Skip to content

Going Beyond Product to Purpose | Robin Daniels


Going Beyond Product to Purpose | Robin Daniels | 551

Unveiling the Power of Purpose and Authenticity

An interview with Robin Daniels on finding a higher purpose that others will not only follow you for but champion your message.

In this captivating episode, we sit down with Robin Daniels, the Chief Business and Product Officer at LMS365, to embark on a profound exploration of thought leadership in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and software companies. With a career adorned with pivotal roles in various tech enterprises, Robin brings forth a wealth of experience and insights. Throughout the discussion, Robin unveils the pivotal role that thought leadership plays in the trajectory of tech firms. He emphasizes the transcendence of competition beyond mere product features, underscoring the imperative for companies to anchor themselves in a higher purpose. It’s this alignment with a broader mission, Robin suggests, that fosters enduring connections with customers and stakeholders.

A particularly enlightening segment of the discussion revolves around the role of internal champions in driving organizational success. Robin shares how cultivating a culture of empowerment and trust can transform employees into passionate advocates for the company’s vision. These internal evangelists, he argues, are instrumental in securing high stakes deals and fostering organic growth.

Three Takeaways

  • Companies often compete at the feature or product level, but if you want to stand the test of time you have to stand for something bigger.
  • Moving from evangelizing to evangelizing through is a massive step, that takes time and trust but can have huge rewards.
  • People are social media are not looking to be sold to.  If you want your thought leadership to catch on find the things you are passionate and knowledgeable about and speak to those.

If you need a strategy to bring your thought leadership to market, Thought Leadership Leverage can assist you! Contact us for more information. In addition, we can help you implement marketing, research, and sales. Let us help you so you can devote yourself to what you do best.



Bill Sherman Where does thought leadership fit within a marketing ecosystem? And more specifically, how can you use thought leadership to support the products of a high growth tech company? Software, after all, typically begins with an idea, an identified target market, and then recruits experts and raises capital to turn the idea into reality. Today, we look at the process of using thought leadership in tech startups from launch through IPO, and I’m speaking with Robin Daniels. He’s currently the chief business and product officer for LMS 365. As you’ll hear, he spent much of his career in tech marketing, serving as the head of product at places such as and LinkedIn and Chief marketing officer at We Work and Matterport. I’m Bill Sherman and you’re listening to Leveraging Thought Leadership. Ready? Let’s begin. Welcome to the show, Robert.

Robin Daniels Thanks, Bill.

Bill Sherman So I’m excited to dive into a conversation with you, because you’ve served a number of very important tech roles in growing companies over the years. You’ve been a global head of product. You’ve been chief marketing officer for firms that have gone into IPO. You are now responsible on the business side as well, on the commercial side. And my question to you is where does that leadership fit in the overall strategy for a technology or software product or solution that’s growing?

Robin Daniels It’s such a great question. It’s something I’ve spent my career thinking deeply about. I mean, first of all, thank you so much for having me. I was so excited for this conversation because thought leadership is something I’m massively passionate about. I spent over two decades of my career in Silicon Valley working at great tech companies everywhere from Salesforce, LinkedIn, Fox, we work, Matterport, you name it. And what I’ve learned is that people usually fall in love with your company when you’re describing something that has a much higher purpose. And I think of it this way, companies oftentimes compete at the feature product category or even movement level and thought leadership really, I think since oftentimes it’s more the category or the movement level. And that’s not to say that you can’t have a successful business by competing on features. We’ve got the best doodad or whatever it is that you’re competing on. You can win business. It rarely leads to love or loyalty, oftentimes same at the product level, honestly. And the reason why you want to move up. And if you a company and ultimately create a company that stands the test of time that people fall in love with, you got to stand for something bigger. And that’s where I’ve thought leadership really comes in. Like, what do you stand for? What can you help with? What can you do that’s different? Explain that. Evangelize that in a way that’s not about talking about the product. So for example, when I was at box, we were competing heavily against Dropbox. You know, and everyone oftentimes gets confused with Dropbox, even though we were very different. They were they were selling bottoms up to consumers and we were selling top down really to enterprises, CIOs, chief information officers. And so we went on a heavy thought leadership campaign focused on how do we convince these CIOs that we are the choice, the safe choice to secure choice, the right choice for a future that’s obviously going to be sharing and collaborating in the cloud. And so we spent a lot of time and effort evangelizing this point of view, meaning we would write thought leadership articles for Forbes and Fortune magazine and other publications as well, that were around the benefits of secure cloud collaboration. They would be they weren’t even talking about our product or our company. We actually rarely mentioned that it was more about the benefits of collaborating in a secure and highly private way in the cloud. And of course, then if you go do a Google search, it would lead them towards us. The breadcrumbs would lead to there, but it was never about talking about us because most people don’t want to just like be sold to all day long. It’s kind of a big turn off. I would go to evangelize at a bunch of conferences all over the world, where I could speak to CIOs or chief security officers or even CEOs around the benefits of cloud collaboration or cloud sharing, but never again talking about our product. They could say people are not idiots. They could see I work at Fox, so they obviously they know, but it’s much more around.

