I talk a lot about thought leadership in social media. In fact in our Social Media Matrix Stephen Jagger and I label our 5th and highest level engagement “Thought Leadership.” When I talk about social media and thought leadership on my blog, Twitter or live at an event/seminar there’s always a couple of people that moan or whine. They say the word is overused in social media. Funny thing is the term has been around a lot longer than the term “blog” or social media (1994 According to Wikipedia) — it is an integral part of any marketing, community building, or leadership endeavor.
Thought leaders create community, build other leaders, and create unique content that speaks to and helps specific markets. Today’s podcast (direct download here or via iTunes here) discusses thought leadership and it’s importance to marketing, leadership and even your career.
Here’s a SlideShare embed of the model:
As for those that don’t like the term “Thought Leadership” here’s my challenge to you: find me an easy to understand, non-geek or non-tech speak definition that has global appeal and I will gladly use it.
As for the rest of us. Thought leadership is a process of becoming, not an event or clever blog post. Here are a few of my favorite modern day business thought leaders:
- Jeremiah Owyang
- Jay Conrad Levinson
- Arrianna Huffington
- Tim O’Reilly
- Charlene Li
- John C. Maxwell
- Rob Cottingham
- Bruce Philp
Let me know who your favorite thought leaders are.