Thought leadership. Give me your definition.
Yeah. So I get asked this a lot. So my definition is: There’s two words in thought leadership. Right. So the first is thought, which represents thoughtfulness. So you’ve got to be adding to a conversation. It doesn’t need to be blank slate but the conversation already exists. Whether that’s on resilience. Whether that’s innovation. Whether that’s creative. Whatever the subject matter is, there’s a conversation happening and you’re coming in and you’re adding to the conversation. You’re standing on the shoulders of giants and you have something thoughtful to say. Right. Not regurgitating. Not recording someone else. You’re adding to the conversation and elevating the entire field that that you’ve committed to.
The other piece is leadership. Right. And by leadership means you see a place where it can go that others don’t. You see a place to apply it that others don’t. You’ve done research that’s groundbreaking. You’ve got a way to apply that thoughtfulness and thought leadership into an area that’s getting results that others haven’t. Otherwise it’s followership. Right. The antithesis of thought leadership is you know thoughtless followership. There’s plenty of that out there. The other piece of the definition is, don’t call yourself a guru, and don’t call yourself a thought leader. It’s a title or it’s a sign of respect for others to say. You know in the space of online learning Brad’s a thought leader. If you go running around calling yourself a guru or a thought leader, it’s kind of not cool.
Yeah it makes you look foolish.