Bill Sherman If you’re presenting, it’s probably the slides are branded in that. So there’s a little bit of your how you’ve been introduced. Yeah exactly.

Robin Daniels Exactly what you want people to first. Of course, not along and recognize they want to be part of something that they could benefit from this. And so I think it’s very six. That was one of the example. My early sense where we’re very successful at moving people towards this notion of thought leadership. And the ultimate example that I oftentimes come back to that it’s just. Everyone is aware of it. Let’s say Tesla hype it, then they compete in all the different levels. As a company, I think you have to compete and most of the different levels. So at the feature level, if you were to ask most people on the street who has the most advanced AI for cars, maybe not everybody, but I think most people would say Tesla. Then you move up a level who has the best product of electric cars? Most people, again would probably say Tesla. That’s not to say they don’t have competition, because they certainly do now. All right. Then you move to the category level of cars themselves. This is Tesla, the best car in the world. I think you’re hard pressed to say that have the best car in the world, right? Because you have Porsches and BMW and so on. But then probably the final level, the movement level where people really fall in love with you because they did something bigger than just a product itself. And Tesla has always stood for something that’s bigger than just selling a car. Honestly, they want to be the company that leads the sustainable revolution, right? That’s why they have solar panels and battery chargers and all kinds of things, because they want to become known with the company that’s leading you into a future that’s much more about sustainability and green energy. Right. And that’s the long game that they’re taking. And that requires different levels of thought leadership and just, say, buying as many Google ads as you can is about the evangelism that you have out there and many different ways to do so.

Bill Sherman Well. And to build on that example, one of the taglines that I’ve heard for Tesla was turning the impossible into merely light. Right? Which. From a thought leadership perspective is let’s figure out how to do this. It might take longer, but you know, the things that we’ve been talking about since science fiction in the 1920s of the 1950s, yeah. Let’s deliver on some of those things.

Robin Daniels That’s right.

Bill Sherman That’s in it. And that leads to the point that you made when you were saying, okay, if I’m selling B to C, you know, storage solutions rather than B to B to CIOs, I’ve got to figure out for those two different audiences what’s a movement they would join. And the movement a set of fortune 500 or global 2000 CIOs is going to join, is not going to look anything like the movement did from a mass market B to C.

Robin Daniels That’s right. I 100% agree. And that’s why the angle you take is different. Yet at the same time, even if you are CIO or chief security officer or a CEO, you’re also a human. You’re also a person. So you want to you also want to fall in love with kind of what it is that you need to solve for. I mean, and this is why, even though if you look at my career, I’ve only worked at B2B companies only, but the mindset I always have in terms of the mark go to market has always been around B2C. And why, if I’ve done this hundreds of times, maybe even thousands of times at this point where I ask people, tell me three branches love and it’s always Nike, Patagonia, Apple, you know, stuff like that. It’s always consumer brands, right? Right. And so even though I’ve only work for B2B brands, I always say we have to market ourselves with the emotional storytelling of a consumer brand. But knowing that we saw something that’s not easy to solve, that’s complicated, that ultimately has a huge impact on the way a business operates and functions and so on. So you have to combine these two. And that’s not an easy thing to combine, because a lot of times people say B2B enterprise is going to be boring and series and blah blah blah. No, no, it doesn’t have to be.

