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Ten-and-a-half thoughts about thought leadership from The Writer

What is thought leadership?
Why is everyone talking about it with such urgency?
What should your organisation be doing about it?
And if everyone’s a thought leader, who’s left to do the following?

We held a debate in London to find out the truth about thought leadership. While we don't have any definite answers, we do have some thoughts.

Ten-and-a-half thoughts about thought leadership from The Writer

  1. 1.  What’s the big idea? Ten-and-a-half thoughts about thought leadership.
  2. 2. It seems like everyone wants to be a ‘thought leader’ these days.
  3. 3. But what, really, does that mean?
  4. 4. How do you go about being one?
  5. 5. And should you even be one anyway?
  6. 6. There are no definite answers. But we do have a few thoughts.
  7. 7. The old definition ofthought leadership assomething quasi-academic doesn’t hold upanymore.
  8. 8. Technology is changing everything.
  9. 9. Information is everywhere.
  10. 10. First, let’s think very carefully about what thought leadership isn’t. Hint: □  It’s not PR. □  It’s not marketing. □  It’s not just ‘content’. □  And it’s not just being a ‘subject matter expert’, either.
  11. 11. There’s a big volume problem that risks devaluing thought leadership…
  12. 12. Wouldn’t you get bored of drinking champagne if you drank it every single day? The people who work in the chocolate factory lose their taste for chocolate.
  13. 13. to the noise Social media has only added
  14. 14. Shhh! You’ll be heard better if you say less. But say it well.
  15. 15. * Too long; didn’t read If you have a leading thought but nobody reads it, does it really exist? TL;DR*
  16. 16. Did Michelangelo call himself a thought leader? Did Plato or Einstein or Gandhi? God forbid that you should ever say it of yourself.
  17. 17. you’re a thought leader. Let others say…
  18. 18. And anyway, does everyone need to be a thought leader? Be honest with yourself – do you? Does your organisation?
  19. 19. Maybe it would be better to follow well than lead badly?
  20. 20. One of the defining moments in human history was the harnessing of fire. Because being able to cook food and whatnot meant that for the first time ever we had time to think about things.
  21. 21. Good thought leadership should be an invitation to sit around the campfire.
  22. 22. Solving problems should not be thought leadership’s job. Leave that to others. The job is to provoke, inspire, change how people see the world, open up new possibilities.
  23. 23. You know that Henry Ford quote, If I’d have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses’? Well, great thought leaders are letting people know: Whatever’s coming next, it’s not gonna be about horses.’ ‘ ‘
  24. 24. There’s no shortage of people offering you answers. What the world needs is more people asking the right questions.
  25. 25. E M Forster said how will I know what I think until I see what I say?’ That’s partly why writing and thought leadership are so connected. It’s often when you start working your thoughts out on paper that the magic happens. ‘
  26. 26. This little collection of thoughts was inspired by a debate about thought leadership that we held at The Free Word centre while the storms raged in January 2014. Many thanks to our two speakers that evening: Cristina Ampil, managing director of PwC US’s Thought Leadership Institute; and Nick Portet, creative director at a thoughtful private bank – and to everyone else who came along and pitched in.
  27. 27. Want a hand shaping your thoughts? Get in touch: London Call us on +44 (0)20 7940 7540 New York Call us on +1 646 568 3181 Everywhere Drop us an email info@thewriter.com Tweet us @TheWriter Link with us on LinkedIn Read more at thewriter.com

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