Thought leadership is more than being seen as an expert. It's a way to drive business. An ongoing study by Edelman and LinkedIn found:
"Companies with the best ability to produce timely, thought-provoking thought leadership content are much more adept than their competitors at capturing their customers’ attention and turning that attention into positive results."
Positive results for a company = sales.
Positive results for you as a leader = influence and power to persuade.
Thought leadership isn't reserved for a select few at the top of a company. Anyone can contribute by being thoughtful, timely and persuasive in their messaging.
It's a lot like being a newspaper columnist. Well written columns are designed to get you to think and persuade you to see a different point of view. Jerry Brewer, sports columnist for The Washington Post does this on a weekly basis. He joined the Learn from a Leader series in July to describe how he approaches thought leadership and what that means inside an organization.
"You know you're being a great thought leader if you're planting a seed to persevere."
As he reminds us, it's not about telling people what to do, it's sharing a message they'll share with others.
Access the full interview and the rest of the Learn from a Leader library featuring interviews with Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner, Seattle Chocolate CEO Jean Thompson, Madrona Venture Group's Steve Singh, sports agent Kelli Masters and many more... by registering for a single session or a full year of leadership development.