In the world of thought leadership, I’d much rather have strong community than a perfect idea.
Hear me out. Over my career, I’ve seen plenty of ideas that were good enough thrive and flourish while ideas that had been polished to perfection went unnoticed.
What’s the difference?
Well, I think it can be traced back in part to the strength of the community that supports the idea. An idea without a community, well it’s essentially a museum piece. A scholar might be interested in it. People may spot it as a curiosity and take note for a moment. But it doesn’t become embedded in the way people think and act.
Here’s why communities matter so much to thought leadership.
Ideas move faster and reach further when they’re embedded in a community. Communities also help take an idea that’s good and refine it. They help make it better. Love your critic!
And then finally, communities keep ideas relevant.
As the world changes, the community continues to help the idea evolve. Old-school thought leadership relied a lot on one-way communication: books, speeches, research reports. Now, two-way communication and community building becomes essential for thought leadership. If you nurture a community, your ideas are much more likely to have impact.
So, here’s a question for you. How much of your time are you devoting to creating ideas and how much your time are you devoting to building communities?