revenue you will accrue.

Offer insight rooted in your audience.
Defining your customer’s challenges and the best way to overcome them will help you clarify your insight. Give advice/insight on things your audience values and your response will be larger than that if you just fulfill your personal goals and aims.

Keep on top your industry/area of expertise.
Forward thinking is a must when trying to establish yourself as a thought leader while investing time and effort to research marketing patterns and trends from your impact. Combining what you learn from watching your audience’s responses with your ability to anticipate what kind of insight they will seek out next will be your gateway to connect your vision and input.

Most importantly, listen to the world around you.
While there’s the temptation to revolve around the stigma that you have all the right answers, it’s important to let your audience know your human and admit when you don’t have the answers to a problem or question. The biggest impact you can make through thought leadership is to really understand and truly connect with people to respond accordingly to their stories.

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For more information on the thought leadership, check out the links below:

1. Fast Company

2. Entrepreneur

Sources:

ENTREPRENEUR – 4 Questions to Ask When Thinking of Thought Leadership

HUFFINGTON POST – It’s Time to Revisit the Concept of Thought Leadership

FAST COMPANY – The Golden Rules for Creating Thoughtful Thought Leadership