Being a thought leader is establishing a kind of trust between your company, your customers, and even your employees. Thought leaders consistently show that they are on the forefront of their industry – perhaps by developing new products or services, devising new ways to use existing products, or merely acting in a manner that consistently supports and elevates your industry. Such trust is not easy to build, but it can be easily squandered if you’re not careful. Here are three mistakes that can damage or destroy your standing as a thought leader.
Wavering commitment to being a thought leader. Companies don’t become thought leaders by being timid, and one person in one company can rarely present a company as a thought leader all by their lonesome. Becoming a thought leader requires a bold vision and dedication to that vision at all levels. Once you have established your company as a thought leader, you will need to make sure that you remain committed to providing the resources necessary to stay there.
Striving too hard to stay a thought leader. Paradoxical to the previous point, you can put your company in the position of appearing too eager to stay in the forefront. By trotting out half-baked ideas or products, you can seem desperate to push your agenda. Thought leadership shows a confidence in your ideas and vision, and doesn’t require urgency to stay there.
Disparaging your competition. Leaders know they are leaders and don’t need to cut others down to show it. There is room at the top, and by cultivating a policy where “the rising tide lifts all boats” and encouraging ideas in the marketplace, you will show that you are committed to the advancement of your industry, not petty squabbles.
If you avoid these 3 common mistakes, you can help protect and maintain your thought leadership and continue to leverage it to bring success to your organization.