Please, let’s tone down the defensive thought leadership

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, I’ve seen a heck of a lot of thought leadership articles from businesses and professionals.

With the massive shutdowns worldwide, many people obviously found themselves with a lot of extra time on their hands.

The onslaught of thought leadership pieces began with all sorts of advice on how to best work from home and have online meetings, eventually transitioning to arguments in favor of, or against working remotely post-COVID.

Focusing on the latter – I can say there is an awful lot of fear and uncertainty among companies and individuals that stand to lose if workers were to continue being remote in the future.

Paraphrasing a statement from an article I recently encountered, “employees just can’t wait to get back into the office and are tired of working from home.”

Now that may be true for some individuals, but molding that into a generalized context is rather striking. Often, that practically screams desperation.

BTW, the company behind that thought leadership piece is a technology vendor that sells their products into workplaces – and took a substantial revenue hit last year.

I’ve seen similar statements from the corporate real estate industry. It is indeed foreseeable that WFH, if it becomes a longer-term trend, will undermine certain business (and individual) interests.

There is clearly worry and anxiety. But spitting out defensive thought leadership isn’t the right answer to deal with them. That only telegraphs your vulnerabilities when you give the impression you’re trying to influence factors beyond your control.

As if, somehow, you’re trying to “will” things to go your way.

We all need to simply take a deep breath… relax… see where things go, and then react accordingly.

Thought leadership is intended to project a positive impression on your target audience. When used as defensive posturing, that communicates negativity.

Is that really what you want to do?