Thought leadership is increasingly important as our work and society is getting more and more complex. As software development moved us all into the virtual realm, we need the guidance and the constancy of a person or entity that we can rely on.
As Airbnb has become a thought leader in travel software, what should we do to become one in our own domain?
Leadership comes in many forms
Leadership is one of the most common business topics in recent years. Everybody seems to have a description or an opinion about it. We have servant leadership, transitional leadership, democratic leadership, autocratic leadership, and the list goes on. But what about a type of leadership that is undeniable and requires no official title? What about thought leadership?
What is a thought leader?
In a broader sense, a thought leader is someone who has an intellectual influence or authority. A person that has such credibility that whenever in need of advice one turns to that person. In a business sense, a thought leader is someone who has a deep understanding of the business, an original perspective, and insight. Wikipedia defines it as a person or company with special authority in a certain field whose expertise is often required and needed.
Thought leader in your company
Well, the company you work for might also be a thought leader in a certain niche. Like Vogue is a thought leader when it comes to fashion, Amazon, when it comes to eCommerce, or Neil Patel when it comes to online marketing.
But inside your company, branch, and even your team you might identify a thought leader. Think about that person that you can always count on with sober advice and great insight. The person that has a unique point of view when it comes to difficult situations. Also, the person that has such credibility built up that his/her advice is sought after. Yes, you already have someone on your mind.
Mostly we think about these people as charismatic. Charisma is a very important ingredient when it comes to any kind of leadership.
Attention economy and thought leadership
The current economy is offering even more value to these thought leaders. As social media increasingly is changing our society, conglomerating money according to based on attention thought leaders gains even more followers and economic power. Arguably, influencers are thought, leaders. And what they sell is the attention of their followers to advertising companies. This phenomenon explains how reality TV stars have attained one of the greatest social following, and in some cases won even the presidency.
How can thought leadership help you
You might’ve noticed how many people on social media try to position themselves as thought leaders. When it comes to business, the same is true for LinkedIn. This way they gain followers, visibility, and a reputation that most certainly helps them up the corporate ladder, or even start businesses.
So, if you are thinking about these options you must consider thought leadership.
How to be a thought leader
Building a reputation is a laborious job. But here are some tips that you might find useful.
1. Find your niche – because the competition online is constantly increasing.
2. Get to know your domain – so well that you often can even forecast future trends in your domain.
3. Expand your network – using social media, offline media, word-of-mouth, face-to-face networking, or any other networking.
4. Create valuable content as often as possible covering wide areas of your domain – remember how the algorithm works.
5. Affiliate with thought leaders in other domains – because you can exchange markets.
But maybe the greatest advice is to take care of your reputation by staying true to your audience and offering the same standard of help you got them used to.
At AROBS thought leaders are valued systematically since when it comes to initiatives the process is bottom-up. This led to an involvement space that strengthens team cohesion and company reputation.