Are You a Thought Leader?

Positioning as a thought leader can be a powerful career and business strategy. Are you there?

  • Do you acknowledge other thought leaders and expand their ideas with your own experience and knowledge?
  • Do you offer a unique framework, a creative lens, or new perspective for solving problems?
  • Do you create new models, processes, or systems for a unique approach to an issue?
  • Do you use your own terminology and create new terms to define new concepts and become quotable?
  • Do you create a tribe or community with other thought leaders and followers?
  • Do you brand your ideas and concepts?
  • Do you explore divergent ideas and show similarities and connections?
  • Do you write and speak about your ideas so that others both understand and follow?

If you answered yes to most of the question, congratulations on your thought leadership! If you aspire to thought leadership, here are some considerations:

  • Don’t merely repackage the knowledge of other thought leaders; build upon their ideas. Read extensively from a variety of business and professional journals. Listen to TED Talks. Know how your ideas are similar to others’, and how and why you offer a unique view.
  • Share you passion about your topic with your followers. Explain why you are passionate about your work.
  • Create your own model, process, system by using powerful analogies and metaphors to define your process and concepts that are part of your brand.
  • Create your own unique terminology to define your processes, systems, and concepts. Don’t merely use the acronyms used by others.
  • Don’t quote others; quote yourself. Create sound bites that will become sticky.
  • Create opportunities for conversation and connection with other thought leaders and those in your field. Ask questions on social media. Invite dialogue. Attend conferences where your tribe is attending.
  • Speak and write about your expertise. Submit proposals to speak for your industry and professional conferences. Write blogs and articles and publish on LinkedIn and in industry journals. And write your book.

Ultimately, you will become a thought leader when you write the book on your subject matter and claim it as your own. Then others will refer to you as “the one who wrote the book on it.”

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