The best 20 quotes on thought leadership

Evangelist Billy Graham speaking at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida

What is thought leadership? 20 of our favourite quotes

1. “Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas”
– Denise Brosseau

2. “Thought leadership should be an entry point to a relationship. Thought leadership should intrigue, challenge, and inspire even people already familiar with a company. It should help start a relationship where none exists, and it should enhance existing relationships.”
– Daniel Rasmus

3. “Thought leaders advance the marketplace of ideas by positing actionable, commercially relevant, research-backed, new points of view. They engage in “blue ocean strategy” thinking on behalf of themselves and their clients, as opposed to simply churning out product-focused, brand-centric white papers or curated content that shares or mimics others’ ideas.”
– Craig Badings and Liz Alexander

4. “Thought Leadership is simply about becoming an authority on relevant topics by delivering the answers to the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience.”
– Michael Brenner

5. “A thought leader is someone who creates something before people realize that they need it. Best example, of course, is Steve Jobs. Richard Branson too.”
– Guy Kawasaki

6. “Thought leaders do not become thought leaders by trying to be one; that’s an external focus that only satisfies the ego and blocks true enlightenment on any subject. A thought leader has a singular, internal focus on achieving mastery of a particular discipline.”
– Sam Fiorella

7. “A thought leader is someone with proven expertise and experience who isn’t afraid to share it with the world without direct compensation.”
– Jay Baer

8. “A thought leader is true to themselves even when others might laugh, disagree or nay-say. They actually walk their talk. Be an original, share your enthusiasm, educate yourself on your industry, make enough room for others, be open to criticism and don’t get short-sighted.”
– Jessica Northey

9. “A hallmark of true thought leadership is the confidence to take the route that 99.9 percent of industry experts don’t even see. Will you?”
– Craig Badings and Liz Alexander

10. “Thought leadership is at the centre of a strong executive-positioning plan. It focuses on an idea or problem that you are passionate about, and that you will continue to be passionate about no matter what industry you work in or job you have.”
– Cheryl Kim


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11. “Thought leadership is the perceived advantage a company achieves in the minds of its stakeholders in relation to a theme or topic that is of central importance to its business. Thought leadership is a perishable perceptual grant by your stakeholders.”
– Andrew Lark

12. “To me, Thought Leadership is all about having the answers to the biggest questions on the minds of your buyers. It can also include your unique perspective on hot topics relevant for your customers. The key here is that the agenda is set by your audience. They determine what is important. It can be difficult to give up this control over to your buyers. But the fact is that they already have the control. And we can all benefit when we allow our audience to set the agenda and then just go with it.”
– Michael Brenner

13. “Thought Leadership is establishing a relationship with and delivering something of value to your stakeholders and customers that aligns with your brand/company value. In the process you go well beyond merely selling a product or service and establish your brand /company as the expert in that field and differentiate yourself from your competitors.”
– Thought Leaders International

14. “Thought leaders ask “why?” a lot more than “what?” or “how?” Are you asking the right questions at the start?”
– Craig Badings and Liz Alexander

15. “Thought Leadership is the ability to aggregate followers around ideas to educate, influence and inspire.”
– Jeanine Moss

16. “…a distinguishing characteristic of a thought leader is the recognition from the outside world that the company deeply understands its business, the needs of its customers, and the broader marketplace in which it operates.”
– Elise Bauer

17. “The giving—for free or at a nominal charge—of information or advice that a client will value so as to create awareness of the outcome that a company’s product or service can deliver, in order to position and differentiate that offering and stimulate demand for it.”
– Rolf Jester

18. “To be a company that exemplifies thought leadership, you need to have an idea engine, a concept forge, AS WELL AS an outward-leaning communication stance combined with a desire to raise the playing field – a capability to not only learn new things, to not only discover them for the first time, but to educate others – selflessly.”
–  Tom Paul

19. “Thought leadership is a way to build a relationship with prospects based on knowledge—not on products and services.”
– Chris Koch

20. “Thought leaders are brave; explore areas others don’t, raise questions others won’t, and provide insights others can’t.”
– Craig Badings and Liz Alexander

21. “Thought leadership = crazy ideas + inevitability”
– Steve Pell

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