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Trusted Advisor

Six Top Thought Leadership Articles

by Randall Craig on February 17, 2017

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged as: , ,

For most people in senior roles, the holy grail of recognition is embodied in two terms: Thought Leadership and Trusted Advisor.  Yet too often, these very terms are thrown around, overused, and just perhaps, may be losing their value.

Notwithstanding this, the underlying concepts are powerful – with a matching value in the marketplace.  Here are six posts that explore these concepts:

This first article describes the intersection between Price/Expertise/Trust.

Cheap, Smart, and Trusted

This next article revisits the concept, but asks what happens as each is accelerated. (Hint:  Value/Thought Leadership/Trusted Advisor)

Price, Expertise, and Trust – revisited

Remember the two-by-two Boston Consulting matrix? What happens if Trusted Advisor is on one axis, and Thought Leadership is on the other?  Many people have a star self-image, but the reality is they are really just golfers or academics.  (Nothing wrong with golf or academia; the issue is the gap between self-image and reality.)

Commodities, Academics, Golfers, and Stars

A key benefit of thought leadership is influence: this article describes how to assess it in others… and in yourself:

Ten Tests for Assessing Influence

This next article answers the question of how to start on the journey, and ties it to content marketing.

Content Marketing and Thought Leadership

While Thought Leadership is important for the individual, powerful organizations become more powerful when everyone is thinking.  This article shares how:

Insight: Building a Thinking Organization

This week’s action plan:  Not happy with your influence?  More a Golfer than a Star?  This week, choose one thing to do about it.

Bonus webinar, Feb 22, 2017, noon ET (no cost):  Join Randall Craig for  It’s not called Thought Followership (no cost).   Register and more information:  http://learn.108ideaspace.com/its-not-called-thought-followership/

 

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com 
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

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Is there a gap between how you perceive yourself, and the reality that others see? Too often, we use self-descriptive marketing terms so much that we convince ourselves of their truth. And what the the biggest culprits? Here are two: Thought Leader and Trusted Advisor.

It isn’t hard to understand why so many refer to themselves in this way: it helps the ego, helps marketing, and shines a patina of professionalism and respectability on their activities. But just because these terms are used, doesn’t make them true.

A more useful approach is to consider that each of us sits along a spectrum of thought leadership from low to high, and along a trust spectrum from low to high. Depending on where you sit within this matrix, you are either a Commodity, Golfer, Academic, or Star. Not unsurprisingly, each has its own strategy.

Commodities-Golfers-Academics-Stars

  • Commodities: Low thought leadership, and weaker trust. In this category, there is very little differentiation, and very low switching costs. Advantage can be achieved only by competing on price.
  • Golfers: Low thought leadership, but strong trust. There is nothing inherently wrong with being in this category, but eventually the relationship will wain without an increasing delivery of benefits. Advantage can be achieved by developing thought leadership.
  • Academics: High thought leadership, but trust has not yet developed. Again, nothing wrong with being exceptionally smart, but this by itself is not a sustainable competitive advantage: blink for a minute, and there is someone, somewhere, smarter than you, more up-to-date than you, or with more “followers” than you. Advantage can be achieved by building trust.
  • Stars: People in this group are simultaneously thought leaders and trusted advisors: they have it all. The chief benefit of stardom is that their market price is higher than any of the other categories. Yet stars still have their challenges: it takes time to maintain thought leadership, and it takes time to maintain trust. If stars don’t continually invest, their advantage (and their value) degrades.

This week’s action plan: Is there a gap between how you describe yourself and the reality of what you are? Do you call yourself a star, when you are really just a golfer or academic? This week, choose the quadrant you wish to be in, and take one step to get there. (Some ideas on how can be found here and here.)

Marketing insight: What is true for individuals is also true for organizations. Overall, is your organization a commodity, golfer, academic or star? The biggest marketing challenge is often the gap between management’s self-assessment, and the reality of the market. How do each of your targets see you?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com
:  Professional credentials site
www.108ideaspace.com: Web strategy, technology, and development
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com
:  Interviews with the nation’s thought-leaders

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Price, Expertise, and Trust – revisited

by Randall Craig July 15, 2016

Most service-based organizations compete based on Price/Expertise/Trust. But do these dimensions by themselves generate sustainable competitive advantage?  Not necessarily: to develop competitive advantage requires taking each of these items to their logical conclusion. From price to value:  Not only is competing on price usually not economically sustainable, most organizations do not want their brand to be characterized exclusively by price. […]

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