What is Thought Leadership?
An expert knows something, a Thought Leader is known for knowing something. Thought Leaders are professionally famous experts. There are three domains where thought leaders stand out;
- They may appear as independent consultants who share and often sell their thoughts
- They may be entrepreneurs who use industry profile to drive their business
- They may be embedded in large organisations and use their thought leadership to influence business outcomes.
Why does it matter?
As the worlds information continues to become more accessible to all, it’s critical that we know how to apply it. Thought Leadership is about sharing wisdom in a way that is relevant, thorough, elegant and often unique. It's about capturing information, packaging it in a way that increases understanding and being able to deliver it in the most valuable way.
Why does it matter now?
We are experiencing a pace of change right now that is incredible and unprecedented. There is no doubt that the world is both faster and flatter than it's ever been. We have always and I suspect will always need leaders who can supply the WHY we do what we do. What’s become even more critical is someone who can provide the HOW. Motivational leaders provide WHY, Thought Leaders provide HOW and WHAT.
This month's White Paper is The Power of Positioning by Matt Church; A chapter from the first book in the Ideas Series; Original perspectives on life and business by leading thinkers.
We are not what we do – but we do need to be able to answer the question, “What do you do?” in a way that makes us better known and creates more business. As a card-carrying introvert, I find the prospect of commercial networking about as attractive as having root canal treatment. Still, I recognise that without customers, clients and attendees at my events, my business would dry up quicker than a well in the outback.
Download your complimentary copy today, after answering some brief questions.
When you speak we are waiting for you to get to your point.
So get there faster, stay on it and don’t mess around with meandering message or little thought tributaries.
- Have an overarching context when you speak and use it as a filter for omission. Its never that you don't have enough to say but rather that you say too much that is not on point. A single word context helps.
- Remind yourself and the audience often, what you are talking about and stay on task.
- Shut down the need to express your inner dialogue, you may think its cute to express that doubtful little voice when you speak but its actually self indulgent and distracting. So shush up the unnecessary comments that flash through your brain as a function of your nerves.
- Always realize that you have more than one speech in you so you don't have to share everything you know as if its your last lecture ever...think of having series of talks not a singular talk and all shall be wonderful.
- Answer the ‘so what?’ question and people are more likely to get your point.
Stay on task, no one is listening, you don’t matter and no one cares...until you help them to!
Stay on message!
The 3 big positioning mistakes
- Trying to be too special
- Trying to be too much
- Trying to be tricky
Let me explain...
Too many people try to be unique when they position themselves to others. The key is not to be special but rather to be relevant.
We always try to explain all we are, just tell them a bit they will remember.
The worst mistake is to try and adjust what you say based on who you are talking to, that’s just tricky.
Pick a position, own it and share it briefly!
Remember you don’t matter, they don’t care and they are not listening.
Leaders today need to go old school. They need to get out from behind their strategy and bring leadership to life.
Motivational leadership is the ability to influence culture and drive change. It’s applied powerfully at home, in communities and organisations everywhere.
We need leaders who can lead. Leaders who can remove fear and replace it with confidence, remove confusion and replace it with clarity and mobilise us all in pursuit of a better future.
It seems that strategy is failing many as it is almost impossible to create solutions for futures further out than 12-36 months. Make no mistake, strategy is critical, it’s simply not all it’s been made out to be. The idea of motivational leadership trumps strategy every time.
Motivational Leadership (Rah Rah!) is the missing link between what we know we should do (strategy), the willingness to do it (attitude) and getting it done (execution). While the principles of Rah Rah are simple, the application of them requires a combination of art, finesse and courage.
One thing though is universally true, you cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without also illuminating your own.
Whenever you are sharing an idea, whether its a boardroom presentation or a ballroom presentation you need to keep the 3 golden rules of presenting front of mind.
Rule 1: You don't matter
Rule 2: They don't care
Rule 3: They're not listening
Can you believe I make a living as motivational speaker?
Heres the thing…
It's not that you don't matter, but more that an unhealthy focus on you sets the whole communication off on the wrong foot. Get out of you and into the world and reality of the people you are addressing. If you are nervous in any way its because your are attention in, switch your focus an get your attention out.
It's not that they don't care but more that you have not given them a reason to. The price of entry in any communication is relevance. How is what you are about to say important, urgent and relevant. Sell me on why before you start to explain what or how.
It's not that they are not listening directly but rather you are speaking a different language. Take some time to learn the different listening languages people use. As a leader you need to develop the behavioural flexibility to connect with whomever you are addressing.
So the 3 critical actions that role of the rules are:
1. Think before you speak
2. Speak their language
3. Frame things for understanding.
Do this and you are beginning to step into your speakership!