I’m a big believer in the power of manifestos. It forces the author to crystalize…
If you are truly a thought leader, one who is passionate and knowledgeable about your work, then you need to create a manifesto and you need to do it now. Not in three months or when you have time to, but now. Immediately. Well, finish reading this first, then get to work.
Why? Because there is a torrent of content being created every day. In the past we existed in a world where information and the distribution of that information was a scarce commodity. Today anyone and everyone can spew their concepts and ideas out globally. And they do, and most of that content is terrible, awful, and down right thoughtless. It all sounds the same after a while. Lot’s of noise, loud, high pitched, noise. You need to separate your signal from the noise and you do that with a manifesto.
It’s a bit risky, a bit challenging, and it’s difficult. Really difficult. You need to clearly and concisely articulate the heart and soul of your content, the essence of your platform. And most importantly, you need to be sure your manifesto doesn’t suck. Data is good but this is not a document that has an appendix or a table or a bibliography. It needs to explain to people why your work matters, why they need to embrace it, and why it’s urgent to their needs. Why should your content matter to them, their teams, and their organizations? Why you are uniquely qualified to deliver that message and why is your content relevant to them and to their universe?
For some thought leaders it’s easier to write a new keynote or research paper or an article for an academic journal. For others it may be a breeze to push out blog after blog after blog or to write another book year after year. Those are all great and noble and necessary things to do for some, but I urge you to take the risk and take a stab at a manifesto. It’s a different format than anything you’ve probably done before. It’s intellectually challenging, gives you a wide variety of creative visual options, and most importantly, it pushes you above the noise that is flooding the market today. People connect with a manifesto at a much deeper level; they go from merely being aware of your work to being deeply embedded in your ideals. You won’t attract everyone to your work (nor would you want to) but by taking a risk in a new format you will form connections with readers that will inspire them to take action, to change how they think, how they believe, and how they behave. And ultimately isn’t that really the point of being a thought leader?
If your looking for an idea, check out the Thought Leadership Leverage Manifesto.