Show cover of Leveraging Thought Leadership

Leveraging Thought Leadership

Join Peter Winick and Bill Sherman as they host the Leveraging Thought Leadership podcast–a podcast devoted to the business of thought leadership. Peter explores the world how independent thought leaders bring their ideas to scale within the business world. His guests include professional keynote speakers, business book authors, specialty consultants, and business-school academics. Bill investigates the evolving world of organizational thought leadership. His guests include professionals who create, curate, and deploy thought leadership on their organization’s behalf. Throughout the series, Peter and Bill uncover and discuss trends in thought leadership: strategy, technology, and modality. Listen in as they share best practices for creating value, impact, and revenue through thought leadership.


Speak-Up Culture | Stephen "Shed" Shedletzky | 534
Before anyone shares their ideas, feedback, or concerns they tend to ask themselves two questions:  Am I safe to speak?  And is it worth it? If the answer to either of these questions is no, odds are they will stay silent. So how can leaders, teams, and organizations facilitate an environment where speaking up is celebrated and not ignored or punished? Our guest today is Stephen "Shed" Shedletzky, a speaker, leadership coach and advisor who is using his new book Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up to help create a culture where people feel safe and supported to take part in and start conversations. Shed shares how his work with Simon Sinek laid the groundwork for developing his own content that focused on two areas that stood out to him over his years of work:  Psychological safety and living your message. We examine what Psychological safety and Speak-Up Culture mean to Shed and how he is bringing these elements to individual’s, teams, and organizations.  In addition we discuss how psychological safety still comes with accountability, which is best achieved by mutually established agreements that bring what is best for both employee and employer to the front. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Business books are written for two reasons.  It's something you are so good at you want to share that knowledge.  Or you are so bad at it that you need to write a book to fix it. ·         Whatever you message is you have to live it inside and outside of your organization.  If you talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk people will see right through you. ·         When people don’t feel like speaking up will have an effect they become apathetic.  When they don’t feel safe they stay silent. Creating an environment where employees can speak and be heard can create a happier and higher functioning atmosphere.
22:06 11/30/23
Diving Into the World of Thought Leadership | Kon Apostolopoulos | 533
The journey of a thought leader often involves moving from being a subject matter expert inside the house, going from room to room sharpening various skills, to eventually leaving the house and applying all of those skills to the greater neighborhood you’ve always lived in. Kon Apostolopoulos is the Founder and CEO of Fresh Biz Solutions. He's been helping businesses achieve strategic goals for more than 20 years by preparing people for the right leadership roles. In addition, Kon is the co-author of 7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis: A Practical Guide to Emotionally Dealing with Pandemics & Other Disasters, a guide to help readers through crisis both personal and global. Kon takes us through a series of milestones, including publishing his first book, having to take that material to scale, and finding success that had his audience asking new questions — forcing him to continually expand his thinking and problem-solving. We explore the way thought leadership needs to move the audience further along than they are.  Kon explains how this often means having to speak in simplified terms that allow you to break through both ego and preconceived notions.  We learn how this can only be accomplished by understanding your audience, where they are, and where they need you to take them. Three Key Takeaways: ·         There are two parts to thought leadership.  The idea and thought part.  And the action and external part.  They are symbiotic and necessary to each other to create content that is actionable. ·         Thought leadership needs to move the audience further along than they are.  The conversation doesn't have to go from 1 - 100, but you have to move the audience at least from 1 to 2 and beyond. ·         Sometimes the best way to break through adult egos and preconceived notions is to present complex ideas in simple ways.
28:35 11/26/23
Threading the Needle of Thought Leadership | Nora DePalma | 532
Topics like climate change can be a hot button issue in discussions.  So how can you deliver thought leadership on controversial topics without disengaging various portions of your audience? In order to thread that difficult needle, I’ve invited Nora DePalma to join me. Nora is the CEO of Dialogue, a modern PR firm that builds value for organizations seeking to advance climate solutions. Nora starts the conversation by sharing how discussing climate solutions instead of climate change helps to shape the conversation, allowing them to start a dialogue without turning off certain parties that might be needed in order to meet their goals. Once your audience is open to hearing what you have to say you’ll need to be prepared for what comes next.  Nora explains how you need to tie activity to business outcomes and understand what action you want them to take next, moving them deeper into your content but not necessarily leading them into a sales funnel.  She shares why not every call to action has to lead to sales and why education and relationship building can be as powerful and lead to sales in other ways. Nora provides great advice and examples of how to deliver complex thought leadership that tactfully opens the door to deeper, more meaningful conversations. Three Key Takeaways: ·         In addition to understanding your audience and shaping the conversation you have to deliver your ideas with authenticity and passion.  Otherwise, they are likely to tune out. ·         Not all calls to action have to lead into the sales funnel. They can be a call to education, or to further a relationship. ·         You have to earn people's attention.  That is how you build trust and sustain relationships.
33:31 11/19/23
Writing a Better Business Book | Josh Bernoff | 531
A lot of thought leaders have written books, eager to get their insights out into the world. Yet many start the task without having a well-defined plan for what comes next!   Our guest today has literally written the book on writing thought leadership books! “Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write and Promote a Book That Matters” is the work of the amazing Josh Bernoff, and we can’t think of a better person to help nonfiction authors succeed. In order to help authors find success, they first have to understand what that means to them. Josh explains how success can look differently to each author and often is unrelated to the quantity of books sold.  Success can take the form of launching a speaking career, generating leads, or purely having a book that makes you the authority in your field. Once you know what sort of success you want, you’ll need to plan beyond the book. Josh shares how many authors don’t look beyond the launch of their book and become disappointed when nothing happens. However, those that properly promote their book, and have scalable plans in place for after the book is launched, can take their business to the next level. If you have an idea for a book, but you're not sure if it checks the boxes of "big, right, and new," then this episode will guide you on your journey. Three Key Takeaways: ·         For authors the success of a book is typically not measured in sales but in the additional business generated from the book. ·         Before you publish a book have a plan to define yourself beyond the book. ·         Tradition, hybrid, and self-publishing all have pros and cons.  You have to understand the needs of your book to find the right fit.
