The term ‘thought leader’ is thrown around a lot in business, but why is it important to be a thought leader, and just what is one?
A thought leader is described as, according to Prince and Rogers (2012), a company or individual who is recognised ‘as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.’
Well, of course it does! Who doesn’t want to be recognised as the ‘it’ person or company to go to in their specific industry, and this is just as important if you’re in the logistics industry. But how do you become a thought leader? And more importantly, are you already one without knowing it?
Let’s break it down into the necessary steps a good thought leader should go through:
- Always Being Prepared To Network
Coker (2016) spoke to Elijah Ray (Executive Vice President, Customer Solutions, Sunland Logistics) who mentioned that ‘There is a culture centered on creating effective interactions with people and organizations’ which ties into this point: You need to be able to network with new and existing clients, and to have a strong, strategic relationship with those you work with.
- Having a Strong Personal Brand
Is your website strong? Are you an active user of social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter etc.)? A good thought leader will not only have a strong personal brand, but would be able to use it to champion their own point of view, and therefore persuading others to relate, as well as bring people on board with their own ideas, which leads onto…
- Bringing Big Ideas To The Table
As well as having a clear vision of the future for the company, or for yourself, after being well informed about the key trends in your own industry, you should be able to formulate and use your knowledge to create new ideas. Bringing forward new recommendations, with the necessary analysis conducted, will be beneficial to get recognised as an innovative ‘it’ company.
However, how does this tie into logistics?
Hastreiter (2017) states that ‘Logistics are the backbone of what makes our world tick. Without well-planned logistics, the world would erupt in complete chaos.’ And he’s not wrong.
Being a thought leader in a constantly changing industry is important because, not only will those in the industry need to be constantly aware of the possibilities for future changes, but thought leaders will stand out from the crowd due to being two steps ahead.
Are you a thought leader? If not, why not?