Thought leadership is an interesting term. Lots of people use it. Lots of people claim that they are “thought leaders.” Lots of people define it in lots of different ways.

For me — thought leadership is influence in action — and a key component of your story.


I was recently having a conversation with a new client, and she said something very interesting:


“I find that I have internal resistance to the idea of being a ‘thought leader.’ Somehow I’ve created an image in my head of what ‘real’ thought leaders look like, and so I struggle with the notion of including myself in that group… ”


The first thing I said (gently, and with so much love) was, “Get over it.” (We both laughed.)


Then I said, “Ok, it’s time to own your thought leadership (and your power) for these 7 reasons”:


  1. “… it’s taking what you know, who you serve (and why), and your “special sauce” — and expressing that to your audience — whether you’re online, onstage, on the phone, or in person. Because you know it will help people with their business and in their life.


  1. “Your thought leadership is uniquely yours because it’s based on your years of experience, education, failures, triumphs, insights, investment, wisdom, time, energy, effort, talents… and everything in between.


  1. “Thought leadership is the part of your story that articulates your expertise, authority, capability, and leadership. People want to know these things about you.


  1. “It will help you create a community, tribe, or following of people who are committed to your vision… because they trust you and you’re helping them to realize their goals and achieve their dreams.


  1. “It’s an important part of inspiring people to take action, because you’re offering them new insights and perspectives… while providing an evolving roadmap for success.


  1. “These inspired people will literally become the voice of your company or organization… and the ones who bring a flood of new and repeat business to your door.


  1. “It will help you create and cultivate powerful relationships so you can move new ideas and possibilities from person to person, throughout organizations, and throughout the world, and into the future.”


Do you consider yourself a thought leader?


If you’re not sure, then I invite you to take this 40-second quiz:


  1. Am I a reliable source of information and a go-to person in my field of expertise?


  1. Do I inspire people with innovative ideas?


  1. Do I create relationships based on trust?


  1. Do I turn my ideas into success, and can I show others how to replicate that success?


  1. Am I known for making a difference in one person’s life? Several lives? In my organization? In my world?


Now… based on your answers, are you a thought leader? (I would guess yes!)


Yes, you are a thought leader.


So if you want to be perceived as one, simply use more thought leadership every time you communicate.


• • •


If you’re ready to take your thought leadership up a few notches, so you can make a bigger impact and help more people, please contact me today.

Influence With A Heart and Marketing With A Heart by Ben Gioia

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