Join Peter Winick and Bill Sherman as they host the Leveraging Thought Leadership podcast–a podcast devoted to the business of thought leadership.
Peter explores the world how independent thought leaders bring their ideas to scale within the business world. His guests include professional keynote speakers, business book authors, specialty consultants, and business-school academics.
Bill investigates the evolving world of organizational thought leadership. His guests include professionals who create, curate, and deploy thought leadership on their organization’s behalf.
Throughout the series, Peter and Bill uncover and discuss trends in thought leadership: strategy, technology, and modality. Listen in as they share best practices for creating value, impact, and revenue through thought leadership.
From Who Me? To Yes Me! | Deborah Levine | 535
Thought leaders know that a sharp eye is the best tool for keeping a sharp mind. In fact, others see abilities in us long before we see them in ourselves, and can support us as we blossom into a new role or skill.
Our guest today has found herself asking “Who me?” and “Why me?” at almost every step of her incredible career. Deborah Levine is the Founder and Editor of the American Diversity Report, whose mission is to boost the effort to repair the world and inspire fellow diversity, equity, and inclusion change makers with the resources they need.
Deborah shares how her history weaves together seemingly unrelated skills and experiences that take her from being the only Jewish girl in her community in Bermuda, to unexpectedly being put in charge of inter religious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, and eventually becoming an award-winning screen writer and producer!
One of the threads that is common through most of her experience is others offering aid to move her career and thought leadership forward, eventually allowing Deborah to learn and step up to the task on her own. Deborah shares real life experiences of getting help and learning to grow into new roles that she might have thought were impossible for her to accomplish.
This episode is full of stories and antidotes that are sure to inspire anyone who has been asked to step up to the plate and thought “Why me?”
Three Key Takeaways:
· When asked to do something, take the opportunity that is presented. Don't say no because you aren't sure how to do it. Take the time to learn and grow.
· Part of being a thought leader is encouraging and creating spaces for conversations that will have meaning and value.
· Being a thought leader means being in a constant state of evolution of who you are.
Speak-Up Culture | Stephen "Shed" Shedletzky | 534
Before anyone shares their ideas, feedback, or concerns they tend to ask themselves two questions: Am I safe to speak? And is it worth it?
If the answer to either of these questions is no, odds are they will stay silent.
So how can leaders, teams, and organizations facilitate an environment where speaking up is celebrated and not ignored or punished?
Our guest today is Stephen "Shed" Shedletzky, a speaker, leadership coach and advisor who is using his new book Speak-Up Culture: When Leaders Truly Listen, People Step Up to help create a culture where people feel safe and supported to take part in and start conversations.
Shed shares how his work with Simon Sinek laid the groundwork for developing his own content that focused on two areas that stood out to him over his years of work: Psychological safety and living your message.
We examine what Psychological safety and Speak-Up Culture mean to Shed and how he is bringing these elements to individual’s, teams, and organizations. In addition we discuss how psychological safety still comes with accountability, which is best achieved by mutually established agreements that bring what is best for both employee and employer to the front.
Three Key Takeaways:
· Business books are written for two reasons. It's something you are so good at you want to share that knowledge. Or you are so bad at it that you need to write a book to fix it.
· Whatever you message is you have to live it inside and outside of your organization. If you talk the talk, but fail to walk the walk people will see right through you.
· When people don’t feel like speaking up will have an effect they become apathetic. When they don’t feel safe they stay silent. Creating an environment where employees can speak and be heard can create a happier and higher functioning atmosphere.
Diving Into the World of Thought Leadership | Kon Apostolopoulos | 533
The journey of a thought leader often involves moving from being a subject matter expert inside the house, going from room to room sharpening various skills, to eventually leaving the house and applying all of those skills to the greater neighborhood you’ve always lived in.
Kon Apostolopoulos is the Founder and CEO of Fresh Biz Solutions. He's been helping businesses achieve strategic goals for more than 20 years by preparing people for the right leadership roles. In addition, Kon is the co-author of 7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis: A Practical Guide to Emotionally Dealing with Pandemics & Other Disasters, a guide to help readers through crisis both personal and global.
Kon takes us through a series of milestones, including publishing his first book, having to take that material to scale, and finding success that had his audience asking new questions — forcing him to continually expand his thinking and problem-solving.
We explore the way thought leadership needs to move the audience further along than they are. Kon explains how this often means having to speak in simplified terms that allow you to break through both ego and preconceived notions. We learn how this can only be accomplished by understanding your audience, where they are, and where they need you to take them.
Three Key Takeaways:
· There are two parts to thought leadership. The idea and thought part. And the action and external part. They are symbiotic and necessary to each other to create content that is actionable.
