Viewpoint: Thought leadership an empowering tool
Nov 26, 2013 | 409 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Thought leadership is often viewed by marketers as a platform that is focused externally. But while thought leadership is an effective means of influencing customers, it's also a very successful way of empowering employees.

Over the last decade, various organizations have shifted their policy toward encouraging employee empowerment. Studies have shown that organizations with empowered employees perform better than their competitors by up to 202 percent. Empowered employees are known to be more engaged, inspired and productive in their work. They are more likely to take initiative and are expected to last longer within the company.

Though thought leadership is a great tool for spreading your brand message, it can also be used as an effective means of empowering your staff from inside your organization.

Thought leadership can empower employees. Here’s how.

Influence is the currency of thought leadership. That's because an effective thought leader can have a profound effect on the people they influence. As a tool for change, influence has a longer lasting effect than simply giving out orders on the office floor or through email. It can refocus your company and empower your entire workforce. Here are just a few of the ways thought leadership can empower your employees:

- Thought leadership allows employees to see the bigger picture of the organization by sharing the company's long-term goals and longstanding principles.

- Thought leadership encourages employees to excel at their responsibilities, inspiring them to come up with solutions that allow them to go above and beyond their roles.

- Thought leadership provides employees incentives outside of monetary gain. They understand the larger, more intangible goals of the organization: success, satisfaction and service.

- Thought leadership allows employees to discover the importance of their roles in the organization. It allows them to see the worth in their actions and become proud of their accomplishments.

This is why thought leadership should help influence the organizational culture beyond one that is geared toward customers, but one also focused on staff and employees. The infusion of thought leadership into an organization's culture can unite and empower the organization.

As mentioned earlier, influence is the currency of thought leadership. But to gain influence over your employees, it's important to equip them with the right tools, skills and responsibilities to make sure they perform to the best of their professional abilities.

On average, only 29 percent of employees are actively engaged in their work. While managers can increase salaries, improve benefits and promote key staff, nothing takes the place of genuine leadership.

Thought leadership utilizes “edu-training” tools that empower your workforce by making them advocates of the organization. These internal initiatives provide insight and ideas that are of value to employees. They are activities and platforms that help inspire the staff and bring the organization together. Whether it's through an internal social media platform, speaking, training or other forms of internal communication, these are all means of introducing a culture of empowerment into the organization.

Followers are the lifeblood of any thought leader, but followers can be found inside as well as outside of the organization. In truth, empowered employees are the most effective followers of all. They look to their leaders for more than just their next paycheck. They look to them for inspiration and ideas.

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(Editor’s Note: This guest “Viewpoint” has been written and submitted to the Cleveland Daily Banner by Mitchell Levy, CEO and thought leader architect at THiNKaha. He has created and operated 15 firms and partnerships since 1997. Today, he works with companies that are active in social media to unlock the expertise of their employee base to drive more business. He also is an Amazon bestselling author of 18 books on business.)