A couple of weeks ago I signed up to do a course on thought leadership. The course is for participants to learn the Thought Leadership Marketing Methodology (R), developed by Larry Genkin and taught by him to Fortune 500 companies, including eBay, American Express and Alcatel.
To be very frank, I’m still trying to figure out just what is meant or encompassed by the term “thought leadership”. Or, what makes someone a “thought leader”. I actually thought I knew, and in fact I, like other people who work in the social media field, have been in the habit of mentioning “establishing yourself as a thought leader” as one of the reasons for having a corporate blog and thus by definition A Good Thing To Do. That is in fact what I believe, but as I’ve been reading up on thought leadership I’ve found a variety of definitions and attempts at description.
For example, I found the opening “definitional” sentence of the Wikipedia entry on “thought leader” partially illuminating and a tad confusing at the same time:
Thought leader is a buzzword or article of jargon used to describe a futurist or person who is recognized among their peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights (thinklets).
It was the odd word “thinklets” that made me go back and read it again and wonder seriously whether this definition or description could carry the day in a business context.
The next sentence, about “thought leadership” made “thought leader” sound like something more significant than “a buzzword or article of jargon etc”:
Thought leadership is an increasingly vital driver of business success.
Now that’s more interesting! I’m always interested in understanding and applying drivers of business success.
Questions of definition aside for a moment, Larry Genkin summed up for me, in the teleseminar I attended before deciding to sign up for the course, just why I thought this course could help me. In his words:
While most are working hard chasing business in this economy, Thought Leaders have business chasing them.
I’ve spent a lot of years chasing business and of course it is very pleasing when your chasing produces success. The idea of business chasing me is much more appealing.
So that’s why I’ve signed up as a student: to learn Larry’s system, so that I can have business find me rather than the other way around.
Larry will be explaining all this and more in a free webinar this week, on Tuesday Feb 10 at 8.00-9.30 pm Eastern time (US).
The title is:
Thought Leadership Marketing & The Power of Personal Branding:
Get Business to Chase You by Becoming the Top of Mind Expert in Your Industry
This is a no-pressure thing. In fact, there is a limit on the number able to sign up. You can read about the event and register here.