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Thought leadership can seem like a fairly abstract concept. Especially when it’s being talked about so much that it’s becoming yet another buzzword. It can be hard to hone in on the true benefits of thought leadership when it feels like just another marketing tactic.

We want to take the idea of thought leadership and make it less cerebral and bandwagony. We want to cut out the sleaze and talk about the real benefits. Because at the end of the day, you’re running a business, and you’re running it based on a value system. You’re not about the quick sale. You’re not about skeevy tactics.

This episode of the Leadership Forum dives into why thought leadership manages for you and your business…and how it can change the way you approach entrepreneurship and create content.

Skip around:

  • 0:00-2:45: Welcome
  • 2:45-4:40: Topic Introduction
  • 4:40-12:20: Your thought leadership benefits
  • 12:20-21:47: What if you don’t consider yourself a thought leader?
  • 21:47-23:57: More of your definitions of thought leadership
  • 23:58-27:34: The benefit of innovation
  • 27:35-29:23: The benefit of getting clear on your values
  • 29:24-32:39: The benefit of creating community
  • 32:40- 40:21: The benefit of creating movement
  • 40:22-44:21: Conclusion and next week

Don’t have time to watch the video? Here are the main takeaways:

To run a successful business, you need to knowing what your big idea is and how to convey it. This means creating consistent content that opens the door to deeper, more relevant conversation…and allows you to grow.

And, as a thought leader, taking the practical approach opens the door to a whole slew of new opportunities to connect and build relationships. Which also grows your business (win-win!).

There are a ton of tangible benefits to thought leadership, including:

Thought leadership prevents stagnation (23:58)

A big component of thought leadership is the ability to innovate.  A thought leader takes a creative, new approach to an old system or belief, helping their audience see it in a new way.

This means we don’t get complacent. It means we’re always pursuing new ideas and connecting the dots in new ways.

Thought leadership forces you to get clear on your values (27:35)

There is a lot to be gained from clarity. A clear message, based on your core values, is not only good for you as a person, but it’s good for your business. It allows you to dig into your true why and the change you want to create in the world.

These days, inauthenticity is rampant. People use “purpose-driven” as a marketing ploy. But when you’re clear on your values you live them publicly, and thought leadership holds you accountable to those values.

Thought leaders build community (29:24)

Often, we feel alone when we are actually surrounded by sympathizers. Thought leadership gives you the opportunity to create community around these common strands.

For example, Susan Cain is well known for her book and TedTalk about living as an introvert in an extraverted society. Her decision to approach introversion in a new way wasn’t just innovative. It was transformative for many introverts who had lived their lives believing something was wrong with them.

When Susan Cain stood up and took a stand, she created the potential for those who sympathized to no longer feel alone.

Thought leaders create movement and momentum (32:40)

The benefits of being a thought leader

It isn’t always about having a huge list or a massive movement. Sometimes it’s about small steps that allow people to create something amazing.

For example, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) started as a small challenge, asking people to write a 50k word novel during the month of November. Over the years it’s gained momentum and grown to tens of thousands of participants.

Small steps can lead to big changes.

What benefits can you add to the list?

Want to catch the Leadership Forum when it goes live? Head on over to the Thought Leaders Think Tank on Facebook and request to join.

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