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Crafting Success: The Art of Thought Leadership | Verity Craft – Episode 125




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Verity Craft  00:00

I definitely get caught up in terms of looking at people and feeling like, oh, they disagree with, you know, these things that I think are core to being a good person and providing everyone with equal rights and I’m, I get really up in arms and then I’m like, okay, they’re a person coming from their experience. That’s the only way that you know otherwise you all you have is anger. And I think the anger just gets in the way.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:25

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Better Business better life. Today I am joined by a guest who was here, right in the early days of this podcast, I have Verity Craft, who is a speaker and thought leadership coach with intelligent Inc. Welcome back Verity.

Verity Craft  00:39

Thanks, Debra. I’m excited to be back. It’s cool. So

Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:42

We had a lot of really good feedback about your last podcast. And so we thought we’d bring you back on again. And I know that you’re actually focusing a little bit differently these days in terms of how you can use thought leadership in business.

Verity Craft  00:52

Yeah, 100%, I think we’ve, you know, learned and evolved as you do over the years in business, yes. And now we’re seeing a real, a real shift in terms of how you can use thought leadership to have a really big impact. So not just in terms of your reputation, and obviously growing that to grow your business, but also in terms of how it can help people. And then I personally am on a lot more of a speaking journey, which is really exciting. Because that’s, I love to be on stage. So it feels really exciting to be doing that to build my own thought leadership is another mode of doing that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  01:27

Absolutely. That’s cool. So I mean, those of you although those of the people are listening who don’t know, you tell us a bit about Verity and about varities kind of history and how you got into where you are today.

Verity Craft  01:37

Yeah, very randomly, the short answer. So we definitely evolved and thought leadership. So when I came out of uni with a degree in French and Spanish and no idea what to do with that. I talked to a lot of people, I did some random jobs, I worked in truck dispatch for three months, a few believe it. And then eventually ended up talking to my now partner, Christina, who went through university with my sister and my sister said, you might want to talk to Christina and see if writings, something that you’d like to do. And so I started off working for her. And then eventually, we ended up I started off managing the team, and then we eventually partnered up. But over the years, what’s been really interesting is that the business has really changed. And I think that’s why I stuck around was because we were able to evolve it into something that I felt had bigger impact, and also was better suited to our strengths and passions and everything. So we went from being essentially a copywriting business, it did a bit of PR, into saying a few years of saying yes to everything as you do early in business before you learn you shouldn’t. And then eventually realized that what we were really good at was helping people make their thinking better. And that led us into thought leadership. And then over the past, probably six years or so it’s really just been an evolution of that and discovering how we do that most effectively how we can have the biggest impact and how we can help our clients have the biggest impact as well.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  03:08

Sure. So what is thought leadership in your opinion, so

Verity Craft  03:12

Thought leadership, I like to say if you break it down to the words, that’s basically what it sounds like, it’s really good thinking. So it’s great ideas that could help people matched with the leadership. So the willingness to go out there and share those ideas. Sometimes, even when they might not be, you know, universally accepted. It’s that willingness to go out and bring people along on the journey with you. And so if you’re doing that, if you’re coming up with really great ideas, if you’re doing some really great thinking, and then you’re going out there and sharing those ideas, and in a way that’s going to bring people along for the journey that will help you not only serve more people, because if your ideas are good, then they can help people, they can create change, but also will set you up as a leader in your industry and help you build that reputation. So that’s why we love it, because it’s that balance of doing good with doing good for you.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:04

Excellent. I love it. When I go to think about actually because I suppose the the more recognize you are the more impact you can have. That’s kind of the but the basics or isn’t it?

Verity Craft  04:12

Yeah, exactly. Because then people will share your ideas because they respect you. And you know, if you think of your big thought leaders out there, like your Adam grants and Brene Brown, because they’ve gotten those ideas out there and then built the reputations on them. Other people share those ideas, and therefore they are able to have more impact. So it’s much more of a ripple effect.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:31

But there’s also people in the commercial world as well. You think about Elon Musk, Richard Branson, those guys are very much thought leaders in their own right as well. That’s enabled them to create their businesses that can have a huge impact. And I think they probably enjoy the attention they’re getting.