Bill Sherman But if you’re creating a brand and a movement that will appeal to a CIO or on a buying committee, and it is a movement that they can love, they are going to be a fierce internal advocate on that decision. And so who do you want advocating for you on the buying decision? And how do you create a movement that they love, right. So that they’ll do that for you?

Robin Daniels You absolutely nailed it. This is my experience too. Is the difference really between B2C and B2B in many ways is in B2B. This is so complicated, the internal landscape of who you have to convince. Oftentimes you have five, ten, sometimes 20 or 30 people involved in the purchase of something, especially if it’s a big, big, big purchase. So you’re not just selling to someone or evangelizing to somebody. You’re evangelizing through that person. So first you got to get that main person, of course, to fall in love with you and what you do, but then also equip them and give them the tools and the skills so that they can go and do the same internally, because I can guarantee it might be 100%. I’ve never had anybody just single handedly sign up for a multi-million dollar purchase just by one person. It’s usually several people CFO, a controller, maybe a CEO, a board. You know, how do you convince all them? Well, you don’t get airtime with them. So you have to have such a strong story that your main champion becomes the champion internally for you. Right?

Bill Sherman And they’re going to be more credible. They’re going to have the networks, the relationships, so that they can communicate on your behalf. And so that you talk about of that education. There’s really a chain that you have to build on building that movement first, the ability to communicate the vision and the love internally, or the problem that you’re trying to solve to get your own employees excited. Because if you can’t do that, you’re not going to have a movement external, right? Because if anybody’s going to be aligned with this, the folks who are trying to see the business grow, you know, they want to see a paycheck, they want their bonus. And that’s like, if you can’t get them excited, big problem. It’s right.

Robin Daniels Play. And I’m going through it right now. You know, like I’m at this company called elements 65. And we’ve been selling a learning platform for a while. And we acquired a company last year in the UK that gave us some new products and performance space and engagement space, and now we have to learn as a company how to sell to, you know, heads off heads of HR, heads of people. And that’s a very different thing. And so most of our contacts, to be honest, are in the lease space or land managers or and so on. So we have to go now first get them excited about the bigger picture and then say, well, also equip them to actually be able to evangelize internally so we can get an open door to a chief people officer or CRO and to take a meeting with us. Right. So I’ve been through this a number of times, and it’s so it’s so interesting when you when you really think through all the steps that are required to evangelize to and then evangelize through is really kind of the full spectrum. Once you’ve mapped out all those steps and all the stakeholders, then I think you can massively be successful. But oftentimes people only think that they’re evangelizing to someone. They’re like, oh, if I can just get to that person, I’m good. I’m like, right, right. He works that way in the enterprise space, you know?

Bill Sherman Well, and you mentioned the number of people involved in a buying decision, most of them who don’t have an autonomy to give a definitive yes on the realm, but many of them who can veto for one reason or another. HPR has done a series of studies over the years of the number of people involved in a buying decision on the B2B side, and every time they post it, it just keeps ratcheting up. I think the last number I remember was about eight people involved in the average buying decision. Just because everybody’s trying to cover risk, right? And because buying has become complicated as a sport on the B2B side.

Robin Daniels When I was working at Salesforce, there was one company who shall remain unnamed that required more than 50 signatures. I mean, just a matter of wrangling that our sales team had to do and our finance team to get the signatures was insane. It was a big deal. It was a really, really one of the biggest deals in the history of the company at that time. But I don’t think that’s uncommon when you’re selling these really big, massive deals. So that’s also I so it depends on what you’re going for. If you’re selling consumer, it’s usually a one person session SMB usually one person, maybe 2 or 3 people. But once you move up to mid-market or enterprise, it becomes just infinitely more complex.

Bill Sherman So how do you set up this chain of selling through? Because you’re selling through not only your internal team, whether it’s sales or client success, but then you have to reach on the buyer side in the cascade there. How do you set up that storytelling chain, if you will?

