Business Leadership: Methods: Thought Leadership

Goleman states that there are three kinds of performance-based classifications in a team setting: poorly performing, well performing, and superlative teams. The poorly performing team is limited by its individual average. The well performing team performs above average. But a superlative team performs better than the best member of the team. Superlative teams work synergistically. This kind of team has been described as “organized genius.” Factors that contribute to this kind of team are harmony, trust, and team identification. Being a superlative team is beneficial to a company and should be a goal the company strives for.

Mitch McCrimmon’s article, “Thought leadership: a radical departure from traditional, positional leadership”, compares aspects of positional leadership and thought leadership. The article maintains that thought leadership is the best way to run a business. The author explains other models of leadership and tries to show that thought leadership is the most effective. Thought leadership is the best model to adopt in businesses where innovation is the key to success. This form of leadership does not rely on managerial elements but rather utilizes knowledge as the driving force. In this model, leadership is neither shared nor distributed. Leadership is held by all members of the organization. The purpose of thought leadership is to challenge the current state of the business (policies, procedures etc.) and to strive for implementing change.

Since there are no managerial elements in thought leadership; there are also no hierarchies. In this model, technical excellence and a member’s expertise are valued more than group domination. The rationale of the idea is more important than the implementation of that idea. Once an idea is accepted, it usually leaves the department and goes to another department for the actual implementation. Thought leadership is only successful if people accept the idea. This form of leadership has no boundaries. The idea can originate from a third party outside the organization such as global groups, leadership experts, or relatives of workers. McCrimmon states that thought leadership strives to convince, not to order. Again, this form of leadership is especially important for businesses that need innovation in order to succeed.