20:10 11/16/23
Culture as a Strategic Tool | Clint Tripodi | 530
Could poor leadership have a direct impact on workers' insurance claims? Today, we go outside the box by discussing insurance with Clint Tripodi. Clint is a National Practice Leader for The Liberty Company where they are changing the way business leaders look at and think about insurance - through the use of thought leadership. While insurance is often thought of as "mundane," Clint shares what his company found when they tracked leadership's impact on workplace culture, and why they are looking to find the root issues, in order to mitigate risks downstream. Through data analytics, Clint is able to see where claims have an impact, and then go directly to the root of the problem, which is often a lack of leadership. Clint uses data analytics to show the way poor leadership has an effect on workers' compensation claims as well as employee retention, and ultimately, ROI. Clint helps us understand how the culture of wellness at Liberty is being spread to their clients through thought leadership that sets them apart from and above the competition! Three Key Takeaways: ·         Culture is a strategic tool and insurance can help you drive that strategy. ·         When working in a highly commoditized market you have to position yourself as a business partner, not just a solution. ·         Data analytics can help to identify problems so that you can go upstream and fix them at the source.
16:30 11/9/23
The Democratization of Understanding| Mahan Tavakoli | 529
If Generative AI is fed all writing on the internet, then when you ask it a question, it can give you a good answer.  Or at least an answer that is good enough. For this reason, good enough is no longer good enough. To discern the role Generative AI can play on the future of thought leadership I’ve invited Mahan Tavakoli to join me.  Mahan is the CEO of Strategic Leadership Ventures which helps people become the sort of leader people want to follow.  He is also the host of the Partnering Leadership where you can learn the leadership journeys of successful CEOs and the top global thought leaders. Our conversation with Mahan starts with getting an understanding of both generative AI and what we would call good ideas. From there we explore how asking the right questions is the secret to getting useful knowledge out of either. While asking the right questions of AI can allows us a great understanding of the vast amount of data in our organizations, the right questions of an idea can discover the power of differentiation and niches. If you’re looking to expand your use or understanding of AI and how we can unlock the power of our ideas this is a great episode for you. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Part of thought leadership is marrying the ideas of others to see new patterns.  ·         When we think we know the answer, we don't ask the simple fundamental questions that can unveil new insights.  ·         The power comes from the differentiation and the niches.  Rather than the belief that you need to go wide.
36:35 11/5/23
Moving from Corporate to Solo Thought Leadership| Dan Pontefract | 528
Moving from internal thought leadership to being a solo act means having to take on a lot of new roles. Marketing, research, and publishing all fall on your shoulders now. Are you prepared? Today our guest is Dan Pontefract, who, after a long prosperous career at companies like Telus, struck out on his own as a leadership strategist, change expert, keynote speaker, and award-winning author.  His fifth book Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team that Flourishes will be released in November of 2023. Dan shares his journey from working at Telus as Chief Learning Officer, using the company as a lab with the ability to real-time test ideas to teaching the models he helped create internally, to external companies guiding others through leadership development and culture change. As an author much has changed over the ten years since his first book was published.  Dan shares his experience both with untrustworthy and fantastic partners in publishing.  In addition, he explains why you should be ready to market the book yourself, the big differences between self, hybrid, and traditional publishing! If you are just getting started or about to break out from corporate thought leadership, Dan provides valuable advice for thought leaders at any stage!  Three Key Takeaways: ·         When doing market research look at others in your sphere at your level.  Then look at those above you and determine what sets them apart. What can you learn from what they are doing? ·         Be continually and continuously adding to your body of work. ·         Thought leadership can take a product that might not land you a meeting, and open the door to a more interesting conversation.
31:33 11/2/23
Learning to Lose Powerfully | Don Schmincke | 527
What happens when the tools we use to analyze and take control of our environments become the cause of our destruction? Is your company using the tools they have at their disposal? Or are the tools using you? Our guest today is Don Schmincke an explorer, researcher, and partner with The Pacific Institute.  He is also the author of Winners and Losers: Entrepreneurial Lessons from 30,000 CEOs on How to Come Out on Top, which teaches entrepreneurs how to win powerfully! Our conversation begins with Don telling us how he went from almost dropping out of high school, to learning technology and ultimately strategy and leadership. While working at Johns Hopkins he began to find an astonishingly high failure rate in management theory – and he knew he could help. Don goes on to explain the seduction of tools.  Why we believe they can save us, allowing us to analyze and control our environments.  And how we can easily fall to letting the tools use us because without altering human decision making through true transition, the tools won’t change the choices we make. With such a high failure rate many might think diving into the entrepreneurial pool would be foolhardy. However, Don gives us hope by telling us about losing powerfully – taking the loss and learning from it, picking ourselves up and becoming stronger from it. Three Key Takeaways: ·         It doesn't matter how good your theory is if it doesn't have a measurable impact. ·         We get seduced by our tools because we think they will save us.  But without changing how we think the tools won’t change the outcome. ·         Formulation without execution is just a good idea on a shelf.
