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3 Things to Improve Today to Become a Thought Leader

Thought leadership is a hot topic, in some instances it has become a buzz word that gets thrown around willy-nilly. I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to thought leadership. There’s the thought part and then there’s the leadership part. It’s quite simple actually. Much of what gets put out into the universe under the thought leadership headline is a) not thoughtful at all, in fact it’s thoughtless and b) shows no leadership of any kind whatsoever. This is inexcusable and is actually very damaging to your brand and your business.

Stop doing it. Immediately, please.

There are three things you need to always work on if you actually want to become a thought leader. If you choose not to that’s fine, just please don’t call yourself a thought leader. The market is smart and getting smarter and less tolerant every day for mediocre content. So here they are:

Question Everything

This is a good place to start because often times we don’t realize how complacent we are relative to our thinking and questioning ability. Did you just read something that you aren’t so sure that you agree with? Question all of the underlying assumptions or hypothesis. Did you see a great speaker? What did he or she cause you to question?

Think Differently

Trends are great, but often times there is no wisdom in the crowds. A few years ago everyone thought that the real estate market could perpetually defy gravity—oops. It crashed and it crashed hard. Observe what the crowds are doing but don’t stifle your independent thinking even when it’s different. In fact, nurture your independent thoughts—embrace the uniqueness of your ideas. We don’t need more of the same old, same old; we need new ideas and thoughts that collide with conventional thinking to produce true thought leadership.

Do Something

Far too many thought leaders are passive, very passive. Develop a proclivity to action. What can you actually do with your work? What can you suggest to others? People want to be inspired to do something, to think differently, to take action that leads to a tangible result or outcome. Far too many of us spend ample time thinking creatively and differently, but not nearly enough time considering the application. Moving your concepts from the theoretical to the applied will be a game changer for you, for your content and most importantly for your readers, followers, and clients.

So, if you want to become a thought leader, please, think and lead. If you don’t want to think too hard or put the required effort into leading, that’s ok too. You can just call yourself a “guru” instead.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Excellent message. Too bad so few are able to “go all the way here.” It often takes more leadership and energy than actual thought. Key seems to be proving long-term value while delivering tangible short-term reward. Difference between outcomes and outputs, but that’s another issue so stopping here…

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