Robin Daniels It’s a great quote, and I don’t think it’s a simple answer, but it is about making sure that they are the hero of the story. This kind of always the mindset that I’ve had. How do you make them the hero of the story? Ultimately, people have motivations and you got to figure out how to tap into that motivation. Sometimes that motivation is maybe I want to get promoted. I want to get a bigger job. Maybe it’s about becoming more liked in the company. Maybe it’s about getting more salary. Maybe it’s about working around more important projects. There’s so many different things. Once you tap into that, then you can figure out, how do I help that person who is my main contact become more successful and not in a, in a in a selfish way, but like, how are we helping each other? How am I helping you? So if your job is to become more visible, maybe get promoted in your company? Well, maybe one of the ways you can do that is by taking a chance on something that can change how your company operates. Let me show you how we can be the partner for you. So we’re in this together. We only succeed if you succeed and vice versa. So this is truly a partnership. It’s not that we’re going to sell you this thing, and then we’re going to leave you to it. No, no. We want you to be successful. So help us with the right narrative for your company. Depending on who you are depends on industry and size and all kinds of different things. But it all starts with, for me, figuring out the motivation of the people you’re talking to. And again, that’s a very personal thing. Sometimes it’s, oh, well, I’m so overworked and I just want more time. So I can also spend more time with my family. Well, you know what? This thing that I that we want to sell you or I want you to use is actually going to give you more time. And let’s show you how that happens and you help us be the champions. So again, coming back to the to the overall arching is like figure that out because then you can build the right assets around it. Whether or not sending them the right videos, mis messaging could be materials. It could be sharing of stories from other customers potentially, who’ve gone through similar things. But once you figure that out, then the path becomes a much, much clearer. You try to treat everyone with the same broad brush. It’s very hard, I think, actually, to break through because again, it’s also a personal decision. It really is. You know, even though, yeah, we’re selling to one business. Selling to another business. Yeah. But at the end of the year it’s actually not B2B selling. It’s human to human selling is really what this is all about.

Bill Sherman Well and cheer example of a little bit ago talking about moving from selling in to L and D to selling to air. There’s a different language, different set of problems, different things that keep them up at night. And you can’t just talk that over and assume people will respond the same way. One of the things that I often sort of nudge on is you can make inferences and guesses, but you have to watch someone’s nonverbals whether you’re in the room with them or you’re on a zoom. If you watch Nonverbals carefully, you can see when that emotional connection to the problem that they care about their eyes light up. There’s a little bit of a smile on their corners of their mouth. Maybe they lean in just a little bit more, and those things say, tell me more about this. You have my attention. I care about this, right?

Robin Daniels Yeah, well, what’s interesting, I think you’re tapping into something that’s. I think we were misled in some ways during the Covid years. You know, every tech company to saw roaring growth. And we all saw that said, oh yeah, we don’t need to be in the same room anymore. We don’t need to see people to your point where it’s just like, we can just sell whatever and it’s going to be creative. It gave, I think, people a false sense that this soft stuff you’re talking about, reading the room, reading people’s motion doesn’t really matter. But I actually think the growth that we saw a lot and during the Covid years was just because everyone was went even hyper digital, right? But now that Covid is over, you’re starting to see a reversion to actually, this really does matter. All the things you’re talking about, reading the room, seeing your emotion, being able to see if you’re not just buying because you need something, but actually you believe in this, that the moment that I’m seeing, I see and it’s funny, I was up I’ve been speaking to a lot of Crocs and CEOs and a lot of them, when I ask them what’s coming in 2024. They say it’s back to basics. It’s like being able to go in front of customers and being able to evangelize and look them in the eye and build a trust and build a relationship. A lot of it’s about trust in relationships, and that’s back in vogue, I think.

Bill Sherman Well, and people want to take stock of you and see the depth that you believe as well, right? You can articulate any big vision, but if they poke you a little bit and you wilt or you seem uncertain, they’re going to ask the question of, okay, is this worth me making a bad or am I banking my career on this choice? The answer is going to be no.