Verity Craft  04:47

I would definitely say for those two years.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  04:51

Pretty quick because I’m in Brene Brown and Adam Grant they come from more of a research sort of background, who are thought thought leaders in business So if you’ve got sort of people on the you think about thought leaders in business, yeah, so

Verity Craft  05:03

I think thought leaders in business tend to when you get to the upper end of, of businesses, so sort of bigger businesses, it tends to be that the thought leadership becomes about the organization instead of the individual. So, for example, we work with a business task group who work in with all sorts of retail brands, like McDonald’s globally. And they’ve got a real focus on thought leadership. And so they’re actually all about pulling all the expertise from their team. So we’re working with lots of different members of their team, because they’ve all got different areas of expertise. And then collectively, they create this organization or thought leadership. And that’s been their approach to marketing is that as opposed to sort of a traditional SEO approach, or or something like that, they’re really focusing on thought leadership, because it helps them stand out from their competitors. But there are definitely, you know, entrepreneurs, business owners, you look at people like Denise Duffield, Thomas, who wrote was chill Panera, originally, I think, and now it’s Chilean prosper. And she’s built this massive business, but also has spread this message that you can build a massive business without needing to work 80 hours a week. So there’s people like that as well. But they’re across industries, you find them. And it’s not necessarily that everyone is well known across the board. But they might be really well known in their industry. And that’s actually where the real power comes from. It’s not about being famous. It’s about being influential and having an impact.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:39

I was just thinking about a couple of my clients, actually. So Hannah McQueen, from a great example, much she forms a whole culture of her business, are they all in their own right are thought leaders, but they’re changing the way that people think about managing money and how you create wealth. And then also Naomi Ballantine, from partners, like, yes, you know, there’s a lady who’s absolutely passionate about change in the insurance industry, and how do they actually do that? And what can she do, and she, she pushes the boundaries with her thought leadership to actually change the way the whole industry operates. Yeah.

Verity Craft  07:08

And I think that’s when thought leadership is really exciting, when it’s not just about you, as an individual, or you as a business, it’s about making some kind of bigger changes, you know, you can see where the industry needs to go, and you’re out there talking about it. And what we find is that, you know, not only are you able to then help the industry and affect real change, but that always comes back to your business as well in terms of people see you and respect you, as a leader in your industry.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  07:37

Doesn’t ever have the opposite effect where it might, but we will often think well, you know, they might be too big to be working with me or I don’t know, I just wonder if there’s, if there’s a balance to that, because I’m thinking about Gary Vee as an example. It’s like, obviously, he did really well in his own family business. And he kind of, he bought a media company or created a media company. And I wonder if some people kind of think now or maybe we are not able to work with him, because he’s so famous. I don’t know.

Verity Craft  08:04

I mean, it could put some people off. But I suppose then it comes down to being really aware of who your target audiences as well. So because that’s going to define what you’re selling them, essentially. So you can be out there talking in the industry. And it becomes all about making sure that you’re really clear on who you’re talking to. So for Gary Vee, yeah, you’re right, like some people may go, Oh, he’s too big, I can’t work with him. But there are other people who have arguably just as big followings, and they’ve got, you know, it might just be an online course, or it might be a program,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  08:37

You can reach that person. Yeah, not always one to one. So just because you build your own personal brand, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be tied to your business being the only person. And that’s a great example of enablement. She creates lots of mini versions of Hannah who actually deliver on the service, and the brand promise that she kind of goes out with. So yeah, it’s about how you build your business to support that

Verity Craft  08:57

100%. And like, even you know, if you think of the name of your podcast, yes, that that’s kind of what you want to do when you’re building thought leadership is it’s not about creating more work for yourself. It’s actually about using that reputation and that impact, to build a business by design that’s going to work for you. And also, what we find is that in a lot of businesses, and obviously it depends on your industry and the way that you work, but in a lot of businesses, there are ways to impact more people, that is less hands on. So a lot of the clients that we’re working with whether their coaches, consultants, trainers, just experts of some description, they will go and create different offerings to match different levels of commitment, and obviously, the price changes with those as well. So they might have an online course for somebody who’s just starting out, but then their one on one might be worth, you know, 10 times 20 times what somebody pays for that. So I think that’s the thing is that you can use it to design the business that you want and If it comes down to how well you design the systems and everything that sits around it,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:05

