How to share your vision and beliefs in a collaborative style that promotes inclusion
Countless times business owners have told me that creating content is taking too much time, that it is a nuisance, that they don’t know what to write about, that it keeps them from focusing on what they are really good at…
I, on the other hand, believe that creating quality content makes you better at what you do and that it is THE most powerful way to connect with your ideal “kind of people”, building a community of supportive followers, and establishing thought leadership in your field.
When you create content that provokes your audience to think, then you give them opportunities for personal growth, deeper insights, and reflection. With thought-provoking content, you enter your audience’s minds and through their thought processing, they become better at what they do – and they will talk about you.
With more inspiring content, you can affect change and growth in your community.
Now, there are two different directions of change – one is - what I believe to be a detrimental direction – of telling people not to care about what others think and that they should be doing their own thing.
There’s been a recent trend of writing that teaches not to give a f*ck about what others think and do. If you search for that term on Amazon, it comes up with 78 pages of books that contain “f*ck” in the title!
Maybe I am old-fashioned, but I do not believe that swearing and coarse language brings across your points better.
There’s definitely the point that it is healthier to walk away from judgement and confines that don’t serve you – and to blend out the trolls that enjoy offending and demeaning people for no good reason.
But we need to distinguish between trolls and critical thinkers. Critical thinkers give constructive feedback and there’s an intention behind their feedback that deserves exploring.
Swearing – on the other hand – some might use it stylistically to get attention. But then, as a professional writer, I can tell you that there are other stylistic techniques that you can use to get attention.
The problem that I see with content that promotes not giving a toss about what other people believe or think, is promoting a position that comes from self-service.
To tell people not to care about others but focus entirely on yourself and how you alone can benefit, that you don’t need others to validate or judge you, that you shouldn’t listen to other people – either makes you quite lonely and it creates followership but not leadership.
It also bears the risk of becoming too self-centred and showing a lack of compassion and empathy for others. And when that happens, you are in danger of stopping to care about others and moving into “thought dictatorship” rather than thought leadership.
The result of that is that you focus on finding fault with others, talking badly about them, taking their thoughts apart in public, even exposing and ridiculing them publicly.
When that happens, you probably have turned into someone who thinks of herself superior who believes to know the only truth and who is getting attention through putting others down.
We all know where elitist thinking patterns can take us…
Comes from a totally different position.
Leadership comes from within you. It is about how you view yourself in your role and what you believe your purpose to be.
It is about who you are as a person, what your values and beliefs are, your mindset and how you want to lead.
It’s about being a role model and living by the example of being honest with yourself, seeing your flaws and working on them to serve others better.
As a leader, you care about others, and you care about the consequences of your messaging. You hold yourself accountable for your actions, your mission, the people you affect and serve.
Thought leadership comes from a position of service that goes far beyond self-service. It comes from a place where you serve the greater good, where you want to introduce change that positively impacts the lives of others.
A large part of thought leadership is listening and inspiring others to grow. Inspiring others to take ownership and co-create with you.
You might not always get it right and you might invite controversy or criticism. But that’s really good because it allows others to contribute and develop ideas with you. For you, it is a way to learn more about how your audience thinks, what they believe in and to be inspired by their ideas.
By inviting people to contribute, you give them a voice and invite them to co-create with you. You also give people ownership, as well as an opportunity to support you and your purpose. And at the same time, they learn and grow alongside you.
Returning to my initial point of adding value to your content…
Put on your thinking cap, share your knowledge, and don’t fear sharing your thoughts and beliefs in a collaborative style that promotes inclusion rather than exclusion that is driven by self-centredness.
Thought leadership starts – like so many things – with your purpose. And if you cannot quite pin down your purpose and your messaging – then send me a message and we can talk!