In my training and coaching sessions I continuously enforce being a thought leader by being imaginative. According to Dictionary.com to imagine means “to form a mental image of; to think, believe, or fancy.” Because we are in an informational age where change has become faster than the speed of light, businesses need to jump on the thought leadership bandwagon.
One of the first things you want to establish is what you want to be known for. This is important because it is the only way to transition from being just a leader to being a thought leader.
You want to be an influential thinker. What you say, what you deliver, and what you sell must be presented in an ingenious manner. According to Denise Brosseau, author of Ready to be a Thought Leader?, thought leaders ignite initiative, programs, companies, or a movement. Thought leaders galvanize others to think new thoughts, modify the way things have been done traditionally, embark on new behaviors and paths, and set out to transform the world.
When you decide to become a thought leader in your industry and your focus is to stand out above of the rest, take into account the problems that you will solve. People do not care about how fabulous your product and/or service is. They want to know what problem it will solve for them.
Always assess your competition. Then be intentionally different. What that means is, you are willing to make the necessary changes needed to give clients what they need and want. A thought leader uses his imagination, ingenuity, and originality to find new ways for his clients to use his product/service.
A client of mine, Deborah Scerbo, Principal of Elegantly Appointed Homes LLC, was struggling with getting new clients in her business. As a stager and re-designer, the marketing plan given to her in design school was to go after realtors, who would refer clients to her. But every stager was told the same thing. After doing this for several years with little results, she decided to come to me for assistance.
Deborah began to think of the clients that needed her service. She also began to assess what she was bringing to them and how her service could transform their house from just being another house being sold to being the home that buyers just had to have.
Her business has tripled in revenue and clientele, her staged homes sell for well over asking price, and her redesign business has catapulted. She set herself apart through imagining her business in a totally different light and becoming a thought leader in her industry. She raised her standards and changed her life as she transforms the lives of her clients. This is a testament that changing your mindset to a thought leadership mindset can actually change your business’s life.