30:23 10/29/23
Creating Engagement for Ideas| Scott Gould | 526
How does a thought leader get an audience to take notice, remember, and actively use the content you are putting out? To get a firm grasp of exactly what engagement means and how to get your audience there, I’ve invited Scott Gould to join me. Scott is a consultant, speaker, and author of The Shape of Engagement: The Art of Building Enduring Connections with Your Customers, Employees, and Communities. Our conversation begins with Scott not only defining what engagement is but how he has broken out into three types. Head, Hands, and Heart engagement – while each is very different, we learn how they act as building blocks on each other to create deeper connections between you, your idea, and your audience. A big part of having an audience become engaged is presenting an idea that is easy to understand and remember. Scott shares his process for distilling an idea down to the essentials, which sometimes means blowing the idea up to something huge first! In this episode Scott offers great insight for taking ideas from brainstorm to living at the heart of an audience! Three Key Takeaways: ·         Properly defining the topic you want your thought leadership to center around is one of the biggest jobs that you have. ·         The name of an idea is incredibly important. People engage with ideas when it is easy to remember the essence of that idea. ·         Sharpening ideas to the finest point often involves discarding ideas that you like but don’t connect with your audience.
33:46 10/22/23
Taking Evergreen Content to New Heights | Christian " Boo" Boucousis | 525
The past few years have seen shake-ups in almost every aspect of thought leadership. Big challenges can - and have - pushed a lot of people out of the field. But what some call a "big challenge" is everyday fare to a fighter pilot. Our guest today is Christian " Boo" Boucousis, a former fighter pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force. He's an inspirational keynote speaker, author, and CEO of Afterburner; an org that helps corporate teams execute with the same precision and accuracy as elite pilots. After Boo’s Air Force career ended he reinvented himself numerous times by transforming his ways of thinking and working using the skills he acquired as a fighter pilot. This eventually led to the purchase of Afterburner a globally connected group of current and former fighter pilots, U.S. Navy Seals, and other elite military professionals that use the discipline and strategy developed in their previous careers to enable organizations to achieve new levels of success. Much of the Afterburner experience came from in-person speaking, which instantly became impossible when COVID shut the world down.  Boo, shares how he led his company through the turbulent time, moving to virtual mediums to deliver immersive movie-quality experiences. As an author and speaker, Boo is keenly aware that audiences have a shrinking attention span. He shares advice for understanding the differences between information, knowledge, and wisdom – and how to walk your audience through those phases over various modalities using humor and emotion to keep the audience's attention. If you are in need of advice for making your content soar, this episode is the one for you. Three Key Takeaways: ·         As a thought leader you should be infinitely curious.  Not just about your domain but about how you communicate that information. ·         You need to be versatile with your content. Delivering important and valuable information but also including humor and things that maintain the audience's attention. ·         We remember what we feel more than we remember what we see or hear.  That is why you have to evoke an emotion that is connected to the message.
23:37 10/19/23
Advice for Life and Leadership | Mark Goulston | 524
Death is a natural part of life, but our ideas and dreams can live beyond us - and be an inspiration for generations to come. Today, our guest is a dear friend and mentor, Dr. Mark Goulston. During his long career, Mark moved from being a psychiatrist and FBI hostage negotiator to being one of the most highly regarded coaches and keynote speakers in the business. He helps companies and individuals gain deeper self-awareness, and grow as leaders. Now Mark is facing his most difficult challenge yet.     Having been diagnosed with a condition that leads to acute myeloid leukemia, Mark is learning not only to accept his diagnosis, but also, how to walk the road ahead with grace. More, Mark is sharing that knowledge, and the lessons he's learned through life experience, to help others. Mark discusses how he is able to have a good death because he has lived a good life.  But what does a good life look like?  Mark shares how he is focusing on the things that really matter in life, the need to hire and connect with people that share compatible values, and how his life as a psychiatrist has translated to corporate leadership. In this frank and open conversation Mark gives advice for life, death, and leadership. It's a must-experience episode that celebrates life, and how our journey can help others - even generations after we have passed on.
30:46 10/12/23
Using Inclusive Language to Communicate More Effectively| Dr. Suzanne Wertheim | 523
Part of thought leadership is making the invisible, visible. When that happens, it can challenge beliefs and make people uncomfortable and defensive. So, how can you break through feelings, and make change deeply significant to that future? Our guest today is Dr. Suzanne Wertheim, the Founder, and CEO of Worthwhile Research & Consulting, where she uses her expertise to improve hiring, organizational culture, engagement and retention. She is also the author of The Inclusive Language Field Guide: 6 Simple Principles for Avoiding Painful Mistakes and Communicating Respectfully, which is filled with real-world examples and exercise that can help boost your inclusive language skills. As a linguistic anthropologist, Dr. Wertheim has been researching and studying the intersection of language, power and culture for decades.  She shares how linguistics, like thought leadership, is about recognizing patterns. Accomplishing this can be a difficult task, as people realize they might not be as inclusive as they had believed. Suzanne explains what inclusive language is and why it matters.  We learn how language is social action and the building blocks of how we create, maintain, and end relationships. She shares the six principles found in her book that can be worked on in order to better our own use of inclusive language.  In addition she gives real life examples of how the wrong wording can cause a deal to go south, as well as how inclusive language can repair that damage. If you want a better understanding of inclusive language as well as how you can move from being able to identify those problems to acting differently this is a must listen episode. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Just because something is simple to describe does not mean it is easy or effortless to implement. ·         Inclusive language is like learning any new language.  It takes time and practice to become good at seeing it and changing behavior. ·         A lack of inclusive language can force great employees to leave for greener pastures. This is one of the many reasons leaders need a better understanding of what is acceptable language.
