July 24, 2022

Bonus Episode: How to Engage Followers While Evolving Your Thought Leadership Niche

Bonus Episode: How to Engage Followers While Evolving Your Thought Leadership Niche

What happens when a recognised thought leader shifts his focus beyond the existing niche of his leadership?  In continuation of our discussion, Ron shares how he is going beneath - deeper- into the area of Service Leadership and Uplifting Service Cultures to the world of Care.

In this bonus episode, we talk about:

- What brought about this shift in his focus?

- As an individual, how is he developing his knowledge and eventually thought leadership on the topic?


- How is he engaging his existing community in to the whole new world of care?

This conversation offers a peek into how Ron Kaufman, who is a world renowned thought leader in the area of Service Leadership,  is now focusing his genuine thinking in the area of care.

Know more about Ron's phenomenal work in the domain of Uplifting Service Cultures and Customer Service here:



Connect with him on  https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronkaufman/

[00:00:00] Surbhi Dedhia: Hello. Hello, and welcome to another episode on The Making of a Thought Leader podcast. In episode 31, my conversation with Ron Kaufman on what does it take to be a thought leader, we spoke about several fundamentals. Like what does it to genuinely think why clarity is so important and essential and how does one stay focused in developing his or her niche?

[00:00:29] Surbhi Dedhia: If you haven't had the chance to listen to the previous episode, I highly recommend you do so and tune into that episode and not miss it. Building one thought leadership is not a destination. It's a journey. And discussing about Ron's journey as a recognized thought leader in this field of customer service and uplifting service cultures we also spoke about his current shift into the world of serve ,care and love. I have been following Ron's work for over a decade, and I'm now seeing a new chapter in his thought leader. In this bonus episode of the making of a thought leader podcast, Ron shares, why is he shifting his focus and how is he bringing his community along with him?

[00:01:20] Surbhi Dedhia: Now, that is a very interesting conversation. So let's dive right in and hear from Ron Kaufman.

[00:01:35] Surbhi Dedhia: So, Ron, tell me more about what is currently taking all your focus and why there is this entire new language around care. 

[00:01:47] Ron Kaufman: Mm mm. So. For a few decades. Mm-hmm, my expertise in the domain of service improvement and service culture development, service leadership has been extraordinarily satisfying. And as a professional, it's been an abundant era, but the.

[00:02:07] Ron Kaufman: Purpose of most client engagements has been, I want better service to have more loyal customers so that they buy more so that I differentiate from my competition so that I get more market share so I can charge a price premium so I can be more profitable so that we make more money. As I've gotten older, this idea of commercial success for the sake of commercial success is satisfying, but not completely fulfilling.

[00:02:36] Ron Kaufman: So then as I've been in pursuit and said, what would be more fulfilling and we've seen it during the COVID era. And we've seen it during this recognition that ecologically, the world will not sustain just persistent exploitation in pursuit of profit. And as you said, in the evolution of being human. Hmm.

[00:02:56] Ron Kaufman: Right. Ah, then I wanna know why do we serve? Not just for the money. Right. Service is a form of taking. Okay, then what do we mean by care? And I realized Surbhi that in the same way, when I started really focusing on this world of service 30 years ago, it really was not very well developed. So there was a huge space for me to invent.

[00:03:22] Ron Kaufman: And I did. And you know, the architecture that I created and the book that I wrote and the principles that we've developed, and they're very successful, it's called the proven path yes. To delighting customers, colleagues, and everyone else you meet. And I found when I started inquiring deeply into this phenomenon of care that I encountered two fields, one was philosophers mm-hmm and, and authentically.

[00:03:44] Ron Kaufman: So like, what is it that gives life meaning. How should one live a good life? What is it to be ethical? What is it to be moral? What is justice? What is evil? And you started to really, you know, like, oh my goodness, there's this world of care. The problem with the philosophers is that they're discussing it at the level of a PhD thesis dissertation.

[00:04:05] Ron Kaufman: They're not doing it in a way that's intended to be easily accessible to the layman. If you will. Right. Then I discovered that there was another field that it also kept called healthcare. I see. Well, it makes sense. Most people don't know the word care itself comes from an old German word Karu, which means to grieve and an old Norwegian word quarter, which means sick bed.