· Thought leadership needs to move the audience further along than they are. The conversation doesn't have to go from 1 - 100, but you have to move the audience at least from 1 to 2 and beyond.
· Sometimes the best way to break through adult egos and preconceived notions is to present complex ideas in simple ways.
Threading the Needle of Thought Leadership | Nora DePalma | 532
Topics like climate change can be a hot button issue in discussions.
So how can you deliver thought leadership on controversial topics without disengaging various portions of your audience?
In order to thread that difficult needle, I’ve invited Nora DePalma to join me. Nora is the CEO of Dialogue, a modern PR firm that builds value for organizations seeking to advance climate solutions.
Nora starts the conversation by sharing how discussing climate solutions instead of climate change helps to shape the conversation, allowing them to start a dialogue without turning off certain parties that might be needed in order to meet their goals.
Once your audience is open to hearing what you have to say you’ll need to be prepared for what comes next. Nora explains how you need to tie activity to business outcomes and understand what action you want them to take next, moving them deeper into your content but not necessarily leading them into a sales funnel. She shares why not every call to action has to lead to sales and why education and relationship building can be as powerful and lead to sales in other ways.
Nora provides great advice and examples of how to deliver complex thought leadership that tactfully opens the door to deeper, more meaningful conversations.
Three Key Takeaways:
· In addition to understanding your audience and shaping the conversation you have to deliver your ideas with authenticity and passion. Otherwise, they are likely to tune out.
· Not all calls to action have to lead into the sales funnel. They can be a call to education, or to further a relationship.
· You have to earn people's attention. That is how you build trust and sustain relationships.
Writing a Better Business Book | Josh Bernoff | 531
A lot of thought leaders have written books, eager to get their insights out into the world.
Yet many start the task without having a well-defined plan for what comes next!
Our guest today has literally written the book on writing thought leadership books! “Build a Better Business Book: How to Plan, Write and Promote a Book That Matters” is the work of the amazing Josh Bernoff, and we can’t think of a better person to help nonfiction authors succeed.
In order to help authors find success, they first have to understand what that means to them. Josh explains how success can look differently to each author and often is unrelated to the quantity of books sold. Success can take the form of launching a speaking career, generating leads, or purely having a book that makes you the authority in your field.
Once you know what sort of success you want, you’ll need to plan beyond the book. Josh shares how many authors don’t look beyond the launch of their book and become disappointed when nothing happens. However, those that properly promote their book, and have scalable plans in place for after the book is launched, can take their business to the next level.
If you have an idea for a book, but you're not sure if it checks the boxes of "big, right, and new," then this episode will guide you on your journey.
Three Key Takeaways:
· For authors the success of a book is typically not measured in sales but in the additional business generated from the book.
· Before you publish a book have a plan to define yourself beyond the book.
· Tradition, hybrid, and self-publishing all have pros and cons. You have to understand the needs of your book to find the right fit.
Culture as a Strategic Tool | Clint Tripodi | 530
Could poor leadership have a direct impact on workers' insurance claims?
Today, we go outside the box by discussing insurance with Clint Tripodi. Clint is a National Practice Leader for The Liberty Company where they are changing the way business leaders look at and think about insurance - through the use of thought leadership.
While insurance is often thought of as "mundane," Clint shares what his company found when they tracked leadership's impact on workplace culture, and why they are looking to find the root issues, in order to mitigate risks downstream.
Through data analytics, Clint is able to see where claims have an impact, and then go directly to the root of the problem, which is often a lack of leadership. Clint uses data analytics to show the way poor leadership has an effect on workers' compensation claims as well as employee retention, and ultimately, ROI.
Clint helps us understand how the culture of wellness at Liberty is being spread to their clients through thought leadership that sets them apart from and above the competition!
Three Key Takeaways:
· Culture is a strategic tool and insurance can help you drive that strategy.
· When working in a highly commoditized market you have to position yourself as a business partner, not just a solution.
· Data analytics can help to identify problems so that you can go upstream and fix them at the source.
Really good show that unties the knots around and demystifies the value of investing in a thought leadership strategy.
Mastery at work!
Peter is the real deal of podcasting. Few podcasters can compete with me in fully engaging their podcast guest so that it feels like two friends having an exciting debate/conversation over a glass of vino sitting by the pool. Peter’s interview took me back to the days of authentic conversation in Greenwich Village coffee houses. Bravo Peter!
CB Bowman, MBA, CVF, CVP, MCEC, BCC, CEC
Podcaster: Courage to Leap
I love the discussions about ideas and how to take them to scale. These episodes involve interesting interactions on a variety of topics, which can really be eye-opening when you see the connections between experts from very different backgrounds.