What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is a powerful public relations  tool  that helps position individuals and organisations as they go-to authorities in their industry or field. Being the acknowledged thought leader helps organisations grow their credibility.  Customers and prospects want to be identified with companies that are recognized as thought leaders because thought leaders are perceived as the best in their industry.

What is a thought leader?

Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and the acknowledged experts in their industry or field. They consistently add to the body of knowledge in their field and communicate their valuable insights to motivate others to solve problems and find new and better ways of doing things. They are sought out for their ability to make sense of what is happening in the marketplace, as well as to predict what the future holds. They understand the failings, shortcomings and problems facing their industries or sectors … AND they have the answers to fix these problems.

What is the difference between a thought leader and an authority?

Both are recognised experts. However while authorities are content to simply be recognised for their knowledge and expertise, thought leaders tend to take things further. They’re often the ones challenging industry norms, calling out poor behaviour, raising awareness on issues, advocating on behalf of their industries or communities, forecasting what might happen in future or using their influence to weigh in on key social and political debates.  Thought leaders don’t just participate in the conversation, they drive it? Thought leaders often go on become public icons while authorities are usually only ever recognisable in their industries or best known to their immediate communities and customers.

Is a thought leader or authority an individual or business?

It can be both. However where an organisation is positioning itself as a thought leader or knowledge based entity, the communication should ideally come from an individual. This is likely to be the business owner, CEO, chairman or technical expert.

Who is thought leadership best suited to?

In the main thought leaders tend to be individuals or organisations looking to:

  • Build their credibility
  • Educate and inform their communities
  • Change behaviours
  • Initiate new and better ways of doing things
  • Introduce new concepts or innovative ideas
  • Challenge current thinking
  • Drive best-practice or improve the reputation of their industries
  • Companies looking to position themselves as knowledge-based entities.
  • Peak bodies looking to drive advocacy and change behaviour.
  • Professionals wanting to secure board or high profile appointments.
  • Late career professionals looking to develop a passion project in retirement.

What are the benefits of being the acknowledged thought leader or authority in your industry or field?

  • It is excellent for growing business. If you’re out there, constantly dispensing your advice and your expertise, people trust you, your credibility grows, and by default so does that of your organisation. People want to do business with experts who know what they’re talking about. So do investors, policy makers, funding bodies and other key decision-makers. They want to know that the person or organization they’re dealing with or lending money to is good at what they do.
  • Being a recognized thought leader or authority also gives you greater access to the media and conference organisers. The media is always on the look-out for people who can help make sense of the world, provide expert commentary for stories or are great talent for interviews. Similarly, conference organisers are more likely to invite you to headline a conference or be a speaker if you are a proven expert.
  • Finally being an acknowledged thought leader or authority makes you much more attractive to employers and head-hunters. Companies want to employ well informed people who are problems solvers, have fresh ideas and are innovative and inventive. In the US, CEO and key leadership position are increasingly being filled by candidates who are already acknowledged experts. Bottom line, thought leadership does wonders for an individual’s career trajectory!!

What thought leadership services do we offer?

We provide both a flexible DIY START-UP Package for those who prefer to manage their own thought leadership or a DONE-FOR-YOU service for those who choose to hand over their thought leadership to use to manage on their behalf.

What our Clients Say:

“I engaged Wendy when I realised that I needed to communicate my ideas to the broader community. Wendy helped me focus my vision and articulate it in a clear and succinct way but also explained the dynamics of thought leadership and what I was about to embark on. Her associate Trudy Rankin gave me a crash course in social media tools that complemented my action plan. I have since readjusted my thinking about what I do and how I project myself. I would recommend Wendy’s company to anyone wanting to better understand themselves and how they can engage with other thought leaders and communicate their messages to a broader audience.”

Len Sciacca, Enterprise Professor – Defence Technologies, Melbourne School of Engineering

“Understanding your brand value can be a difficult undertaking. Wendy’s personal branding and thought leadership coaching, strategy and action plan allows you to begin navigating this complex area with purpose. The clear structure she provides in enhancing your reputation and capability to present as a leader in my field was of an enormous assistance. Importantly, her approach is grounded in authenticity which makes the process very comfortable and empowering.”

Murray Smith, State Manager (Vic)General Manager AHPRA (Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Authority). Former Director, Vic Building Authority.

It was great to learn from Wendy’s experience and insights into thought leader and how to share my ideas with my professional networks. Wendy took me through a wide range of tools and processes – from the most fundamental to the more advanced. I now putting these ideas into practice and am excited about where this will lead …”

– Matthew J Barnes Technical Co-founder @Drawboard