Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Critical Thinking, Thought Leader Life #18, and 5 Questions
In this week’s thought leadership roundup, we look at when to use thought leadership, listen to what the “Godfather of Government Marketing” has to say, and explore what questions to ask in order to identify TLs in your corporate hierarchy.
Who is a Thought Leader?
“Someone who is an exceptional executor, an exceptional do-er, may not necessarily be a thought leader. Consider the difference between a chef who can reliably cook exceptional meals from existing recipes and a chef who can create new, never-before made recipes. The former may be a leader, may be a peerless performer, and certainly is someone whose restaurant you’d want to frequent if you wanted a favorite dish cooked just the way you remember it. The latter chef has the restaurant you go to when you’re just not excited about the same-old meals. You want something new, something different, hopefully something better. That’s the difference between a leader and a thought leader. Both are needed. Both are essential.”
Our take: The author makes an excellent point about thought leadership as a practice — the times when it works best are when the TL in question is not actively trying to become, or come of as, a thought leader. They also make several valid points about when and where the TL approach is actually appropriate enough to be effective, which is very useful to think about.
Thought Leader Life #18 with Mark Amtower
“Mitchell Levy and Michael Procopio talk with Mark Amtower, known as the ‘Godfather of Government Marketing’. Thought Leader Life with Mitchell and Michael covers all things around thought leadership, how to become one, how to use it as a form of communication, how to help others become one.”
Our take: In addition to earning his Godfather moniker, Mark Amtower is an award winning consultant, Amazon best-seller, speaker, and one of LinkedIn’s experts and trainers. It would be difficult to find someone more qualified to bear the TL title, so anyone who takes the time to listen to what he has to say is doing themselves a big favor.
Five Questions to Identify Thought Leaders In Your Corporate Ranks
“Let’s say you run a large industrial firm. When looking for a non-CEO to share the company’s vision, engineers or product designers usually are the first to come to mind. These individuals may have expansive knowledge of your signature product and even the state of the industry, but do they have the ability to talk about more than the product? Can they look beyond the benefits and features of design, and expand their thinking to include a vision for your industry’s future? And how that vision impacts customers?”
Our take: The author makes some exceptionally insightful observations here about the clear benefits of leveraging thought leaders the right way for business returns. What seem like obvious questions are often passed over for cheaper, easier answers, but this article deftly shows why that’s a mistake.