Thursday Thought Leadership Roundup: Retiring the Term, Stanford’s eCorner, and When to Play the TL Card

Filed Under Innovation

Arwen Heredia

April 10, 2014

This week in thought leadership: retiring the overused term, exploring Stanford’s entrepreneurial video and podcast library, and a handful of questions about whether or not your brand is mature enough to play the TL card. Plus: tweet your favorite selection!

4 Reasons To Retire The Term ‘Thought Leader’

From Forbes:

“Content marketing was all the rage in 2013, and continues to be a hot topic for digital marketing professionals. Arguably, the trend to beat in 2014 is establishing oneself as a thought leader. The only problem is that the very term is a misnomer.

If you take the label ‘thought leader’ at face value, what you’re aiming to become is the head initiator of ideas or opinions that occur in the mind. However, if you look at true pioneers of innovative concepts and disruptive technologies – the Elon Musk’s, Sheryl Sandberg’s and Larry Page’s of the world – you’ll find there is a lot more to these individuals than just ideas swirling around in their head.

There are dozens of articles that will offer tips on how to become a thought leader. This is not that article.”

Our take: While we’re not quite ready to give up on the thought leadership movement, the author makes some valid observations and offers sound reasons for considering what we really mean when we use the term. My favorite: “Too often, those looking to label themselves as thought leaders are really just expert curators of other people’s points of view.”

Read the full article or Tweet this!

Stanford University’s eCorner: A New Narrative for Leadership

From Stanford U:

“Based on the fact that the stories we tell ourselves have profound psychological impacts, magic experience designer Ferdinando Buscema suggests a new narrative model for successful, modern leaders.”

Our take: The speaker touches on the often misunderstood impact that language, narrative, and perspective have on customer psychology, and what that can mean for your brand or business. He reveals some intriguing facts about how this can inform leadership practices, and provides applicable advice for translating these concepts into strategy.

Watch the full video or Tweet this!

Is Your Brand Mature Enough For Thought Leadership?

From Forbes’ Phil Johnson:

“I was recently on a call with a client ready to launch a thought leadership marketing campaign. The campaign was based on research the client had just fielded, the results of which showed their company in a highly favorable light. Yet it became clear during the call that any findings that contradicted, or even served as an alternative to the client’s approach, weren’t going to make it into the final content.

One senior reviewer pulled no punches. “What would be the point of us publishing something that contradicts what we say?” he asked.

That led me to wonder: Is it possible that this client wasn’t mature enough for thought leadership?”

Our take: There are always good reasons to take certain approaches in business, but that doesn’t make them an ideal fit for your specific company. This article offers up some great questions to ask and elements to consider before playing the “thought leadership” card.

Read the full article or Tweet this!