There are some awful definitions of thought leadership out there.
🔁 Thought leadership = what thought leaders do (ugh!)
🧠 Thought leadership = your smartest content marketing.
🙊 Thought leadership = how pretentious people brag about themselves.
These “definitions” drive me crazy —
because they don’t bring any clarity to the work.
It doesn’t help you if you’re a thought leadership practitioner.
They’re sugary bubblegum 🍬without substance.
So, here’s the definition that I use.
“Thought leadership takes good ideas to scale.”
Period. Full stop.
And what does that work look like?
Here’s a look at the behavioral-based tasks involved.
👀Peer around the corner into the future.
💎Spot the signal amid the noise.
👓 Identify your target audience — who needs to hear these insights today?
🎁 Deliver the insight as a gift (one they will appreciate).
⌚ Show them why the idea matters to *them* now.
🪜Give them a small, practical first step they can take today.
❤️Reveal your passion for the topic.
📢Recruit allies and ambassadors.
🤩Help others succeed.
📏Measure results and reallocate effort.
Sometimes an individual owns all of these tasks.
But in most organizations, it takes a team to take the org’s good ideas to scale.
There are a lot of skills required to do this work right.
So, how do you define thought leadership?
And where do you put your effort?