[00:04:36] Ron Kaufman: What, because way, way back then centuries ago, if you were old or ill or wounded, you were going to die. And so to care, genuinely meant to grieve and to worry. Now, wait, well, wait a minute, wait a minute. That's not at all. When we mean, when we say, what do you care about or why should I. Or take good care. So I recognized in the same way that service 30 years ago was treated in a rather shallow manner for the sake of diverse exploration.

[00:05:10] Ron Kaufman: So was care. And I've been working on that now for years, even to developing a new curriculum called care-ology where you can serve better and care more. And then the serve care love is well serve better care, more love life. 

[00:05:25] Surbhi Dedhia: Wonderful. Wow. So that, that is kind of, you know, extending the service

[00:05:33] Ron Kaufman: actually going beneath, beneath the service to the why.

[00:05:37] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. I, I would agree on that. Yeah. The why. So, just as we said, it's going beneath, but then how in your communication and with your community specifically, because, you know, in the episode we talked about, uh, growing with your community. Yes. You are never self, like you're not growing alone.

[00:05:55] Surbhi Dedhia: You're always developing with the community then how are you actually channelizing this entire communication piece? Yeah. And bringing your tribe along with. . 

[00:06:05] Ron Kaufman: Yeah, it's a great question because the reality is if you follow my LinkedIn posts, et cetera, it's still 90% service. Hmm. And only occasionally when I do a podcast like this and we take a snippet where I talk about care, is it going up?

[00:06:19] Ron Kaufman: And people are going, what's that Uhhuh . Uh, and so I am in development mode right now. Both by working with healthcare and learning a lot more about the biological component of care, but that's not the kind of ology I want to teach. In other words, you care about your human mortality and your biology and your physical health.

[00:06:41] Ron Kaufman: Yes. That's one aspect of life, but you also care about your family and you care about your particular society and you care about the communities of work and sports and faith that in which a neighborhood in which you. and you care about this moment in history. Like many young people today are going, wait a minute.

[00:07:01] Ron Kaufman: What, what am I gonna do for the planet? Mm, yeah, a hundred years ago, nobody was saying, what am I gonna do for the planet? Okay. And, and on and on. And so there's this whole world of care in which I am developing and we'll be teaching, but that's coming in the years ahead. So it'll be a gradual until I'm ready and then you'll see it much more.

[00:07:24] Surbhi Dedhia: Got it. I follow your LinkedIn and I understand what you mean by originally that there is this post about care. And that is what actually intrigued me to ask this that, see, you've developed your thought leadership. Everybody knows you as a service. And 

[00:07:38] Ron Kaufman: always will. Yeah. And always will. Yeah. So, 

[00:07:41] Surbhi Dedhia: so when there is this extension that happens like careology, it's a new terminology.

[00:07:47] Surbhi Dedhia: So what you are essentially saying that you are educating, everybody systematically to understand, care as such a deep meaning to service. So it is really that evolution, if I will say, uh, to, to, to your own self and your thought leadership. 

[00:08:05] Ron Kaufman: You're you're exactly right. And it's not just to understand, but to actually, for each person think about, so that thought leadership from how can you apply this in your world to give somebody better service becomes, what is it that you care about and why do you care about that?

[00:08:24] Ron Kaufman: And then what can you do to take good care? In that area. Well, the moment you take good care, you're gonna do some action. That's the service part. Yes. And so you have this very close connection between everything I've developed in service and what it is that's developing in the world of care, but just right now, because we're quite busy working in healthcare and in many other projects, The clarity on how to bring that out in the world from the standpoint of what is your positioning or your personal brand, or how you're gonna articulate and share that thought leadership in the world.

[00:08:58] Ron Kaufman: I am as much a work in progress as anybody listening to this podcast. Right. 

[00:09:04] Surbhi Dedhia: Right. So sounds really, really interesting. And in our conversations you you've described care-ology can you please say that for our audience? What is care-ology? 

[00:09:17] Ron Kaufman: See, when you say to me, what is uplifting service? Hmm. I'm gonna start with what is service mm-hmm and then how do you evaluate service and then how do you improve service?

[00:09:27] Ron Kaufman: And then how do you build a culture for continuously improving service? And then how do you lead that culture that continuously improve service, blah. Yeah. In care. And, and I defined service as taking action to create value for someone else. Hmm. So I wrote the definition that care is concern and commitment.

