Successful leadership is best measured by a combination of objective and subjective factors that reflect the leader’s impact on the organization, its people, and its stakeholders – such as how your successor leads after you.
- Thought leadership is not about personal achievement but also about the growth and development of those around you.
- A leader should invest in the growth and development of team members, providing opportunities for professional development, mentorship, and coaching.
- Real leaders empower their employees to become thought leaders themselves and model the behavior they want to see in their team members.
- Investing in the growth and development of team members creates a more innovative, collaborative, and engaged workforce.
- Thought leadership is more than promoting your brand or gaining followers on social media – it’s about providing real value to your audience.
- To encourage employees’ personal and professional growth, and even to become thought leaders themselves, you must provide relevant content, solid processes, and user-friendly technology and align it all with the company’s Purpose, Values, and Story.
- To become a brand leader, you need a purposeful and intentional team, which includes a thought leader to be the face of the brand, skilled researchers, and experienced analysts.
You’ve established yourself as a thought leader and honed in on your 3 Keys – the fundamental building blocks of a brand foundation. Purpose is the reason a company exists, its vision, and its mission. Values are the shared beliefs that attract like-minded customers and foster a healthy, winning culture. Story is authentic communication about why your company is different from others.
When these 3 Keys are interlocked, they create a powerful alignment that builds connections and drives explosive growth. You’ve put the right people in the right roles, you’ve aligned your team and your leadership with your marketing strategy and your brand, and you know the responsibilities that come with this lofty role.
Still, you’re not really a thought leader if you’re not invested in the growth and development of the people around you.
Consider this quote from Jack Welch: “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”
True leadership success is not defined by personal achievements but by the growth and development of those who follow. As leaders, we know it’s our responsibility to elevate the people around us, not only professionally but personally.
For my part, I focus and strive to provide opportunities for personal and professional development, mentorship, and coaching to encourage team members to grow and hone their skills. Besides that, I’ve nurtured a culture that values personal growth, promotes work-life balance, and fosters a sense of community and belonging. The people who make Advantages run on a day-to-day basis feel like family – because they are.
Finally, to be a thought leader is to empower employees to become thought leaders in their own right. To this end, we must encourage our teams to develop a unique point of view, anchor clarity and consistency in their beliefs and opinions, and consistently live and defend their values.
My grandmother always told me, “Leave this world better than you found it; your mark won’t be made unless you leave better leaders in your place.” I do my best to follow this advice when I lead by example. When I’m vocal about my beliefs, my team knows they can do the same.
As a leader, you must model the behavior you want to see in your team members. You must be transparent, share your insights and experiences, and provide opportunities for your team members to learn from you.
Leadership success is not defined by personal achievements but by the growth and development of those who follow, so invest wisely in your people and leave a legacy worth remembering.
Why you should want your employees to be thought leaders
Picture this: A company where every employee is a thought leader. Not just the top executives, not just the marketing team, but every single person in the organization is recognized for their unique point of view and valuable insights. It may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s certainly possible, and it’s a goal well worth the chase.
In fact, it’s one of the goals I’ve always chased. I’m proud to work with a team of smart, confident brand advocates who inspire and challenge each other. I’m convinced that as I support my people to become thought leaders, it has led to a stronger, more collaborative organizational culture.
Here’s the thing: Thought leadership isn’t just about promoting your brand or gaining followers on social media. It’s about connecting with and providing real value to your audience, whether that’s through educational content, innovative ideas, or fresh perspectives.
And who better to deliver that value than the employees who are on the front lines, those who engage with customers and clients every day? They’re the people who interact with customers, prospects, and potential employees daily and have more implicit trust than brand channels.
At Advantages, we believe that to cultivate thought leadership potential in our employees is critical to a cohesive organizational culture that aligns with our brand’s 3 Keys: Purpose, Values, and Story.
Don’t merely focus on brand promotion or your reputation as a thought leader. You can elevate your entire organization when you invest in the thought leadership potential of every employee and align your workforce with your brand’s 3 Keys. When you do this, you’ll create a more innovative and engaging workplace culture, build stronger relationships with your customers, and establish your brand as a true leader in your industry.
How to support your team’s budding thought leaders
If you want to encourage your employees to become thought leaders and elevate your brand to the top of your industry, you must assemble a team of skilled professionals to help you develop and execute a winning thought leadership strategy.
First, don’t make it feel like a mandate. No one wants to feel like they’re being coerced into something that doesn’t align with their values. Instead, make it an opt-in program that benefits both your employees and your brand. Show them how thought leadership skills can help them build their network and establish themselves as industry leaders.
To make it easier, provide your employees with relevant content, solid processes, and user-friendly technology. In other words, don’t make them scramble to figure it out on their own. Make sure everything they produce aligns with your company’s 3 Keys.
If you want to take your thought leadership game to the next level, you need a team of thought leaders to help you become a top brand in your industry, and you need a thought leader to be the face of your brand. This person must be knowledgeable and authoritative on the subject matter you’ll present to your audience.
You’ll also need a skilled researcher or two to stay on top of the latest trends, an experienced analyst to help translate research into valuable content, and a strategist to put all that information to use. Your strategist will assess the data and determine who needs to hear it, when, and how.
Of course, you can’t have a thought leadership team without a content creator and editorial team. They’ll create high-quality content that’s tailored to the needs of your consumers and encourages them to take action. And you’ll need a marketing lead to find the best format to deliver your content to your audience. Whether via email, social media, or a podcast, your marketing lead will know what works best.
And don’t forget customer service. You need someone to handle questions, comments, and concerns from your audience. This will ensure that you speak with a unified, authoritative voice and that your customers feel heard.
Choose your team wisely, and you’ll be well on your way to cultivating a workplace full of budding thought leaders.
Empower and develop your team with Advantages
When you empower your team to develop a unique point of view, anchor clarity and consistency in their beliefs and opinions, and consistently live and defend their values, you create a team that’s not just productive but also innovative, collaborative, and engaged.
When we cultivate thought leadership potential in our employees, we have the key to a cohesive organizational culture that aligns with your 3 Keys. In fact, I’ve seen it myself – Advantages operates on the back of a team full of driven, starry-eyed thought leaders. When the 3 Keys are interlocked, they create a powerful pattern that builds connections and drives explosive growth.
Pro tip: Don’t struggle where you don’t have to. It’s not easy being a thought leader, let alone to lead an entire team to develop their personal and professional beliefs, opinions, and values. Advantages can align your team with your Purpose, Values, and Story, giving them the foundation they need to grow and thrive.
Let’s talk about how to connect profit to purpose when you have the right team in place – we’ve got your back.