40:57 10/8/23
Scaling Ideas for Impact | Jennifer Dulski | 522
Thought leaders are often torn between scale and depth.Scale allows you to reach a large audience, while depth allows you to have massive impact. So, where's the happy medium? Today’s guest is Jennifer Dulski, the CEO and founder at Rising Team which blends experience and science to help leaders ensure people on their teams feel valued, motivated, and connected.  In addition, she is the bestselling author of “Purposeful: Are You A Manager or A Movement Starter?” The book provides invaluable resources for leaders who want to step up and make a difference. Jennifer has had a number of roles in her career from entrepreneur for a non-profit start-up, high school teacher, and executive leadership roles at Facebook, Google, and Yahoo.  We learn how all of these roles have given her the experience to take her passion for creating a happy and successful high-performing team to scale using technology. Often thought leaders believe they have to stick to a single domain, but Jennifer shares how her varied career has allowed her to adjust, grow, and change her domain expertise over time as her own experience has developed through both success and mistakes in the field. Our conversation wraps up by discussing putting content into various modalities and how using LinkedIn, being an educator, and writing a book all play together.  Jennifer explains how the book and book talks helped to tighten up her content and give her credibility while bite-sized portions of that content go out on LinkedIn to have larger engagements with her audience. Jennifer shares useful information on taking ideas to scale and leveraging a book to create a deep impact on your audience. Three Key Takeaways: ·         You don't have to be a thought leader in only one domain.  You can grow your thought leadership in multiple domains as your experience grows. ·         Having successes and mistakes are both part of the thought leadership journey. ·         A book can help you solidify your ideas and present them in the clearest way, which you can then build additional product offerings.
21:28 10/5/23
Taking New Ideas to Market | Pete O'Heeron | 521
How do you get people to think about new ideas?And then, how do you move your audience from thinking - to buying? To examine how ideas go from brainstorming to industry-changing, I’ve invited Pete O'Heeron to join me for today's podcast.  Pete is the Founder and CEO of FibroBiologics, a leading biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing fibroblast cell-based therapies. We kick the conversation off discussing how Fibroblast has gone from a few peer reviewed papers a year to dozens each week in the span of a mere eight years. Pete helps us understand exactly what fibroblast cells are and why the amount of interest and important research for them has spiked. Not only is research into fibroblast cells new but the work Pete is doing at FibroBiologics is going in directions no one else is. Pete discusses why they are doing work no one else is and how the research and science are the mechanics that steer the direction of the company. Working on such new and cutting edge ideas often means having to convert people from no, to yes. Pete shares how their scientific discovery board is made up of world leaders in stem cell research, which gives the work they do a great deal of credibility. This creates an opportunity to start conversations that spark interest in what the company is doing and allows the science to sell itself as people dig into these new ideas. Pete offers great insight into how to take new niche ideas from prototype to market and have conversations that draws your audience in. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Allowing research and science to dictate the direction of your company can take you in new directions. ·         Getting new ideas out means starting a conversation with the points that will spark interest. After that follow with research and science that can’t be disputed. ·         Having a board within your company that is filled with respected professionals will give the new ideas you produce a level of credibility that others might not have.
29:49 10/2/23
Starting Thought Leadership Early | Vaishali Dialani | 520
An investment in thought leadership - for yourself or your org - compounds over time. Starting earlier in your career will have a greater impact. So what's stopping you from getting started? For today's episode, I've invited Vaishali Dialani to chat with us. Vaishali is a Senior Customer Experience Strategist at Konabos Consulting; a full-service, end-to-end, digital experience solutions agency. Vaishali paints a picture of her earliest journey in thought leadership by participating in everything she could find, and every event possible – often leading events, even though it was early in her education and career. By taking these initiatives she was able to get speaking and presenting opportunities that strengthened her confidence and opened the door to networking prospects. Meeting a connection at a conference is great but you need to follow up to foster that new relationship.  Vaishali shares how she does active outreach, reaching out via LinkedIn to grow her network.  She goes beyond people she has met in person and explains what you should be looking for in a contact before reaching out. Finally, Vaishali shares how growing up in India and being from a blended family gives her unique perspectives that she uses to enhance her Customer Experience (CX) work.  We learn how her personality not only affects the CX work she does but also how her personality is blended directly into the work.  In this episode Vaishali shares incredible advice for starting the thought leadership experience, excelling at customer experience, and nurturing a network of value.  Three Key Takeaways: ·         Thought Leadership doesn't have to be industry changing ideas.  If you have thoughts and opinions - share them! ·         You are never going to know everything about your field of expertise.  Share what you know now, you can share now. ·         People don't invest enough in learning.  You can never know enough and can always be sharpening your craft.
