Thank you for your comment. Before I answer, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were having a rough day when you wrote the above. I’m also going to assume that since you have a Google Alert set up for “thought leadership” you probably come across a lot of (useless) banter on the subject which might be the cause for being - as you called it - “snippy”.
Now to the actual valid concerns you’ve raised on the topic.
When I used the term “thought leadership “for this article, I was in no way confusing it with content marketing or curation. I meant the term in its visionary sense - to be a thought leader by presenting insights, angles and thoughts pertaining to your unique position as CEO or executive.
Let me get more specific and discuss people/blogs who, in my view, embody the above characteristics. Mitch Joel is an example that comes to mind immediately. His blog Six Pixels of Separation has all the elements of a thought-leader’s blog. Another person that comes to mind is SAP’s Michael Brenner whose insights are a direct result of his position within the company.
To differentiate thought-leaders from “mere” experts or SMEs, I would say the key difference is one of envisioning the future. If a CEO’s posts are about developing expertise in his industry, then he might be an expert. But if his expertise presents unique insights which could help move the industry forward as a whole, then it falls in the realm of thought leadership.
Consider the blog of Forrester’s George Colony: http://blogs.forrester.com/george_colony/12-10-15-the_mobile_war. This is a perfect example of a thought-leadership blog post, where he is presenting his advice to other CEOs based on his unique position, perspective and mountains of data and research.
Incidentally, this is also a great example of a blog post, the essence of which could be recorded within a few minutes while the finer details of adding accurate statistics and links etc could be the work of his outsourced content team.
I respectfully do not agree with your view that blogs are not a primary vehicle of thought leadership. I could go on about why, but there are many more learned people than myself already exemplifying the use of blogs as a way of putting across inspiring content, so I do not feel the need to debate this here.
And finally, I do find the terminology in your last para to be mildly offensive, but that could be because I’m Asian and we have a much more refined sense of appropriate language, especially while engaging in discourse on a global forum. However, I will still thank you for your comment as it elicited a worthy discussion here and that I’m happy to see.
p.s. I sure do hope you tweak that Google Alert setting!