Robin Daniels Completely. Completely. No, it’s so true. I mean, this is why I think when I was at Salesforce, that was that was the first time I really saw. This movement. It’s like, can you make the customers to heroes? And the reason why is because I think you can win ultimately a market in a couple different ways by having the best product, the best business model or the best community. And I think Salesforce at that point in time was a fairly immature product. So it’s not like we had the most impact on a feature by feature level. If you were a customer and you were evaluating Salesforce versus some of the other CRM systems, they probably have probably looked like they had more features. So how would we win? We won by having a different business model pay as you go. That was one relationship, but also the community of the companies who came into our orbit. We went above and beyond to make them superstars and happy. They birthed the movement around what was now called customer success. This idea that, you know, we don’t just engage with us when you need help and everything’s kind of falling apart, but we are actively leaning in to ensure that you’re happy. And you know why? Because we only win if you’re happy. You know, we’re in this together. And that’s a different. And now we take it for granted. But that was not the case back then. And so I think it’s really started this idea of that being in this together is such a strong. And now I think that’s come really back in vogue.

Bill Sherman If you’re enjoying this episode of Leveraging Thought Leadership, please make sure to subscribe. If you’d like to help spread the word about our podcast, please leave a five star review at and share it with your friends. We’re available on Apple Podcasts and on all major listening apps as well as thought leadership, leverage, dot com forward slash podcasts.

Bill Sherman So one of the things that is the through line that I’m hearing in this conversation is regardless of who you are in the organization, the need to have the confidence and the vision to tell the story. And you and I were having a conversation around confidence between organizations. Can you share that for me?

Robin Daniels Yeah. I mean, so the confidence between organizations is really, I would say, about how do you create an environment where people are kind of motivated to stand up for what the organization stands for? I think any kind of movement, any time a change you want to see in the world starts with yourself. It starts with the people who work in your company. And are you giving them the belief and the confidence that they’re doing something that ultimately is worth fighting for every single day. And the truth is, I don’t think most companies are like. Really understanding the dire need for this right now. But if you look at any data out there that’s from Josh person or Gallup or McKinsey or whoever it is, they all point to the same thing. Then most people aren’t happy 60%, 70%, sometimes as high as 80%. They want to leave their jobs. They’re not being invested, they’re not motivated. And so every, every change you want to have in your organization starts internally. Like, are you creating an environment where people can show up every day to work with great people, work on great projects, and do the best work of their life? And are you giving the confidence of the skills that they’re moving towards the right thing? If you could answer yes those questions, then you would see very different. And the companies who figure that out, they see greater innovation, greater profits, greater revenue growth than any other companies. And the sad thing is, when I mentioned these, this data from all these different organizations, that’s what it was last year for, you know, a lot of the year before, I was about the same. Yep. Same. Right.

Bill Sherman You go back and look at the Gallup study for decades and it’s the same frustration.

Robin Daniels This is the same freaking thing. So I was like, it’s obvious that what we’re doing is not working. And we need we need to change. And I think the next generation of people who are coming into the workforce to Gen Z, even though a lot of the millennials who are still kind of rising, they want something very different. They want constant motivation, feedback, knowing they are on the right path. And if you can’t do that, how do you fit all these people at your company to go and evangelize and show that confidence in the world, whoever they’re talking to, everybody in your organization is an evangelist at the end of the day. And so any change starts with you.

Bill Sherman So then couple questions as we begin to wrap up. My first being we’ve talked a lot about thought leadership and the importance sport. How do you make that happen within the organization. And from a very pragmatic. If someone was listening today and you’ve convinced them, yeah, we need to be doing better on setting this vision, communicating. Where do they start?