30:17 9/24/23
Elevating the Event Space | Kraig Kleeman | 519
All right, thoughtleaders – be honest. Have you ever nodded off a little during a presentation? Now imagine a conference filled with rock and roll, choreographed numbers, and comedy. That’s a presentation you’d sit up and pay attention to! Our guest today is Kraig Kleeman, the founder and Executive Producer for Rock the C-Suite a production company that brings electrifying original and relevant musical performances to corporate events.  In addition, he is the author of The Must-React System: User's Guide to Prospecting C-Suite Executives which provides a strategy for winning meetings with senior executives. Kraig shares where the inspiration for Rock the C-Suite came from and how corporate messaging is better received through the performing arts. He describes the high energy performances he produces that can be the main stage of a conference delivering an audience-focused show that provides researched topics that mean the most to those putting on the event. Before Kraig was rocking the stage he had authored The Must-React System and he explains why when doing outreach leading with value proposition and product benefit language might seem intuitive it actually isn’t the most effective method.  In fact, providing fact-based briefings combined with smart questions can allow the potential client to map your research to their own experiences and advance you to the next step! Kraig provides great advice for landing meetings with executives and creating high-octane events that any company can take advantage of. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Conference producers should prioritize the well-being of the audience over the distribution of information.  If the audience has zoned out, they will not take in the information. ·         When crafting content for a conference make sure to collaborate with the event owner to really dial in a deliverable that is effective for them and their audience. ·         Cold call outreach to executives will have greater success if you lead with fact based research and not value proposition
18:24 9/21/23
Designing Data Governance | Lauren Maffeo | 518
Data Governance may not sound exciting - but it's critical! It covers how your company produces, consumes, collects, and destroys data.   So, with businesses generating and using more data than ever,  why is this role so often forgotten? Our guest today is Lauren Maffeo, Author of "Designing Data Governance from the Ground Up" and an adjunct Lecturer of Design at The George Washington University. Lauren sets the tone for us by explaining what Data Governance is and how too much data is produced for one person or even a single team to own it all.  Lauren lays out how you can create data points from subject matter experts around key areas of data your company produces or ingests, such as Sales, Marketing, and Customer Data; each of which can then have sub-sets to provide even more structure. Lauren shares why you need to understand how data works in the subject matter expert’s day to day job and how data governance will help them do their job more effectively. In addition, we learn about data dictionaries and the big part they play in data governance and enablement efforts to ensure clarity is provided across domains on the exact meaning of terms that might have different meanings depending on the context. Three Key Takeaways: ·         The biggest challenge to doing data governance well is having a thought leadership strategy around it to get other colleagues on board. ·         There is too much data produced today for one person or one team to own all of it.  You need to make it a collective effort across technical and non-technical roles. ·         You can not succeed in sales, marketing, or customer success without data.
31:11 9/17/23
From Basketball to Books | Owen Sammarone | 517
The road to becoming a Thought Leader is never a straight one.  So going from college basketball coach to book influencer might not seem that odd. Still, the map to get there is fascinating! Our guest today is Owen Sammarone the Founder and CEO of Unleash the Knowledge, LLC; an online, educational community of lifelong learners and avid readers helping authors reach a larger audience. Having a business based around books you might assume Owen has a background in publishing or marketing, but he was previously a graduate assistant with the UConn men’s basketball program.  Owen shares that while he loved basketball his true passion came from the self-development habits of coaches. Owen began to explore what his coach was reading and listening to, then sharing the takeaways he found on Instagram, nurturing a following of self-development junkies.  After Owen was contacted by a heart doctor, seeking to pay for promotion of his new book to Owen’s followers he realized Unleash the Knowledge could be more than a social media platform.  IT could become a business model. Through this episode Owen shares his journey growing his platform and finding his footing as well as tips you can use to grow your own social media platform!  Three Key Takeaways: ·         In order to grow a social media platform you need to create a niche that works for your audience and provides value. ·         Certain social media platforms tend to skew towards certain trends or topics.  That doesn’t mean you can’t grow a successful audience outside those bubbles if you are dedicated to it. ·         Growing a platform requires consistency.  You can’t just post when you need something from your audience.
19:52 9/14/23
Straddling the Worlds of Front and Back of House | Curtis Bateman | 516
There are few thought leaders who work behind the scenes to create, develop, and deploy programs while simultaneously being the face of the brand. What does it take to find success on both ends? Today we’ve invited internationally recognized presenter, content developer, business leader and coach Curtis Bateman!  He is currently the Vice President of International Direct Offices at FranklinCovey, and was previously the President and CEO of Red Tree Leadership before orchestrated a buyout to FranklinCovey. With few thought leaders working both the back and front of the house, Curtis gives us some insights into what it takes to be successful doing both.  He tells us about the passion and extra hours that are required to practice what you preach.  However creating doesn’t have to be a solo job, in fact, Curtis shares how having Brain Buddies can help sharpen your skills.  Having a knowledgeable team around you to help research stories and ideas as well as draft or polish content creates a high quality end product. Curtis tells us how being in the market place every day while creating content creates a constant cycle of feedback as content goes out to the audience, gets live reactions, and can be revised based on that input. This system has been used to pressure test everything from their framework to his newest book Change: How to Turn Uncertainty Into Opportunity. Having had a boutique company that exited to FranklinCovey, Curtis fully understands what it takes to position yourself for acquisition.  While each instance is different Curtis shares how having principle-based content that matched up with the prospective buyer, having a Fortune 50 client, and thought leaders with significant industry experience that were capable of making contributions inside the new organization all played a role in a successful acquisition.  Three Key Takeaways: ·         Content creation doesn’t have to be a single player game.  By working with others you can polish your skills and elevate your content. ·         Taking ideas to your audience and revising based on feedback can give you real time advice on where the market agrees or disagrees with your content. ·         Exiting a boutique firm for a bigger company means you don’t get to touch every aspect of the business anymore.  You have to learn to trust others.