Absolutely. And I think also, using your original example of the company that is chasing thought leadership, that in actual fact, you can actually even if you’re not a natural extrovert, or somebody wants to go and have that as a company, you can actually still be a thought leader in your industry as well. Right? 100%

Verity Craft  10:20

Yeah. And I think the other thing is like what you’ve just said, if you’re not an extrovert or something, there are lots of different ways to build thought leadership. So we tend to think of the ones who are speaking and there are. But it’s quite funny, because So Christina, my partner is actually in the process of writing her book at the moment. And it’s all about, we haven’t quite figured out the term, but it basically the reluctant thought leader, and it’s those people who have really amazing ideas, but they might be shy, or quieter, or more considered, or, and they look at, you know, thought leadership that’s out there and go, Oh, I don’t know if that’s for me. Yeah, but they want to have an impact. And there are ways of doing that. And it’s not necessarily, you know, being out on a stage in front of 1000s of people or, yeah, there are different ways of approaching it depending on who you are, and your personality and how you want to impact.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  11:14

And I suppose it has to be authentic to who doesn’t like you can’t, you can’t force yourself to go up on what you can force. But it has to be about being true to yourself. So when you’re actually up there, you’re not pretending to be somebody else, or trying to be a Gary Vee or Rene Brown. I think Brene Brown in the beginning was very reluctant about being on stage and talking.

Verity Craft  11:35

Yeah, she’s talked about being an introvert and really struggling with that last year.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  11:39

Okay, so you work with all kinds of people to actually help them to develop their thought leadership? Where do you start?

Verity Craft  11:46

So we talk about, there are four things that really make you successful at thought leadership. And the first one is clarity. So much like anything in business, it is very similar. If you do not know where you’re going, you will not know how to get

Debra Chantry-Taylor  12:07

Alice in Wonderland, wasn’t it? If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.

Verity Craft  12:10

Exactly, exactly. So clarity is the first piece and there are a few key pieces of that. So first up is knowing what your vision for thought leadership is. So actually being really clear on what kind of thought leader you want to be or how you want to build thought leadership. Because for some people, it’s not about being on big stages, it might actually just be being a thought leader in their local community, for example, or in their industry within New Zealand, or whatever it is. So being really clear on where you’re going, and what you want that to do for you as well. So what opportunities you want it to open for you, and what impact you want to have. So how you want to help other people. So where you’re going first, and then how you’re going to position yourself as a thought leader. So there’s a lot of people out there doing the same thing. You know, we all have, I don’t like to call them competitors, because I actually think that, you know, they’re always it’s not necessarily that we’re all in competition. But there are other people out there doing similar things to you. And so figuring out how you can position yourself in a unique way is really important, because then it just becomes a case of going okay, well, how am I best place to do that? Yeah. So that clarity piece is really important first, and that’s always what we would look with, with anyone, even if they’re already, you know, pretty far down a thought leadership journey, they’ve been trying out lots of things they might be out speaking, they might be using LinkedIn really effectively, it’s still about going back to those basics and getting really clear on where they’re gonna go. So that you can figure out a plan to get them. Sure.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  13:43

Okay, so we’ve got clarity, first of all, where you going? What impact you want to have, how you’re going to position yourself?

Verity Craft  13:49

Yeah, so then the other three C’s are concepts next. So this is your ideas. And this is where thought leadership really differs from, you know, just using social media, just marketing, just being an influencer even, which is that thought leadership is about your ideas, and about getting those ideas out there so that they can help people. So it’s having really clear concepts and being really clear on how you’re going to communicate those. Because I, I’ve called out a few people recently, and I’ve called myself out on it as well, because I’ve definitely fallen prey to this, which is that if somebody else is confused about your idea, it’s probably because you’re not clear on your idea. And you haven’t done the work to figure out how to communicate it. So you can test it out and make it better and evolve it. But you have to be really clear on what is the core message that I’m trying to get across? What’s the core idea and how am I going to best communicate that for him?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  14:43

So much like business, right? When you’re in business, you have to think very carefully about you know, what, who is it you really serve? What is it you actually do for them? What is that real clarity and we tend to want to try especially in the beginning that whole say yes to everything, and everything to everybody, but if we try if everything’s important, nothing’s important. Yeah. So how do you You actually really focus back in on what is really, really important. Yeah, does the concept have to be completely original?

