You can’t *force* someone to practice thought leadership.
And I’m not even sure it can be “assigned.”
Both ways tend to fail spectacularly.
If you frame thought leadership as “you must . . . ”
Your people will find every excuse under sun. ☀️
Their dogs will eat their homework. 🐶📃
You can can call it “quiet quitting” or “not engaged.”
For most people, thought leadership is “extra effort” at work.
Because to do thought leadership work well —
you likely think about it in your off time.
Thought leadership doesn’t fit neatly into a meeting calendar.
It involves quiet thinking time and off-hours reflection.
So, how do you encourage someone to practice thought leadership?
Here are tips for you as a leader.
First, find the sweet spot that fits all three criteria below:
❤️ A topic the person deeply cares about
📈 A topic that aligns with your org’s objectives
🙋🏽 A topic that serves your target audience’s needs
If you skip over any of these criteria, good luck.
You’ll need it.
Because it’s probably not going to work.
So steps can you take as a leader?
👀 spot potential talent (people with good ideas)
❤️ help them find the topic they’re passionate about.
⌚ Give them time and space to do thought leadership work
🤺 intellectually spar with them to sharpen their ideas
🪙 provide resources (skill-building, internal support, etc.)
🥳 celebrate both early efforts and successes
💵 align performance plans and comp plans to this work
And here’s one more to add to the list:
Be a role model — practice thought leadership yourself.
I write about:
#ThoughtLeadership #OrgTL and #BrandStrategy