If you’re arrived here organically, or spend any amount of time on LinkedIn, you’ve almost certainly come across the term ‘thought leadership’ before.

But what is thought leadership, exactly, and who are ‘thought leaders’?

Let us break it down — in 500 words.

Thought Leaders Are Made, Not Born

There’s been a lot of pushback from some quarters about the whole ‘thought leadership’ concept. And we’ll be honest: we think that much of it is well-deserved.

Critics will argue that “thought leadership is everywhere” and has become a meaningless banner for self-proclaimed experts to propound their viewpoints under. 

That’s true — when thought leadership is done poorly. Which it often is. But it doesn’t have to be.

Our in-house definition of thought leadership is content that involves‘ articulating views on an industry or topic that contribute meaningful nuances to a debate.’ We

Thought leadership done right is not about promoting your self, your product, or your company — although those are possible dividends for making thoughtful contributions on a valuable forum to an engaged and appreciative audience. 

Thought leaders that self-define as such and view regurgitating trite opinions as an easy shortcut to boost their reputation are doing a disservice to industry executives that are true, passionate subject matter experts and are trying to communicate meaningful ideas to their peer group or industry.

Add Value, Receive Some Back

True thought leadership is a two-way street.

It involves those at the peak of their industry contributing their informed opinions about a key topic that benefits from the unique insight they have by being immersed in their field.

In return, readers receive value, and — over time — come to regard the authors as credible experts and leaders on the subject matter.  

True thought leadership programs take time. They require having something valuable to say and finding exactly the right time and place to say them.

Delivering value to audiences will bring business value in return — in the form of increased brand recognition, heightened reputation, and lead generation.  But there are no shortcuts.

Whether you’re an individual, corporation, game-disrupting startup, or work in the public sector, Thought Champion has retainer packages calibrated to ensure the success of your thought leadership program.

Contact us today to learn how we can help.