Thought Provoking Leadership
by Mindy Gibbins-Klein
August 20 2015 - Business owners and executives beware, if you are not constantly refining how you think and how well you think, you are probably falling behind.
Executives and business leaders can make a big impact by being bold and opionated in order to stand out in an increasingly competitive
environment. But too often, they leave opportunites on the table and allow competitors to steal a march on them.
If you run a business, you need to be able to share experiences and knowledge and more importantly be able to share your wisdom and
views on key issues within the market if you are to impress and influence your employees and customers, and rise above the competition.
Quite simply, if you dont have have a thought leadership strategy, or if you delegate thought leadership to your marketing team or
agency, you are not fulfilling your responsibility as a leader. In the current economic climate you need to be bold and opinonated.
Your opinions and beliefs are just as important as, if not more important than any experience or knowledge and it's fine for
executives to share opinions as long as they let people know that's what they are. You can't be 'wrong' when you are stating an opinion. You
only open yourself up for others to disagree with you if they feel like it, but supporters will feel closer to you. What is no longer possible
now is never letting your team, your staff or other stakeholders know what you think about important issues, and to come across as bland, boring
or similar to others in your field.
In times of economic hardship and stress, many businesses forget about marketing, especially any kind of strategic marketing of
their leaders. But it is a well-known fact that people buy from people and particularly people they like. More business leaders and owners are
starting to realise the importance of being seen and heard, and sharing personal views on key issues. After years of keeping personality out
of business, the kind of openness and vulnerability they need to display is uncharted waters for many, and that's what is preventing them from
making headway. We see it in the open communication style prevalent in blogs, social media and even books written by business leaders. People
see the leader is engaged, so they feel engaged and they are more likely to do business with that organisation.
Many executives I work with think they are too busy to be writing and publishing articles and blogs, and posting updates on social
media. They don't realise how easy it is to put together a content strategy and then involve other key leaders in the business, as well as marketing
and PR teams to deliver the content. All the clever business leaders I know create the content strategy, then delegate and outsource many of the
communications, including blog and article writing, and social media posts and updates.
There are some things only the executive should be doing, though. These things include coming up with the strategy and key messages
(based on the company vision but, as mentioned above, also that executive's unique viewpoint and added value). The executive is also the only one
who should be engaging on a direct level via social media (for example, broadcasts that turn into dialogue, and comments on other blogs and online.
It is too dangerous to delegate your thinking to someone else! And I think it is safe to say that only the business leader himself/herself is
able to do their own public speaking engagements and videos!
As a key leader in your organisation, you need to consider cranking up the boldness in your message and getting it out more widely,
letting people see that you are visible, vocal and involved. So, are you ready to be bold and get a better ROI on your efforts as a leading
executive in your industry?