Robin Daniels It’s such a deep question because it taps. You have to tap into an emotional need that people have. So for example, I just joined this company, LMS 365, about six months ago. And we’re learning platform. And the stated mission really internally in the company for a long time was we want to become a unicorn next five years. And you know what? That’s a it’s a great goal. I think, for a lot of people, especially of course, investors. Right. But for the average employee who is showing up every day and trying to do great work, is that really what motivates you every single day that you’re on a path to become a unicorn? Maybe for some, but certainly not for a lot of people. And so we said when I joined, before I joined, I was speaking a lot to our CEO Rasmus, who’s I think a great thought leader and partner in building this company, said, how can we build something that’s even bigger than that? How do we build the motivation that’s higher? And we said, well, we want to fight for a world where potential of every person gets invested in unleash completely so they can lead towards a more productive, more successful and more happy future for that person, knowing that it reach much better outcomes for the business they’re working for. What do you call that? How do we do that internally? And so we coined this term called human success movement. Knowing that the ultimately what we’re trying to do is it’s not about managing people as resources. That feels very old school honestly. And it’s not about giving them free pizza and boots on tap and calls foosball tables. It was all like things that will make it a little, maybe a little bit more enjoyable to show up at work every day. But is that really what’s going to motivate somebody to go above and beyond and find purpose and meaning in life? I don’t think so. And all the data shows the same thing. People want to feel like they’re being invested in that. They’re have a support network around and that people are cheering for them every day. And we said, well, so it’s not about human resources, it’s about human success. And how do we lead the way internally by starting this internally. So we even changed our, our team to be called a human success team. And the whole mission of the team and the company is to create an environment where everybody has the resources, the skills and knowledge that they need every day to chart a path that leads them to the future that they want. And again, that’s a very individual thing. Sometimes people want promotion more, pay different responsibility and so on, but it’s our job to make sure that people are on that path, because we know that when that happens, they’re showing up every day with conviction and doing the best work of their life, and that’s all you can ask for. And then eventually, of course, we want to take this externally. We want to show this to the world. We want every company to go towards this future because honestly, the world needs it. When you look at it again, those statistics that how deeply unhappy people are. I can guarantee you the 70% of people who are deeply unhappy, do you think they’re showing up every day doing the best work of their life?

Bill Sherman Know it.

Robin Daniels I doubt it. Yeah. And how sad is that.

Bill Sherman From the human potential side? Yeah. They think of what we could do if you even move that needle just a little bit. Right.

Robin Daniels Exactly, exactly.

Bill Sherman So I want to stay on the practical level for a moment. You’ve talked about the importance of thought leadership within the organization. I want your opinion. Where does the responsibility from a functional level of leadership? Where does it sit? Where should it sit? Is it marketing? Is it product? Is it in the seat? Who owns thought leadership and how? How does it happen? So? So recognizing that the person who’s accountable doesn’t have to be the thought leader. Right.

Robin Daniels 100%. So there’s the there’s two answers to this. There’s the easy answer, which is, it’s everybody’s responsibility. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everyone says that, right?

Bill Sherman The real that’s the tragedy of the commons. If it’s everybody’s responsibility, it’s easy for it to be nobody’s.

Robin Daniels That’s why I’m saying it’s like the easy answer and everybody says that. But I actually don’t believe that’s quite true. I think that the real answer is it’s the people who have a passion that is above and beyond and who are out there every single day evangelizing. Certainly, the CEO has to start with CEO. It’s very hard to have an evangelical culture of the CEO is not bought into it. So it starts with the CEO. But it’s not just the CEOs, the CEO, plus all the people who have deep passion, who are out there with strong networks, oftentimes extroverted, who want to manage allies. So for example. My son. He had to build an app for his computer science course, and he came to me and said, hey, that was an app that you could that I could use. I said, one of the things that it ties back to evangelism, that’s why I’m sharing this. It’s an app that I would love to see that I’ve never seen before, is that every company I’ve worked for goes after the decision maker in a company. We want to go sell to the CIO or chief people officer or CFO or something, blah blah blah. You know how hard it is to get to those people. It’s very hard to really do much better, actually, to go and say, I’m going to go to LinkedIn and let’s take a company like Johnson and Johnson and let’s show me the people, the 100 people like Johnson and Johnson, maybe by a filter or an algorithm. Show me the 100 people at Johnson Johnson who have the most followers and then gets the most attention. That’s not always a senior person, right? It could be a manager or a director level, but they have such influence because they’re out there every day evangelizing things, talking about things. They have a very visible network. I have never seen a platform that can kind of tap into those evangelists at scale, and because those are the people that can really make it so. So again, coming back to a company like Johnson Johnson, thousands of people who are yes, of course, you expect a CEO to be an evangelist, but they’re probably people in pockets all over the company who are out there evangelizing. We’re so excited with the energy and conviction every day. And those are the people that you got to figure out how to stoke and nurture and get make even more visible.

