An actually good book on thought leadership

Philip Morgan

Competing On Thought Leadership is actually good, unlike every other book that has "thought leadership" in the title. (I haven't read them all, but I've sampled enough of them to worry that the resulting despair might hospitalize me and so I quit reviewing more of them while I was ahead.)

I pre-ordered Competing On Thought Leadership and read most of it right away after it released on Dec 5.

It's not perfect, but it's quite good. The imperfections are pretty specific to the indie consultant context:

  • It's meant for big companies who can pay the author big consulting fees. That's fine, but you'll roll your eyes at some parts of it as a result. Fighting a marketing department for control of budget and approach, for example, is not a problem we have.
  • It over-explains some stuff that's already well-known to y'all. We don't need anyone to bend over backward making the case for why digital marketing tools can outperform conference booths, for example.

If you let the book exist in the content it's meant to, though, it's quite good:

  • It offers useful definitions of thought leadership and there are specific parts of the book, like where the author defines "the six elements of a persuasive argument", that are print-it-out-and-put-it-on-the-wall-worthy.
  • It acknowledges the importance of primary research and the necessary connection between thought leadership content and real-world client problems.
  • It properly contextualizes thought leadership within the system of a business, and connects the dots between thought leadership and other components of the business.

One good way to think about whether a thought leadership book is good enough: could a business combine the advice in the book with the proper amount of resources and implement a thought leadership program that is directionally correct and avoids major avoidable blunders without having to hire a consultant to get it off the ground?

With Robert Buday's Competing On Thought Leadership in the mix, the answer is yes.

Details on the book:

The Expertise Incubator enrollment is open until Christmas day this year: