If you had to make a list of some of the things that can harm a company, stagnation in leadership would undoubtedly be right at the top.
It’s a story all too common – an organization starts with a vision and a successful business model. But there is ultimately no long-term plan for where things are headed. There’s a vision, yes – but not one that paints a picture about what the next ten years might hold. Day to day operations become a matter of spinning wheels, and the company ultimately suffers because of it.
As both technology and our access to it continues to expand, organizational leadership has begun to understand just what an invaluable asset it truly is.
This is especially true when it comes to being a thought leader – something that is particularly important in the modern era. These days, a brand needs to be more than just another business. They need to be a voice of authority. They need to prove that they’re something worth paying attention to – something that can be trusted. Something with shared values to the people they’ve dedicated themselves to serving. Technology goes a long way towards accomplishing precisely that.
“Getting to the point where you’re a legitimate thought leader requires a lot of hard work and patience,” says an executive at Boardsi, a modern recruiting platform for executives. “We believe the effort is more than worth it. It does, however, require you to keep a few key things in mind.”
When you make this kind of effort, and you show that you’re a reliable source of insight and information, you have the opportunity to define yourself as an industry leader. You also go a long way towards gaining as much credibility as possible – both for the front-facing members of your team and for the business as a whole.
Regardless of whether you’re talking about winning an individual client or a marketplace as a whole, everything comes down to gaining credibility. That directly leads back to your ability to establish yourself as a thought leader. If you’re able to do that, there is practically no limit to what you’ll be able to accomplish.
Another one of the major benefits of being a thought leader in your field – regardless of what field that happens to be – has to do with how it helps clue you in on the very best ways to sell your products and services.
Because the practice itself forces you to stay on top of all the latest trends and best patterns, you always have insight into what is working and – more importantly – what isn’t. This lets you capitalize on some of those trends before your competitors have a chance to, thus giving you a leg up on those businesses.
Likewise, by reading as much as you can that has been written by other thought leaders in your industry, you are able to more clearly identify important areas where you still need to grow. You can gain insight from the experiences that they have had. You can learn from their mistakes. You can take the same leaps that they have – all of which adds to the ultimate longevity of your company.
Never forget that the moment you think you’ve “earned enough” – the moment that you think you’ve reached the apex – is the moment that you’ve lost a game that you never truly understood in the first place.
Why Being Forward Thinking Matters
Any seasoned entrepreneur will tell you that it’s important to focus on what is right in front of you – meaning what is happening right now. But all the best entrepreneurs will also tell you that you need to keep one eye fixed firmly towards the future – to anticipate what is going to happen before it actually gets here.
That’s another element that being a thought leader is all about. Thought leadership encourages forward thinking from not only you and your team members, but also organizational management and even employees to a certain extent.
But to stand out from those organizations that simply aim to educate themselves, you must be proactive about coming up with new ideas. You need to be innovative in a way that encourages everyone from leadership on down to think outside the box. It’s a best practice that doesn’t just bring people together to form something to form something more effective as a collective than any one of them could be on their own – it’s also where breakthrough ideas come from that further prove the thought leadership efforts that you’ve worked so hard to accomplish.
In the end, stagnation in leadership can be a detriment to any company. Sure, they may still be able to find some degree of success – but to what end? They won’t be able to attract and retain top talent. They won’t be able to enter into the markets that they need to succeed. They won’t be able to grow at the rate at which they need to.
Avoiding these things involves becoming a thought leader – one that attracts the right type of attention in a way that people won’t be able to avoid or forget. It takes a bit of work, as all good things do, but at the end of the day the effort is more than worth it.