The term Thought Leadership was first adopted in 1994 by Joel Kurtzman, the editor-in-chief of Strategy & Business.
There is no doubt in saying that running a successful business is a tall order, but what’s even more challenging, is becoming a figure of inspiration for others. Whether within your own company, your business, or society at large, achieving the status of “Thought Leader” is an alluring goal for which numerous entrepreneurs strive.
How then, can one aptly describe a Thought Leader?
The term “Thought Leader” might sound like another vexatious corporate buzzword, but it’s much more!
He/she is someone whose expertise and prospects offer valuable guidance to those around them. In other words, a Thought Leader can see past static data and glean out meaningful knowledge and insight from it. They have the ability to draw on the past, examine the present and illuminate the future to create a comprehensive, unique and impactful view of their area of expertise and bring to the table an understanding that is difficult to obtain elsewhere.
Why is Thought Leadership important?
- Thought Leadership Feeds Publicity
A Thought Leader, once established as such, attracts PR opportunities and is capable of establishing connections with fellow Thought Leaders in the industry. This “presence” plays an instrumental role in forwarding the credibility of the company and its goods/services.
- Thought Leadership Builds Credibility and Trust
Addressing people with relevant, detailed information on a consistent basis can earn A Thought Leader credibility and build rapport. When such is the case, customers are bound to trust you more and feel like you’ve given them something of value, making them more likely to choose your business/service over that of a competitor. By building a valuable funnel of free information, you can engage with potential customers and clients, and turn them into customers down the road.
3. Increased Profitability
Profitability is a significant dimension of a company’s success and Thought Leadership can increases profitability in two ways:
.. Creating higher than average margins and
.. Fostering internal efficiency and work quality.
Thought Leadership facilitates deep and lasting customer relationships too.
4. Favours Personal Satisfaction
Individual Thought Leaders work harder than an average Joe. Thought Leaders are driven by a passion to become the best and give their best to the world.
Companies furnishing professionals with the freedom to evolve and craft opportunities to create something completely new leads to great job satisfaction and unmatched productivity.
5. Company Value and Growth
Thought Leadership at a company level is a strategic decision.
Presently, it’s not the choice of every company, but if once implemented in the right way, it does have the potential to yield superb results.
Establish yourself as a Thought Leader
Thought Leadership is not something you conceive or achieve overnight. It takes a lot more than a blog, networking event and social posts to present yourself as a trusted figure in the field. Expertise, insight and valuable perspectives are a few ingredients that drive one to be a Thought Leader.
In order to fashion oneself as a Thought Leader, it is key to work with mentors and influencers, to talk to them about your passions, big ideas and what’s keeping you up at night; read and reflect on what they say; attend networking events in-person. You can look at Medium, LinkedIn or Twitter to share your thoughts & build your case as a potential, solid Thought Leader.
Growing as a Thought Leader in your field will be a rewarding experience which will gain you a loyal audience and a solid network of influencers to help you boost your business/profession. It requires time, commitment and the right type of personality, but with the right ‘attitude’ and ‘consistency’, it can take your company & you to new horizons.