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Thought Leadership: Even if You Never Get There, It’s Worth It

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Matt Green

Preston Clark (@lawinsider) recently gave 7 reasons why you won’t become a thought leader.

  1. You’re already too well established in your field
  2. You don’t have a “voice”
  3. You care more about the outcome than the act (I super agree with this)
  4. You’re going to have to talk/communicate with a A LOT of people
  5. The economics don’t work out
  6. Your particular thought leadership won’t attract clients
  7. You don’t have the experience or insight

The broader reason that most people will never reach “thought leader” status is that not everyone is exceptional.

But the thing is, just the pursuit of thought leadership produces substantial professional benefits. Here they are:

The Pursuit of Thought Leadership Makes you Better at Your Job

If you are consistently communicating your expertise (writing or speaking) to your peers, you will naturally become more of an expert.

I never understand the extent of my knowledge on a subject until I attempt to write it down. During the writing process the knowledge I lack becomes abundantly clear. Then I seek out that missing knowledge. Then, I get smarter and better at my job.

The Pursuit of Thought Leadership Builds a Network

Even if you never attain that massive following that Preston references, surely by consistently writing and speaking about your expertise you will add other like-minded professionals to your network.

This can lead to writing and speaking opportunities which help you reach a wider audience, and could even lead to direct referrals, which is of course the best kind of lead.

The Pursuit of Thought Leadership Gives You Credibility

I have just over 200 Twitter followers, and I’m happy if most of my blog posts reach double digits in social shares, or receive 1 or 2 comments.

But, it is insanely powerful to be able to send a client a link to something I’ve written when they ask me a question on a complex topic. Even if that post has only a few shares or comments, that client thinks “wow, this is dude gives a shit, and knows what he’s talking about”.

The Pursuit of Thought Leadership Puts You Above 95% of Your Competition

All the reasons Preston described why you’ll never become a thought leader are the same reasons that simply pursuing thought leadership will put you ahead of 95% of your competition.

The pursuit of thought leadership requires commitment, passion, intelligence, and tenacity.

Your competitors who decided it was too hard will eat your dust.