18:29 9/7/23
From Product Offering to A-Ha!| Martha Orellana | 515
How do you get attention for a product that could be used by millions but few are aware of without having a massive marketing budget? Thought leadership! Our guest today is Martha Orellana, Vice President of Marketing for MrSteam, a company that converts regular showers into steam showers in personal residence as well as gyms and spas. While most people have heard of a steam shower, few would imagine that you could have one in your home or that people have had them for decades.  Martha shares the history of MrSteam and the challenges they faced getting people to know they could have such a product in their own home.  By targeting and educating architects, plumbers, and designers MrSteam was able to create a chain that not only knew about their offerings but became champions of it! When it came to educating the professionals that would be installing and selling their products Martha went beyond information sessions or bookwork, creating elegant invitations to Camp Feelgood, hosted at high end hotels where they would not only explain the health benefits of steam showers, but spend time in them providing a luxury experience they could then speak directly to when answering questions of future clients. Martha offers great insights into reaching new audiences and differentiating yourself from the pack by using interesting, dramatic, and meaningful tactics. Three Key Takeaways: ·         When you don’t have a massive marketing budget, solid thought leadership can allow you to punch above your weight class. ·         When getting the message about your offering out you have to target the right audience.  By going after the professionals between you and your product you can educate the supply chain and create champions. ·         Theatric and dramatic visuals can often help grab the audience’s attention and allow you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
25:33 9/3/23
Aligning the Goals of Publisher and Author | Katie Anderson | 514
Publishers often look at books as seasonal, but an author needs to look at their book as a long term investment. What should you be thinking of a year before publishing, and how can your book help your business - even years after it was released? I’ve invited Katie Anderson, internationally recognized leadership coach, consultant, speaker, and founder of Katie Anderson Consulting to join me. At the time of this recording, Katie was celebrating the three year anniversary of her book, Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning. Katie’s journey into thought leadership literally took her around the world, from California to Australia and then to Japan, where she had the unique opportunity to partner with Isao Yoshino, a 40-year Toyota Motor Corporation leader. This time spent together became the fuel for her book, Learning to Lead, in which she weaves together Mr. Yoshino’s heartwarming and deeply reflective stories of personal discovery and organizational history, and offers her own unique perspective, with the intention of helping others learn to lead and lead to learn. In the year leading up to publishing the book, Katie had a lot of big decisions to make. Katie shares how she was introduced to traditional publishers both big and small, but ultimately chose to self-publish. We learn the importance of having the goals of the publisher align with those of the author, and how an author can maintain control over the message and look of the book. Now, three years after publishing, Katie shares the impact the book has had on her business and what she did to ensure it found its way into the right hands. She talks about sharing stories from the book and doing so from the heart, without a focus on selling units, but with a passion for the lessons that can be learned and the impact and value the book can have for others. Three Key Takeaways: * You need to have a full understanding of the purpose of your book.  Allow that purpose to influence the choices around publishing, look, and feel. * There needs to be complete alignment between a publisher and author.  If you can’t find that perhaps another publishing method would better suit you. * When self-publishing it is still important to hire professionals to do the work you are not good at.  This will ensure a polished end product.
16:24 8/31/23
Elevating Thought Leadership in Any Size Organization | Dr. Karthik Nagendra
You need top talent to start a thought leadership function in your organization. But what if that talent already exists in your org?  Whether you are responsible for starting a thought leadership function at a startup, or at a large company, you need to have the right talent, the right org support, and the right metrics to define success. In today's episode, we're chatting with Dr. Karthik Nagendra, Founder and CEO of ThoughtStarters, the first thought leadership marketing company in Asia. He's also the author of The Thought Leader Way: Leading Your Business with Thought Leadership in an Altered World, which details his experience and journey as a thought leader, and offers mental blueprints for helping new thought leaders and their teams excel. Karthik takes us back to 2007, when he first started doing thought leadership at a startup in an emerging field. He shares how an assessment they created boosted the profile of the organization, and shaped the engineering industry as a whole. Moving onto larger corporate thought leadership roles, Karthik shares how he helped stand up thought leadership as a research wing. He worked to identify internal subject matter experts and help them "come out of the shadows" and share their knowledge and passion. This partnership led to co-created white papers and other content that elevated organizational awareness while increasing their credibility. We also discuss category creation and the need to continue to look forward, finding new ways to solve old problems. Karthik discusses how we often keep doing things the same old way, even if that way might not be as effective as it once was.  He explains how he’s helped take salespeople down a journey of exploration and experimentation, to a point where it influences their peers to seek newer methods as well. This episode tackles thought leadership from both a large and small scale, and offers advice for leaders, sales teams, marketing, and researchers alike! Three Key Takeaways: *  When starting a thought leadership function look internally for experts who are eager to share their knowledge and passion.  Then give them a platform to do so. *   The buy-in from senior leadership is key when starting thought leadership.  If they don’t believe in working for the long game, then thought leadership won’t be effective. *   If you are asking poor questions you are going to get poor answers.  And if you are creating thought leadership from those answers, people are going to think you’re a poor thought leader.
34:49 8/27/23
Building a Business from Book to Exit | Michael Bungay Stanier | 512
Thought leading is a busy life! You write books, travel for keynote speaking, network with other experts and create lots of content.  However, that means your business is limited to your personal time! So, what can you do to help your content sell itself? Our guest today has excelled at everything "thought leadership," including the ability to remove himself from the day to day of a business he built. Michael Bungay Stainer is the best-selling author of The Coaching Habit, a renowned keynote speaker, and Founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that provides training to enterprise companies. With Michael’s newest book How to Work with (Almost) Anyone: Five Questions for Building the Best Possible Relationships having just hit the shelf we start our conversation discussing the phases of a book launch and how marketing a book is more than marketing just the book.  He shares how a book can become the gateway to your larger ecosystem.  Michael gives the pros and cons of traditional and hybrid publishing as well as why you need to treat your book like starting a business, giving it at least 2 – 3 years to flourish and grow. In addition to being an author Michael knows the keynote speaking side of the business sharing how at the best of times focusing on speaking can be lucrative, ending with standing ovations and nice hotel rooms.  However it can also mean hundreds of days on the road, airport delays, and fatigue.  We learn the criteria Michael uses for saying Yes to a possible gig and how speaking can fit into your business model. Books and speaking are powerful tools for spreading thought leadership but how can your business go on without you writing and speaking? As the Founder of Box of Crayons, Michael ensured the company benefitted from his best-selling books and reputation, but also ensured the sales training could stand without him.  He shares both the B2B and B2C strategy that is allowing him to work 1 hour a month for Box of Crayons without the company falling apart in his absence. This episode is a master class on everything a thought leader needs to know to ensure not only the success of their personal brand, but the company they someday will leave behind.  Three Key Takeaways: ·         It is really hard to write a book.  Except compared to marketing a book.  It's really hard to market a book... except compared to getting people to read a book. ·         Hybrid publishing means you are the executive editor of your book.  You get to call it what you want and give it the look and feel you want.   ·         As time goes on you need to watch the market and see if your target avatars have changed.  When they do you may need to update your content and offers to accommodate their growing needs.