Verity Craft  15:06

No. So this is a really interesting point is, you know, you don’t want to go out there and pretend that somebody else’s idea is all yours, obviously. But there are no fully new ideas we are all pulling on the knowledge that we have. And the things that we learn from other people, you know, creativity is just your brain making connections between things that it already has on there. So you are absolutely able to reference other people and build on what other people are doing. But it’s all about bringing your unique perspective to it. And that might just be a different way of communicating a similar message, or it might be bringing a different story and experience to it. Or it might be creating a diff a framework for something that’s never had a framework or a model before. But it’s really important to recognize and acknowledge where you have brought inspiration from. Yeah, yeah,

Debra Chantry-Taylor  16:02

I’m just again, I always want my iOS hat on I think about the whole attraction book that Gina wrote. And I always say to people look, when you read this, do not expect two feet to find anything that is like rocket science or revolutionary, because he very clearly says that he worked well with the likes of Jim Collins, and he worked with the likes of Vern Harnish. And Dan Sullivan, and Sam carp, and all those guys, and really just took parts of their ideas, what he did was put into a framework that then became distinctly unique for him based on his experience of working in this family business. And so, you know, he’s very honest about the fact that they aren’t all his concepts, I mean, the E Myth stuffs and everything’s in there, but it’s just his way of bringing it together in a way that he found that can work. So you’re right, there’s not that many, absolutely new, unique ideas out there is

Verity Craft  16:45

That yeah, and I would argue that as someone who’s coming out and saying, I am the only person to ever think about this, that I would be a little bit suspicious, because then we as the proof, whereas if you’re able to say, well, actually, you know, we took inspiration from this framework, and we read this book, and we did this. And then this is what we’ve come up with, based on our own experience, that’s actually a lot more believable and trustworthy than someone who just says, I’ve come up with this brand new thing that no one has ever thought of before, because I’m so brilliant.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  17:19

Okay, so once you’ve got you see, concepts doesn’t have to be absolutely unique, but they just have to have a flavor or a story or something that is unique to the way that you are actually presenting it. Okay, what’s the next season?

Verity Craft  17:30

Next one is consistency. And this is the hard one.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  17:35

And again, business ongoing, this is just like business to go out and start a business expect to have immediate results overnight. And the amount of people I’ve seen who go and start a business and looked after six months go, oh, well, it’s not working. I’m gonna pack it in. And that’s the lack of consistency, right? Yeah. 100.

Verity Craft  17:50

And I often equate thought leadership to investing. So you know, all of the investment or the investing advice that I follow generally, is that investing is a long term game. And so you want to, you want to invest consistently and often. So it’s better to do a small amount consistently than it is to do a massive amount, and then nothing for years. And I sort of look at thought leadership the same way, it’s better to be consistently building it up, then to go out and make a big bang, and then never do anything ever again, you’re going to have more impact. And just like investing, it’s a bit like compound interest. So at the start, you might not notice that many obviously, you want to try and get some quick ones on the board, so that you feel motivated and want to keep going. And we always try to make sure that happens. But like you really start to see the impact long term. And it becomes a little bit like a snowball, because as you start to do more and get in front of a bigger audience, then those people start sharing your ideas. And then the people that they’ve shared the ideas with will share them. And so it just builds up. And often what we find is there’s like a tipping point or something where all of a sudden, our clients will go, oh, I finally like I can see it now. Like I kind of you know, I could see the benefits and all of that. They’re like, I can finally feel it now. And so yeah, that consistency is really important.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  19:19