[00:09:46] Ron Kaufman: To wellbeing. Okay. Now it could be wellbeing of your child. It could be wellbeing of your country. It could be wellbeing of your sports team. It could be wellbeing of the planet, but it's concern, but that's not enough. It's concern and commitment to wellbeing. Now in a situation like this, I'll even add the word to future wellbeing.

[00:10:08] Ron Kaufman: Hmm. And people go. Why future? Because the present moment just became, just became in the past, just became in the past, just became in the past. So if you care about something you're concerned for its future mm-hmm how are you gonna take care? You're gonna serve it. Okay. Now, in answer to the question, why do we care about what we care about?

[00:10:27] Ron Kaufman: Then we have to start with what is, and here, the question needs to be asked correctly because philosophers have been asking the wrong question for a long time. They've been asking what is a human. Wrong question. The question is what is being human big difference? Big difference. Yes. Being human is a social phenomenon.

[00:10:49] Ron Kaufman: Being human is a mortal phenomenon. Being human is an existential phenomenon. It's, it's a biological phenomenon. It's a family phenomenon, it's a community phenomen. And so then what I'm doing in care-ology is helping people to think more clearly about that by breaking it out into different areas, giving lots of examples, clarifying the questions, giving them exercises to be able to do, to clarify for themselves.

[00:11:12] Ron Kaufman: What do I care about? Why do I care about that? And then how well am I taking care? And what else could I do to take better? 

[00:11:19] Surbhi Dedhia: Right. So it's almost like taking the onus on oneself. Every individual, like every time you say a little drop counts makes a ocean right? So it's like literally going back to your own self understanding, aligning yourself and then committing to that concern for the wellbeing of that.

[00:11:40] Surbhi Dedhia: Cause. So really it is all about just aligning yourself with a great clarity. 

[00:11:46] Ron Kaufman: And be clear, Surbhi that every single time you just said the word self, it's not you apart from your community, it's you as a historical creature who has come about at this moment in time in a community that is a historical phenomenon and you're alive now with this precious miracle called life.

[00:12:04] Ron Kaufman: And what you going go and do with it. and if you say I wanna be a thought leader. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Then lead us in our thinking. 

[00:12:15] Surbhi Dedhia: Why should everybody commit to become a thought leader? Like why should, why this, why thought leadership is even important?

[00:12:23] Ron Kaufman: But not everybody should aspire to or desire to become a thought leader.

[00:12:29] Ron Kaufman: There are many, many, many people who will say an incredibly satisfying life for me is to be an enthusiastic committed member of this family in this society, in this community. And I'm gonna demonstrate my devotion to the wellbeing of the human beings and of the natural environment where we. Yeah. Now you could, you could be a practical community leader.

[00:12:56] Ron Kaufman: You could be an ethical leader. You could be a leader of morality. You could be a leader in a particular community. You don't have to be a thought leader, but if you're gonna be a thought leader, you better be ready to challenge your own thinking on a regular basis. 

[00:13:13] Surbhi Dedhia: Hmm. That is really important. What happens is today we are all on the digital part saying that you gotta be authentic. You got to put your words out there. You got to show up or be a present on social media. And in all of that, it, it feels like if I don't have anything valuable to say, then I better be not there. Right? Like, what you're saying is just true to this, that you got to really. Know what you're saying, and that's how you can even bring your authentic self in the first place, because then you are challenging what is already being said and, and that challenging or contributing to mm-hmm

[00:13:54] Ron Kaufman: So, you know, if somebody wants to develop thought leadership, one of the best things you can do is go into, for example, LinkedIn, and find others who are already recognized as credible and comment, but don't comment like great post. You know, actually think about what they're saying and share your thoughts and ask a question right. And participate until your own way of thinking starts to emerge. 

[00:14:19] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. Wonderful. This has been just so phenomenal. It's like, I think we have had a story, like history, philosophy, service, 

[00:14:29] Ron Kaufman: care, biology, society technology. Right. And that is wrong for, oh, there's one. There's one that we haven't mentioned yet.

