What is Thought Leadership and what does a Thought Leader do?

thought leadership

What is Thought Leadership and what does a Thought Leader do?

Thought Leadership indicates the sharing of insight, advice and ideas by individuals or organisations which inspire other individuals or organisations to think in a different way, have a discussion or to act. In order to achieve this, Thought Leaders share original, authentic, unique and useful content which should be based on the individual’s own personal experience.

Now you have a broad understanding of what Thought Leadership is, let’s look in more detail at what a Thought Leader does.

What does a Thought Leader do?

An expert on a particular subject whose ideas and opinions influence other people, especially in business (Source: Cambridge Dictionary). Considering that Thought Leadership is based on the capacity to influence people with thoughts and ideas, Thought Leaders hold a fundamental position within a business as they play a decisive role in developing that important rapport of trust between Brand and Client which all the Marketing manuals speak about.

Generally, it’s the company CEO who should perform the role of Thought Leader because there is a certain expectation for this individual to be a prominent figure within the sector in which he or she operates and who therefore possesses the competence and charisma necessary to create value for the company and everyone who comes into contact with it.

This professional figure should possess a specific mentality and approach demonstrated through the sharing of his or her own history, experience and knowledge in order to help others resolve problems which he or she has already succeeded in solving. It is important to remember that you can neither improvise nor decide alone to become a Thought Leader: it is a role and title which must be earned through experience and recognised by the public. In order to do it, one must have very specific skills and attributes.

How to develop Thought Leadership?

To become a Thought Leader, you must first find a way to stand out from the crowd. Secondly, you must possess the following specific characteristics, otherwise there is a risk that you might not be seen as a credible source or worse, just someone looking for clicks.

  • Become an expert in a specific area of competence, in my field it is Language learning and teaching;
  • Communicate with a precise sector, generally I interact with language professors and teachers;
  • Include and engage the public;
  • Share information providing insight on useful subjects or topics which help your audience increase their knowledge;
  • Avoid being repetitive or trivial by sharing different points of view.

These are some of the essential elements, skills and behaviours which characterise a successful Thought Leader. If you want to know more, get in touch, I am more than happy to share my experiences with you!