And actually, I mean, I hate the whole of the people who talk about the classic hockey stick but it is in terms of when you’re actually building this kind of thought leadership. Some of the podcasts right when I first started the podcast, it was little bit disheartening at first for the number of people you’re actually listening to it. And it took a long long time but then all of a sudden it just it was that compounding interest suppose yeah, suddenly you’ve got all these people listening in a regular listeners, and they’re telling to people that they know and they tell me what they know. And before you know it, it’s a snowball effect. Yeah, exactly. It wasn’t. So we got two episodes. I think it was I think there’s sort of 70s or 80s before we’d actually like to see that growth, which was Wow, finally,

Verity Craft  19:51

When most people give up before being right, like that’s the case in business. That’s the case and thought leadership case in podcasting. Most people give up Before they say the long term benefits. And so if you can stay really focused, and that’s why the being really clear on your vision is so important. Because if you’re not clear on where you’re going, it’s really hard to stay focused, and actually remain consistent moving towards that vision.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  20:17

Okay. So consistency is about smaller, small amounts, and often as opposed to big bursts, and then lack of anything for a long, long time. Yeah, exactly. There’s another season, there is

Verity Craft  20:27

One more say, and that’s community. And that’s because you cannot build thought leadership alone. So we might look at thought leaders and go, Wow, like, look at Brene, brown, look at Simon Sinek. You know, look at all these people, they did not do that alone. And they will all absolutely claim that. So there’s a huge number of people that you need around you to build thought leadership. And that is people, you know, that it might be your team, it might be the team that you’ve built up and might be your colleagues. It could be other people in the industry. It could be mentors, it could be coaches. But what it’s really about is having people who are going to challenge your thinking, right? Because if you think that your idea is perfect to start with, you’re probably kidding yourself. So there’s people to challenge you, there’s people to support you as well, and to share your ideas and start that off. And there’s people who are going to just keep you motivated, when it does get hard because like business, as we’ve already said, it’s a consistency thing. And it is going to be hard, sometimes some good days

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:35

And bad days, right? Like from that. Yeah, I would say and I think you’ve got to, yeah, you need to have people who will kind of lift you up when you’re feeling a little bit down. But also like it’s a challenge you because actually, I remember when you and I obviously don’t have a long time when we had the common and it wasn’t working. When you’re so in grained in something and so close to it, it’s hard to actually see the bigger picture. And so having an advisory board was kind of bit of a wake up call for me. It’s like, oh, okay, they’re challenging my thinking, which I think is great, because it meant we developed it in different ways.

Verity Craft  22:04

Yeah. 100%. And then, you know, you’re obviously, as a thought leader, you’re gonna build your community in terms of the people who want to engage with your ideas as well. But I think starting with that core group of people who will challenge you and will support you, and will, you know, who wants you to succeed, but are willing to call you out on your USP? Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yeah. And it’s one of the reasons that Christina and I often say that we’ve stayed together working together this long, is because we have really similar values and very different personalities. And I think the team sometimes find it quite funny, because we will absolutely just call each other out. And because I’m very much, I get excited about new ideas, and I want to do new things, and Christina has a, you know, methodical thinker, she likes to have the information. And so together, we make each other better, because I, you know, drag her towards action. And she makes sure that we’re actually taking the right actions instead of just diving into whatever

Debra Chantry-Taylor  23:01

Was like a classic visionary integrator. Which is what is needed though, because, you know, at the end of the day, I’m a visionary myself, and that was the big ideas. And they’re always, some of them are really, really great. And some of them are really, really terrible. And we need the people who are a little bit more sensible to kind of challenge us on it, and just allow us to have those ideas, not shoot them down, but allow us to kind of reflect on them. And just other than that, they really, truly are great ideas.

