Many people have attempted to answer the question what is thought leadership. Thought leaders are making a difference in many different niches around the world. While many have built highly successful companies, others have built nothing. Likewise, many have created a new product or service to solve customer’s problems, but others do not try to sell the public anything.
One thing that all thought leaders share in common, however, is that they are forging a road that no one has yet traveled while leaving clear footprints for others to follow in their footsteps or take their basic ideas using novel ideas.
What Is Thought Leadership?
While most people get up in the morning to make the most of each day for themselves, thought leaders start each day focused on the needs of their niche. Thought leaders drive changes in thinking patterns and behaviors within their niche. Stop for a minute to consider the common attributes of:
- Pedro Almodovar;
- Pope Francis;
- Guy Kawasaki;
- Amr Khaled;
- Mary Meeker;
- Larry Page;
- Neil Patel;
- Bruce Roberts;
- Jim Stengel;
- Donald Trump;
- Mark Zuckerberg.
Most people would consider these individuals to be thought leaders because of the common attributes that they have along with the impact they have had on others.
Thought leaders all share three key attributes, according to Doctor Jennifer Chatman with the University of California at Berkeley.
- They strive to be an asset in all situations.
- Thought leaders can change how they respond very quickly based on the situation.
- Finally, they are active learners striving to improve all situations.
Who Uses Thought Leadership?
People using thought leadership are looking to separate themselves from the crowd following them and allowing them to charge more for their products or being in-demand contractors. This naturally allows individuals and companies to become the first name that they think of when a potential customer has a need resulting in more sales and more profitability. Thought leaders are innovative allowing them to be ahead of the business sale curve. They build companies that are not blown by the wind when trouble hits but are able to withstand recessions and other conditions that they cannot control.
Thought leaders are driven by a passion for what they do for a living. Therefore, they never dread long hours at work. The result is that they achieve a level of personal satisfaction that very few people ever achieve. When thought leaders work inside corporations, they often naturally rise to the top.
Ways in Which Thought Leadership Can Help You Build Your Business
Now, that you understand what is thought leadership, it is important to understand how you can benefit from becoming a thought leader. Daniel Rasmus, formerly with Microsoft, says:
Thought leadership should be an entry point to a relationship.
He suggests that it should intrigue and inspire current customers while it should be the starting point to building new relationships. Anyone looking to build a company or make one more successful should be involved in thought leadership because it helps to influence the way that people think.
- Good thought leadership allows members of the niche audience to be more successful. When they experience success, they will be back for even more ideas allowing individuals to change their audience’s perspective.
- Secondly, thought leaders establish themselves as experts with whom people want to do business. The end result is that return-on-investment raises significantly.
Many leaders take great pride in helping build a better world. Most thought leaders are truly passionate about their niche. They hope to leave their mark on their niche while inspiring others to do even more. Thought leaders realize that they do not operate in a vacuum, and they are thrilled when others work beside them to make industries stronger.
4 Tips to Becoming a Highly Successful Thought Leader
1. Thought Leaders Are Active Learners
- Therefore, they identify key questions that others in the niche audience are asking. They then develop ideas that answer those questions.
- Thought leaders recognize that their time is limited. Therefore, they prioritize the questions addressing the most important ones first.
- Answers should be actionable allowing the audience to carry out the steps to arrive at a solution to their problem.
2. Thought Leaders Are Driven by a Passion to Share Their Ideas
Therefore, they understand where their target audience is getting their information from. They then share their ideas in places where their audience is most likely to see them. These pieces are presented in language that connects with their targeted audience.
- Their content has a great opening instantly connecting with the recipient.
- They develop an editorial schedule and make it a priority.
- Thought leaders are constantly testing to see what content works best for them.
3. They Recognize That There May Be Obstacles Between Their Message and Its Audience
These leaders are active in seeking leads fitting in their targeted audience. They also understand that not all marketing platforms are created equally. Thought leaders know the strengths and weaknesses of social media so that they can use it favorably.
Marketing techniques are always changing, so they keep up with the latest techniques. Thought leaders not only recognize the obstacle, but they are relentless in overcoming it.
4. Thought Leaders Know How to Engage Their Audience
Everyone can publish content, but most of it gets caught like water behind a dam. Thought leaders know how to rise above the dam so that their intended audience sees the content.
They are constantly engaging target audience members in interesting ways causing them to create their own thoughts. They are not content to reword what others are saying. Instead, they are creating novel ideas.
To the Top
Now, that you understand what is thought leadership, you have taken the first important step in becoming one. It is your decision what you do, once you know what is thought leadership. You can choose to work hard becoming a thought leader or you can let your thoughts become lost in the water behind the dam.
Start being a thought leader today by sharing with us your thoughts on what is thought leadership!