Just as Thought Leadership becomes a trendy phrase, Thoughtful Leadership raises the game.
All leaders including professional coaches can make a big impact by being bold and opinionated in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive environment. But too often, they are not delivering thought leadership, much less thoughtful leadership. Those who do are gaining attention and business, and making a bigger impact on their clients and community.
Thought leadership means being willing share experiences and knowledge, and more importantly be able to share your wisdom and unique views on key issues within the market. In a noisy, crowded market, this is the only way to impress and influence your employees and customers, and rise above the competition.
Your opinions and beliefs are just as important as, if not more important than any experience or knowledge. It’s perfectly fine to share opinions as long as they let people know that’s what they are. You can’t be ‘wrong’ when you are stating an opinion. You only open yourself up for others to disagree with you if they feel like it, but supporters will feel closer to you. What is no longer possible now is never letting your market and clients know what you think about important issues, and to come across as bland, boring or similar to others in your field.
Remember, the thought leader is you, not your brand. It is a well-known fact that people buy from people and particularly people they like. More business leaders are starting to realize the importance of being seen and heard, and sharing personal views on key issues. After years of keeping personality out of business, the kind of openness and vulnerability they need to display is uncharted waters for many, and that’s what is preventing them from making headway. We see it in the open communication style prevalent in blogs, social media and even books written by business leaders. People see the leader is engaged, so they feel engaged and they are more likely to do business with that organisation.
Many coaches and leaders we work with think they are too busy to be writing and publishing articles and blogs, and posting updates on social media. They don’t realize how easy it is to put together a content strategy and then involve other key leaders in the business, as well as marketing and PR teams to deliver the content. All the clever business leaders I know create the content strategy, then delegate and outsource many of the communications, including blog and article writing, and social media posts and updates.
Creating an original strategy and powerful key messages can move you from thought leadership to thoughtful leadership. Thoughtful leadership is all about the quality of your thinking and ideas.
As a leader, you need to consider being bolder in your message and getting it out more widely, letting people see that you are visible, vocal and involved. Put the right kind of thought into it, and you will be seen as a thought leader and a thoughtful leader.