33:03 8/20/23
Becoming a Legendary Podcast Guest | Dana Lindahl | 511
You've been invited as a guest on a podcast! How exciting! But... what now? What should you say, and how do you use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on your best ideas?   Our guest today is Dana Lindahl, the Founder and CEO of Legendary Podcasts, an agency that helps clients get booked on podcasts, so they can increase their visibility, brand, and legacy! Being a guest on a podcast can be of tremendous benefit to your thought leadership.  Dana explains how most clients are seeking to increase their exposure, create brand awareness, and generate leads.  Many believe being on a podcast with a larger audience is the way to do this but Dana clarifies why a smaller audience is the one that needs to hear your message the most can have more impact. Getting booked on a podcast often means doing a quick call beforehand to ensure what the guest has to offer fits the needs of the host's show. We discover how a shockingly low number of potential guests have taken the time to listen to the show they are seeking to be on.  Dana tells us why this is a critical mistake that can lead to the guest being passed over.  The host/guest relationship needs to be a mutual one where the guest is providing valuable information to the host’s audience.  If both ends are not getting something out of the interview it might not be the right fit. Finally, Dana takes us beyond the podcast interview to the benefits that can blossom afterward.  A guest appearance is more than a way to reach a larger audience it is a unique networking opportunity where the host and guest can find further ways to work together, share their network, and help each other.  However, if only one side is doing the work the relationship will fail leading to missed opportunities. If you are looking to be a guest on podcasts, you’ll want to check out this link where Dana has collected valuable information you can put to use in your quest to become a legendary guest! Three Key Takeaways: * A podcast that directly speaks to the audience you want to reach most is more powerful than a larger more general audience. *  When seeking to be a guest on a podcast research both the show and the host. Listen to the previous episode to identify how you can provide value to their audience. * The value of a podcast doesn’t have to be one-and-done.  The episode can be repurposed into blog posts, infographics, and sound bites continuing to provide content for weeks.
18:17 8/17/23
Allies and Ambassadors | Morag Barrett, Kerry-Ann Stimpson, Jacqueline Jodl and Haylie Wrubel | 510
We’ve all heard the saying, "many hands make light work."  Can collaborating help thought leadership content reach scale and create greater impact? In today’s episode, we discuss the critical impact of allies and ambassadors in thought leadership. We highlight valuable conversations from past guests that truly understand that collaboration with influencers and others can significantly elevate a brand or idea. Morag Barrett is the Founder and CEO of Skye Team. She helps us define what allies and ambassadors are and how they can help take ideas to scale or even create a movement that would be unachievable alone. Kerry-Ann Stimpson, Chief Marketing Officer at The JMMB Group shares how the influence of a corporate brand can be expanded by working in tandem to build personal brands of the employees. We learn how this creates new ways for the audience to interact with the brand while increasing confidence and trust in both brands. Jacqueline Jodl, Senior Vice President of Global Youth & Education, and Haylie Wrubel, Director of Global Unified Champion Schools discuss the importance of allies and ambassadors to the Special Olympics. They share how they seek out thought leaders that are sharing message which run parallel to their own, then co-create content to reach a larger audience with the message.   Three Key Takeaways: * Personal brands can be good for corporate brands.  Don’t feel the need to micro-manage employees who are building their own brand.  Instead, work with them to align the goals of the individual with the organization. * Allies and ambassadors often create a greater level of trust in a brand.   People trust individuals faster than organizations. * Having brand ambassadors is a great way to be better in tune with what is being said about your brand.
17:59 8/13/23
Short Form vs Long From Reach and Impact | Henry Mintzberg | 509
If fewer people are buying and reading books, why should a thought leader write one? Today we delve into the world of authorship and publishing with Henry Mintzberg. Henry is a Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University and the author of more than 20 books including Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development and Simply Managing: What Managers Do - and Can Do Better. Our conversation starts by discussing where you find the value in writing a book. Whether it be the intrinsic value of codifying your thought leadership or the extrinsic value of higher engagement and client acquisition. Henry shares with us his compulsion to write books, regardless of if they succeed or not. He discusses how a few newer books have not done as well as expected and how difficult topics like climate change might play a part in those results. When publishing about important, but hard topics that many would rather not think about how do you get your message out?  Henry talks about expanding into new modalities to capture the audience’s attention and how hard it is to get uninterrupted attention for your topic.  He explains how interruption is just one of the reasons a book can have a bigger impact than articles, even if the book reaches only a fraction of the audience a short-form piece might. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Reaching ten thousand people with a book can be far more influential than reaching one hundred thousand people with an article. ·         A publication date is not a measurement of value.  Many books continue to be relevant years after their publication. ·         Do what is in your heart.  Don't let anyone talk you into something else because you will end up doing it badly.