Bill Sherman I love that answer. And I’m going to layer on one piece as well. You number. Have you often have a number of CEOs who are naturally introverted and reflective, who then have to put on the demeanor of being extroverted. Also have been probably have a number of people within your organization who are introverted, either they’re in product or engineering or wherever they are in the organization. They have the insights, but you have to be able to help nurture those insights to come out right. And they may be petrified if you tell them, hey, go give a keynote, right. So it’s a matter of making sure that all of the resources of the organization get to the target audience, right. And I would just add one caveat that if you have folks who are doing the deep thinking. Find a way to get their brilliance out to the world.

Robin Daniels One hot one. Amen, brother. 100%. Because those are the hidden gems. And again, I want to be clear. It’s not just for the extroverts. There is. It’s those who are more visible oftentimes. I mean, it’s oftentimes oh, absolutely. Yeah. It’s coming from the introverts for sure. For sure.

Bill Sherman So as we wrap up, I want to ask you one last question. You’ve been in the world of solid leadership for a number of years. What do you know now that you wish that you had known earlier in your career around thought leadership? Because there are a number of people who are starting that journey. And are trying to figure out what do I need to know? Master? Understand?

Robin Daniels Two things I would say. One is you will never regret. Regret. Starting now. You will regret, certainly in a year, five years now, looking back and say, crap, I didn’t do enough because it’s so important for your company, brand, your personal brand and whatever movement you’re trying to create. So you start today. And get in. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable putting out stuff that maybe is not perfect yet. Don’t wait for perfection to happen. So that’s number one to start today. Number two, figure out the things you’re passionate about and the angles that you have, the areas of expertise where you can gain credibility. So for me I talk about leadership a lot. I talk about marketing and branding and I talk about culture. Those are kind of three things I wax lyrical about endlessly on LinkedIn, which is my preferred platform. There’s many great platforms. Find those areas where, you know, you have.

Bill Sherman No TikTok dances.

Robin Daniels I’m trying, I’m trying, Bill, it’s not working again. It’s not working.

Bill Sherman Out for me. So yeah.

Robin Daniels But find 2 or 3 things that you can talk about a lot and without talking about your company, nobody goes to TikTok or LinkedIn to be sold. Do they want to be inspired? So figure out how to talk about it in a way that inspires people, but find 2 or 3 things that you really can talk about. Well, if you got the right wording and perfected or done. When I first started on my thought leadership journey. Wow. I was so clumsy in my wording or my sharing of knowledge. Now I feel like I’m much better at. I know how to have an interesting hook. I do have an interesting point and then maybe a resolution and so on to figure out the storyline and then get it out there.

Bill Sherman It takes a lot of practice to get a story line. Right. And you talked about that rough versus tense. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle. It’s going to feel incredibly wobbly. And you may see in your knees a couple times on that. You’ll get it. It just takes time in practice.

Robin Daniels Deeply uncomfortable. Deeply uncomfortable. First like, oh, well, you always had those negative thoughts. What if nobody cares? What if it’s stupid? What if I get fired? What if my boss sees that all these stupid thoughts you have in your head. Like you know what? People are so busy. Then I’ve got to remember tomorrow.

Bill Sherman Yeah. Yeah, yeah. You’re. Unless you do something truly exceptional, you’re not going to get fired for a LinkedIn post, right? And even if it got zero likes or people raise an eyebrow, that’s okay. Right. But if you don’t get out there, if you don’t start it, you can’t create the movement.

Robin Daniels No, no.

Bill Sherman So Robin, this has been a fantastic conversation. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. Thank you for joining us today.

Robin Daniels Thank you so much. I really enjoyed it. And hey, good luck with your massive run you’ve got coming up. I’m going to be rooting for you.

Bill Sherman Fantastic. Thank you Robert. If you’re interested in organizational thought leadership, then I invite you to subscribe to the OrgTL newsletter. Each month we talk about the people who create, curate and deploy thought leadership on behalf of their organizations. Go to the website. and choose ‘join our newsletter’. I’ll leave a link to the website as well as my LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Thanks for listening and I look forward to hearing what you thought of the show.

Bill Sherman works with thought leaders to launch big ideas within well-known brands. He is the COO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Bill on Twitter

Back To Top