[00:14:40] Ron Kaufman: Yes. And I I'd like to bring it in. Sure. And that's, that's the idea of responsibility. Hmm. Okay. So you know that I often have taught and many before me have said as well, this idea of taking personal responsibility, huh? You see something, it could be done. It should be done. You could do it. You do it. You see something it needs to be done.

[00:15:01] Ron Kaufman: You're not the right person. You don't just sit quietly. You bring it to someone's attention. You might even make a suggestion or a recommendation or make an offer as to how you could help. Yeah. Mm-hmm personal responsibility. The next level really is creating a sense of shared responsibility. Mm-hmm being the one that pulls the neighborhood.

[00:15:21] Ron Kaufman: Being the one that initiates some kind of a crowdfunding campaign, being the person who says let's make this a family tradition. Yeah. Creating a sense of share responsibility, but because of digital marketing and because of how widely we can cast our net to find our tribe or develop our tribe as you use the, the term, you could also literally generate historic responsibility.

[00:15:46] Ron Kaufman: Hmm. There is a moment in time in which we live right now. In which an individual with a clear calling with a competence that gets developed with a public identity amongst others, that that is really grounded in trust can not only create a sense of shared responsibility, but can propose to bring about something that will show up in history as one of those inflection points that I mentioned very at the beginning of our call.

[00:16:18] Surbhi Dedhia: Yes. Yes. And, and while you say that take the responsibility? I think today due to technology, there is just so many possibilities to, or the access for each and every individual to share and convey that shared responsibility. By that. I mean, it's not only all the, all that you say on, uh, social media is all about your professional existence, but probably personal existence as well.

[00:16:51] Surbhi Dedhia: And there are so many campaigns that we can see that have brought about good changes in social media, in the just awareness about women's rights and equality. And like, there are so many examples that we can quote, but 

[00:17:05] Ron Kaufman: that's right. That's right. 

[00:17:06] Surbhi Dedhia: That, that's what you mean by. Taking that shared responsibility, being that individual who creates that shared responsibility 

[00:17:15] Ron Kaufman: mm-hmm and then with your tribe generate a sense of historic responsibility.

[00:17:20] Surbhi Dedhia: Ron, this has been beautiful. I think that's the word I'm looking for? Beautiful, because like all the conversations that we have had, this is touched so many different parts. Encouraged me to do something different going beyond this. And I'm sure the listeners are going to feel equally inspired and motivated to do something different in service in care.

[00:17:43] Surbhi Dedhia: And having that shared responsibility. So, Serve care love. 

[00:17:48] Surbhi Dedhia: But before I let you go, I want you to give us a message, um, for who, who are all about to build your thought leadership and also where they can, uh, find you where, which is the best way to follow you, find you.

[00:18:03] Ron Kaufman: So, so the message is this a life well lived, contributes to the wellbeing of others. Hmm. Hmm. You wanna live more? Give more? Yeah. Hmm. Because when you give in a way that uplifts others, the good comes right back to you. In fact, it comes out of you. It comes through you in order to be able to do that uplifting of the others in.

[00:18:35] Ron Kaufman: Every human being is carrying the burdens. Everybody is suffering. Everybody's gonna die at some point. I mean the tragic nature of human life is inescapable. And yet in the moments when we are alive, we have this privileged, miraculous opportunity to be the person who leaves other people feeling a bit better than before he had the conversation.

[00:18:57] Ron Kaufman: Yes. Absolutely now I don't mean a bit better. Like leave them happy. Sometimes you need to be the one that delivers the bad news with a negative assessment, but you're doing it in a constructive manner. Hmm to help them improve and grow. So don't, I'm not saying, you know, I'm Mr. Happy guy. I'm saying Mr. Mr. Healthy guy. Okay. 

[00:19:16] Ron Kaufman: And where people can find me is at the website. Ron kaufman.com. That's R O N K a U F M a n.com. Type in my name at YouTube, you'll find a couple hundred videos type in my name at LinkedIn. Find me connect, follow. I look forward to being with you. 

[00:19:31] Surbhi Dedhia: Absolutely. And it'll be my pleasure to put in all these links on the show notes.

[00:19:34] Surbhi Dedhia: So it's easier for everybody to get to you. Follow you, learn from you and get inspired from you. Thank you so much, Ron, for being on the show again. 

[00:19:43] Ron Kaufman: Thank you, Surbhi