“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard
The term "thought leadership" has been thrown around often online. The advent of social media made building our own platforms easier to put our message and our stories out there. According to the Oxford Dictionary, "thought leadership is the practice of developing important new ways of thinking that influence others” in your particular industry.
Simply put, thought leaders are the go-to experts in their field who provide the most innovative, often controversial, and yet effective answers to the biggest questions on their audience’s minds. (Source: Wikipedia)
It comes from the years of experience and expertise that industry leaders have accumulated, and their personal values and philosophies that guide their decisions in business.
For leaders, there is always that pressure to bring something new to the table when that table is already full. I remember sharing a story about a potato, an egg, and a coffee bean–thought leaders are like the coffee bean. Not only do they overcome adversity, they influence it and make something new out of it.
Since thought leadership is the culmination of your personal and professional journey, it is deeply tied to your personal brand. How do you want the world to know you? What do you want to be known for? What can you bring to society that can change the current status quo and influence culture?
Outside of all your business strategies, product development, and profit-making, what does your business contribute to humanity as a whole?
Thought leadership is more than content marketing strategies that can help you reshape the industry you are in. It is all about innovation, making new systems, challenging old ways of thinking and introducing new ones, and at the core of it all, how it benefits people.
As Shel Israel puts it, “A thought leader is someone who looks at the future and sets a course for it that others will follow.”
Not all business leaders can be thought leaders, and not all “influencers” can shape and influence the future. Are you a thought leader?
Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.