To Be a Leader, Do You Need to Be a Thought Leader?

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Should one be a thought leader to be in a leadership position?

There's no doubt about it: thought leaders are booming in 2022.

We're talking about the people who are making a real impact in their communities and industries, who are speaking up and getting things done, who are shaping public opinion and driving change. It's incredible to see how much they're doing, and we can't wait to see what they'll do next.

But are all thought leaders, leaders? And are all leaders thought leaders? Are they different? Do you have to be one to be the other? How does this all work? How do they fit together?

In this article, we will be talking about leadership and thought leadership. Are they the same?

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Read the Full Transcript

Atiba de Souza: Are all thought leaders, leaders? And are all leaders thought leaders? Let's dive in to that topic today on Thoughts On Thought Leadership. Hey, everybody. Welcome to Thoughts On Thought Leadership. I am your host, Atiba. And today we're going to be talking about leadership and thought leadership. And are they the same?

Are they different? Do you have to be one to be the other? How does this all work? How do they fit together? Well, there are tons of leaders in this world. In your company and really everywhere. Right? Because a leader is defined by someone who has influence. And so inside of your company, I'm sure that there are people who have influence over others and they lead them. 

You are a leader in your company. You have staff, you lead them, you have influence. That's fantastic. That's fantastic. Okay. So that's a leader. Now a thought leader takes it a step further. So, in truth, you can't be a thought leader unless you were some sort of leader first, because a thought leader takes leadership and says, "Not only am I a leader, but I also have expertise." 

I also have the willingness to share what I know and to educate, to make the world a better place. Okay. I want to teach and give to the world to make the world a better place so that they understand that if they work with me, this is who I am. This is what we bring. And this is what they should be looking for in my, sort of, product or service or sphere of expertise. A leader doesn't have to do any of those sorts of things. 

They just have to have influence over the group of people that they're leading, that they have set some level of vision for in terms of where they're going. A thought leader, thought leader also has influence, but that influence now goes beyond just the influence of them in their organization. And it grows into social influence on social platforms. 

So they have an expertise, they have a willingness to do, what I call, value in advanced teaching. In other words, I'm going to teach you. I'm going to educate you about what I do long before you ever even become my customer. And because of that, I'm going to build influence on social media. That's what a thought leader does. 

That's what a thought leader does. So, a leader isn't always a thought leader, but a thought leader always is a leader, friends. A thought leader is always a leader, but a leader is not always a thought leader. So the question now becomes, are you a leader and are you ready to grow to becoming a thought leader? 

Do you have expertise? Do you have the willingness to give value in advance to share your expertise and your knowledge to educate? And are you willing to build social influence? That's what it takes to be a thought leader. Are you ready for that? If you are drop me a note, I might be able to help you accomplish that. 

If not, I may even be able to point you in direction of some people who can help you. Alright, everybody. I'll talk to you soon. Bye bye.

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