19:30 8/11/23
Building Capabilities for Change Management | Tim Creasey | 508
If you’re going to practice thought leadership, you need good instincts. You’ve also got to ask good questions! To discuss how thought leadership can be beneficial in change management I’ve invited The Chief Innovation Officer at Prosci, Tim Creasey to join me.  In addition to his work helping individuals and organizations build their own capabilities in change management, Tim is the author of Change Management: The People Side of Change. For Tim and Prosci, creating thought leadership starts with pattern recognition and identification.  By asking questions of hundreds of people and documenting their answers you are able to start to see the patterns that already exist and get input on how to create impactful change. Only then can you synthesize the information into content that is actionable and accessible. Creating content that can have a positive impact goes beyond research and a good idea. What you make has to be relevant to the audience and suited to their knowledge level.  Tim discusses setting a contextual anchor for the conversation and using different modalities to reach the audience where they are comfortable and in a way they can understand. Three Key Takeaways: ·         Thought leadership comes from a lot of hard work, and asking smart questions.  Then discerning the patterns that others can act on. ·         There is an art to asking the nuanced questions that are going to yield the insights you are looking for.  ·         Creating good thought leadership comes from collecting data, analyzing it, and then turning those findings into actionable content that is easily accessible.  
19:02 8/3/23
Connecting Thought Leadership to Sales and Lead Generation | Dani Buckley | 507
Thought leadership is a great source for lead generation. So how do you create content that a sales team can easily access and assess?   And how can you measure the success of it? To discuss these topics I’ve invited Dani Buckley the Vice President and General Manager of LeadG2 to join me.  LeadG2 is a sales performance agency helping businesses sell smarter and faster.  Dani is also the host of the podcast Sell Smarter, Sell Faster where she offers insights, strategies, and real-world examples to help her audience take sales enablement to the next level. Our conversation begins by establishing a baseline of how thought leadership and lead gen intersect. Dani talks about how powerful thought leadership can be and how it really needs to come from a philosophical belief in wanting to help people and your industry, even if you never get anything in return. Next, we discuss reaching your audience and focusing on them.  Dani shares how they have a created persona they keep in mind while creating content, but also how a few times a year they look at who their largest clients are.  Discuss what their needs and problems are, even reaching out to them to gain greater insights into what they are looking for.  Then incorporate that real-world information into the content they create. Often the bridge between sales and thought leadership can be a tough one to cross.  Dani tells us why it doesn’t have to be.  Having a sales background she offers examples of what sales team love to see from thought leaders, from the time of content they seek, how technology can make it accessible, and even help evaluate how popular or useful content is. Three Key Takeaways: ·         When creating thought leadership for sales teams take the time to understand their role.  Listen to sales calls, and get to know what they do, and what sales conversations sound like. ·         Thought leadership has a compounding effect year over year.  Start making content early and be consistent in sticking with it. ·         Thought leadership needs to be created with a very specific audience in mind. Look at the clients you’ve had success with and use them as a template of who you should be speaking to.
24:54 7/30/23
Compassionate Accountability | Nate Regier | 506
Accountability and compassion are often thought of as two things that can’t go together.  Yet they are not ideas that are in opposition to each other.  In fact, when put together they can have a transformational effect on the employees, leaders, and culture of your organization. In order to really understand how we can merge these two concepts I’ve invited Nate Regier to join me.  He is the Founder and CEO of Next Element, a global leadership firm helping build cultures of compassionate accountability.  And his newest book is Compassionate Accountability: How Leaders Build Connection and Get Results. We start with Nate explaining exactly what Compassionate Accountability and why putting the two ideas together can create psychological safety and build trust that will ultimately lead to stronger relationships and increased performance. Now that we know what Compassionate Accountability is, how can we practice it? Nate explains how he has developed a working definition of compassion that helps to shift our mindsets.  This mindset is about more than simply getting along it is about being an active participant in solving problems and being in the trenches together. Not only does Nate help us understand how to practice this mindset he shares how you can deploy it across your entire organization! In order to do that you have to be clear about what the behaviors norms are.  Nate lays out the six areas of organizational life where you can apply this new lens, how you can identify critical behaviors being manifested, where the gaps are, and where the opportunities for improvement are. If you want to see revolutionary change in yourself and your organization you’ll want to listen to this episode and immediately pick up Nate’s book! Three Key Takeaways: ·         Leaders that hold people accountable without also treating them as valuable and capable will not have employees for long. ·         Compassion is a teachable and learning capability.  And it can have a dramatic positive impact on people's lives. ·         If we struggle together and bring more compassion to the world then everyone wins.
24:18 7/27/23
Why Good Ideas Alone Are Not Enough | Jessica Duffield | 505
Thought Leadership can be very complicated, with nuanced ideas and industry jargon.  Unfortunately, complex language and niche ideas won't catch your audience's attention! To explore how to take big thought leadership ideas to market, I’ve invited Jessica Duffield to join me. Jessica is a Senior Consultant at Thought Leadership Leverage. She's worked with clients for nearly 10 years, helping them create content, find their best audience, and go to scale with unique ideas. We discuss the most effective ways to take big ideas and turn them into bit-sized content, ensuring your audience will notice them - and easily remember the content. Jessica walks us through the process of finding the strongest core ideas of your thought leadership and focusing on those, creating a simplified vision of your content that can be easily grasped. In addition to breaking your content down, you need to know your audience - who do you want to work with and for? Jessica gives valuable advice not only for finding your audience, but understanding their needs, worries, and where they are within their organizations. Additionally, we discuss the need for a hook that will grab your audience quickly.  Jessica shares how and why sharing your story authenticity can be the "hook" you need to get your audience to stop scrolling and want more. Three Key Takeaways: * You often only get a few seconds to grab your audience's attention.  And if you can't evoke interest and curiosity in your idea in that time, you've failed. * When creating content, sometimes you’ll have to "Kill Your Darlings"  to maintain focus on the most important facets of your thought leadership and your audience. * Big ideas don’t have to be complicated.  In fact, making your ideas easy to understand means a larger audience will be able to consume your content and follow you to the next level.
24:05 7/23/23

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