Verity Craft  23:25

Yeah, totally. And one of the things we often do when we’re working with clients on an idea is we ask them to try and argue against their own ideas. Because actually, it’s a really interesting exercise to see whether they can because I think thought leaders need to be really open. And we often talk about strong opinions lightly held. So you know, be really clear on what you believe and what you’re trying to achieve and get behind your ideas. Yeah, but if new information comes along, be open to it. And so forcing people to argue against their ideas. It’s an old trick that I learned back in high school debating.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  24:01

That didn’t do my first debate flowers about only about two or three years ago. And I got obviously put on the they always put you on the opposite opposite sides to what you actually believe in. And it was really, really cool, because I realized that actually, I enjoy seeing both sides and being able to fight both sides. But also it was interesting, just a personal level. I was with a fellow who I simply went over in Sydney, the other day, we were having a girly night after our session. And she I’m a bit of a royalist I can’t help it. I’m British. I’m very much the royal family. And I’ve always thought that Harry and Megan were just absolutely, you know, terrible and right. And then she had the exact opposite view. She’s American. She loves Harry and Megan, she hates the royal family. And even just a listener asking her questions and listening to what she had to say. I have to say it kind of made me think, okay, I had never considered that and actually, maybe I’ve been a bit bigoted in terms of the way that I was thinking about the royal family. And maybe there’s a chance to actually adjust that a wee bit. So it’s really interesting.

Verity Craft  24:57

And I love that you’ve been so open to that. It’s I’ve read a book recently called both and thinking, which to be honest, wasn’t the easiest read, but I loved the concept. Yeah, I think I think it could have been easier to engage with. But the concept was really important, which was that we live in this world where people are constantly told you have to pick either or. And actually, all of our best solutions and the way that we can solve our problems come when you embrace the both end thinking. So, you know, both there might be benefit to the monarchy, and Harry Megan might be fight, you know, if then embracing both of it. So that’s what we try and embrace a bit with Thought Leadership is going sometimes there can be two ideas that seem like they, they are in conflict. Yeah. And actually, they can both be true. And it’s reconciling those and finding a way to reconcile them. And often that reconciliation, that space between is where the really interesting ideas come out.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  25:48

So I’m struggling with with politics at the moment, because I was brought up very, very right wing. And so naturally, I tend to lean towards the right, but then part of me actually believes that socialism has got a huge amount of value. So I think I’m a Socialist capitalist. Totally, because I’m kind of going actually, I don’t believe that either is necessarily the right way. And, and I think there is a way to actually combine both. Yeah, but we live in a world where the media loves to make everything black and white. And politicians particularly debate things kind of like white. Yeah, yeah. So as a thought leader, you’re saying that you should be very much open to having your strong ideas, but being open to anything else that that might change that or might just give you some, some better rounding of it thinking?

Verity Craft  26:33

Yeah, absolutely. And Adam Grant calls, it calls it thinking like a scientist, which I really appreciate, which is that you make a hypothesis, you say, I believe this idea to be true, you’d go out and you try and prove it or disprove it. And it’s okay, if it’s wrong, you know, scientists are used to just proving their own hypotheses, maybe some less comfortably than others. But you know, it’s taking that experimentation approach and going, Okay, well, here’s the problem that I’m trying to solve, or here’s the goal that I’m trying to achieve, or here’s the opportunity that I say, and then looking at it as an experiment and going well, this is what I believe, how can I go and pull together information, whether that’s through, you know, the work that you do with your clients, or your customers, or whether that’s through research, or whether that’s just by sharing it on LinkedIn, and getting feedback, you know, but treating as a as an experiment. So actually, the four C’s that we’ve talked about today started out as the three C’s, and I shared it on LinkedIn. And the concepts one was what came through everyone’s feedback, they were like, wait, the ideas are missing. And sure enough, they were right. So that mattered.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  27:39

And that’s really cool. I was just gonna ask, as you listen, social media things are really interesting thing, right? Because when you do have strong opinions, and you put them out there, people really do get polarized, but there can be some really awful comments and things and, and I’m a bit of a softie at heart. So very, very, very hard exterior, but inside, so sometimes you kind of read these things, and it really affects me, I kind of go away. They don’t know me, I mentioned when a good person are going to be with me. What’s your advice to people about? First of all, I suppose even reading comments. And secondly, how do you take those on board? What do you how do you have to position that in your mind?

