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Thought Leadership - The Truth Behind The Myths

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

There are really 2 definitions of what a thought leader is.

Thought leadership is the idea that a person or business is a pioneer in thought, an intellectual capable of generating ideas that inspire and influence others.

The second can also describe someone who is an expert in their field, who publishes new ideas and leads people and organizations into new eras.

The term 'Thought Leader' has recently gotten a bad rap in a similar way as the term 'influencer.

Both of these terms are being used by people to describe themselves. Both terms should be reserved for use when describing other people.

What are the descriptive words that spring to mind when you hear the word Thought Leader?

  • Expert

  • Head of their field

  • Guru

  • Master

There are probably many more words that you could use, but these are all myths built up by people who want to convince you that they are at the top of their game.

Let's break some of these myths.

  1. A Thought Leader knows it all. No!!!! Thought Leaders are comfortable with knowing that they don't know everything. They are curious by nature and always asked questions. this is how they build up their knowledge, change their thinking and fill in the gaps to form their own opinions.

  2. Every thought presented is original. The truth is that there are very few original thoughts out there anymore. Thought leaders have a vast amount of knowledge but more importantly can use it in the right circumstances and make it relatable.

  3. Thought Leaders are leaders in their industry. While many genuine thought leaders have raised to the top and are in demand they process many more skills other than thought leaderships. Thought leaders are everywhere if we only took more time to listen to people.

  4. You must be extroverted. Most introverts have their energy drained by conversing with people. They, therefore, have more time to think, learn and gain valuable knowledge and insights from other people. Just because they aren't the loudest voice in the room or the first to speak their mind it doesn't mean that they aren't valuable in their thoughts.

  5. Thought leaders must be liked, have the personality to draw attention and be comfortable with it. True thought leaders hold values such as trustworthiness and respect way above just being popular.

Why does thought leadership matter to your business?

  • 39% of C-suite execs and decision-makers said thought leadership content had influenced them to ask a vendor to participate in the RFP process, and 47% said such content had a direct impact on awarding business. (source)

  • 49% of B2B buyers said their opinion of a company had decreased after reading poor quality content, and a third had removed a company from consideration based on its thought leadership output. (source)

  • 75% of business leaders will follow someone based on their thought leadership material, 60% said that they would stop following someone after reading their thought leadership pieces. (source)

Thought leaders attract customers into your business. It's that simple. It builds trust and innovation.

In this new exploded digital age, creating thought-leading content is more important than ever. Right now you have to ability to showcase your company easier than ever before in history but you need to get it right.

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