Verity Craft  28:14

So hard, isn’t it? It’s not nice for anyone. I would say it comes back to being really clear on what the impact is that you’re trying to have, and who you’re here to serve, right? Because when it comes down to it like this, people will have so many opinions. Everyone has opinions. And unfortunately, the internet makes them feel like they can share those opinions in a way that isn’t always kind. So what I would say is, there’s sort of two things is one, remembering why you’re doing that. And focusing on the positive impact that you are having, obviously, we all get affected by those kind of negative comments. I certainly don’t enjoy them. I remember one message that I got, but I still like every now and then at 11pm at night. It’ll just go through my head and I’ll be like, Oh, how could I have reacted to that differently?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:10

But yeah, it’s focusing on why what what you’re trying to do and why you’re trying to do it, and who you’re trying to impact who you’re trying to impact for sure. They might not be even the kind of people that you or the Yeah, might not be the person that you’re trying to impact.

Verity Craft  29:24

Yeah, exactly. And then the other thing is just remembering that everyone is human. And like there’s a there’s a person a lot men on I think his name is who he is a sorry, they are a non binary person who is basically an advocate for trans and non binary people. And yeah, I shouldn’t have misgendered them. But they are really amazing at taking the awful comments that people leave on their social media posts, genuinely horrific ones about how they should die, and I can’t even imagine. Yep. And they respond to them usually is sort of another Instagram post with love with kindness, and then they go back to them. And they say, I’m really sorry that, you know, you’re living with hate in your heart, and basically just treats them as people. And, you know, people shouldn’t be putting comments like that on it’s horrendous. And, you know, as much as I wish they would all go away, I feel like it’s less about whether it’s going to impact on the person commenting and more about what it does for you. And I think if you can approach that negativity with kindness, it won’t affect you as much as it does. So yeah, those are the two things that I would say you

Debra Chantry-Taylor  30:51

Get to find your genuine supporters to Right, yeah, the people who genuinely support you, or who believe in what you’re doing will actually come in behind all of it, and actually almost defend you on your behalf, which is, which can be a good thing. So yeah, it’s interesting. Yeah, social media has got such a lot to ask answered. behind a keyboard, so I can just write anything I want. And it’s like, they forget there’s a person. Yes. actual person on the other end?

Verity Craft  31:16

Oh, yes. Yeah, that’s, I must admit, I definitely get caught up in terms of looking at people and feeling like, oh, they disagree with, you know, these things that I think are core to being a good person and providing everyone with equal rights. And I’m, I get really up in arms. And then I’m like, okay, they’re a person coming from their experience. That’s the only way that you know, otherwise, you all you have is anger. And I think the anger just gets in the way.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  31:43

And like I said earlier, you get brought up in a certain way. And so for a lot of us, we have these, these core values that exist out there our family that we get brought up with, yeah, hopefully we get become a little bit enlightened. And when said, if they’re the right core values for us, and what kind of works, what doesn’t, but for some people, they don’t have that opportunity, or they don’t I don’t know, they don’t embrace it. Yeah. So you’ve got to remember that they’re just coming from what they know. Yeah, yeah. 100%. Yeah, yeah. And as you said, I mean, I think it’s, it’s, it gives you another chance to kind of think about the way that you actually engage in the way that you react to people to is really important. And you said, you know, your husband, and you you both share the same values, but you can approach things in completely different ways that, you know, my husband and we are paying scale, but we do share the same fundamental core values, which means we will clash at times in a big, big way, when we’re talking about politics, or we’re talking about religion, all kinds of things. But at the end, we have at least a way of being kind and respectful. And working through it. And we both get to grow from that. Yeah,

Verity Craft  32:40

Exactly. And I think that’s the case, in business is the case in relationships. It’s the case with Thought Leadership, it’s like, actually, if you approach everything from a perspective of, I’m open, and I come at this with curiosity and kindness, then, you know, yes, there are still going to be people who are awful, and but it won’t affect you as much. Because you’re coming at it from a really different place.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  33:03

Am I always say, that sort of thing is the way to approach that as if somebody really, really is winding me up. And I feel that they’re, they’re being really awful. You kind of go, Okay, have some empathy. It’s like, so Where must they be in their own space to feel that way so strongly about something that must be really awful to have that such a strength of feeling when you could be a whole lot kinder?

Verity Craft  33:22

So true. I think about that. I’ve got a 15 month old daughter now. And she is definitely you know, she’s hitting that tantrum stage. And it’s exactly the same way that you have to approach a kid because you go, like, she’s when she gets really worked up and start screaming. She’s not doing it to annoy us that she has, it feels really hard. You know, she’s doing it because she’s frustrated, and she doesn’t know how to express herself. And so I think, in some ways, you know, if you can treat, treat the nasty people on the internet, a little bit like toddlers, maybe with a little bit less condescension. You don’t get in trouble that way. But you know, and come at it going, Oh, you’re really frustrated, or you’ve been brought up in this way that you know, you haven’t been shown kindness or whatever it is. I have some empathy. Yeah, exactly.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:14

Cool. Tell us a little bit about the speaking. Because we’ve talked a lot about falling ship. What about the speaking what’s that about for you? Yeah, so

Verity Craft  34:19

The speaking for me is because I love being onstage. I love people. I’m your classic extrovert. Yes. And I you know, I love doing musical theater outside of work, although it’s a little bit harder to do now with a baby. But I love being on stage because I think it’s the best way to just instantly connect with people and instantly share ideas and see their reactions as you’re sharing their ideas. So speaking isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s like total happy space and a place where I can Yeah, really just test out ideas and get them in front of people and see how they respond to them and see which bits connect with them emotion. Really? And so yeah, so this year, I made it a goal that I’m going to grow my speaking business. And obviously still, you know, use that to drive back to the business. But really, I’m growing it because I love it, I want to do more of it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:15

You know, my whole philosophy is like doing what you love with people you love, made a difference. So that’s really cool. So what do you talk about?

Verity Craft  35:21

So I talk about thought leadership, but on a more universal level, I guess, which is, how do you lead with your thinking? How do you put forward ideas that are going to help people and use that to build your authority and your reputation? So yeah, I’m still developing that and evolving that. And I’m sure that will evolve as I carry on. But right now, that’s where I placed my focus. And it’s all about helping people stand out in a way that feels really authentic, and like they’re having an impact.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:51

Fantastic. A variety. We’re suddenly coming to the end of the podcast, I’ve been talking for quite a while already, in terms of helping people out there who perhaps are interested in this whole thought leadership thing. Obviously, we’ve got the four C’s, the clarity, the concepts, consistent community, but where would they even start? What would you suggest they do? If they were thinking about well, is this thing for me? Do I have to I have some concepts that are worthwhile even exploring?

Verity Craft  36:13

Yeah, I think to be honest, if they’re even asking that they probably they’ve probably got something right. And so I would be starting by putting together a thought leadership strategy and getting really clear on where they want to go. We can help people with that. But there’s also, you know, resources online and things that they can look at all haven’t you on? Yes, we do. I’m just trying to think which tools are aware, but yes, on our website, on the bottom of the. Absolutely. And just getting a really clear picture of where they should focus their efforts. So like, we’ve got a thought leadership audit tool that might be might be helpful in figuring out okay, well, here’s where I’m doing pretty well, here’s where I need to focus my efforts. But I would start by thinking about where do you want to go? Yeah, what do you want to do? And then if you do need help with that, then they you know, you can reach out?

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:01

Absolutely. So how do they reach out? How do they get ahold of you? Yeah, so

Verity Craft  37:04

A couple of different ways. LinkedIn, feel free to connect with me, that’s where I spend a good portion of my day. So LinkedIn, otherwise, our website is intelligent. NZ, and you can contact us through there. And yeah, just just reach out that way. Or there are also links on there to book a call with me and happy to jump on our chat people and you

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:24

Don’t just because your NOC code is inside, but you don’t just work with a New Zealander. You work with people around the world. Yeah,

Verity Craft  37:29

Absolutely. So yeah, we’ve got clients in the UK and the US and Australia. So although we started here in New Zealand, it’s very much become a global thing. And we’re excited to grow globally as well.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:41

That’s awesome. Hey, look, thank you so much for your time. I always love having a chat to you. It’s great to be in studio again. Thank you.

Verity Craft 

Thanks so much, Debra. Pleasure.





Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional  EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand

Professional EOS Implementer  Australia

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Professional EOS Implementer NZ

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