Becoming a Thought Leader

Good evening to all,

Today my blog will discuss Thought Leadership and what that means. Thought leadership can be defined as a type of content marketing where you tap into the talent, experience, and passion inside your business, or from your community, to consistently answer the biggest questions on the minds of your target audience, on a topic (Brenner, 2017). Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success (Brosseau, 2017).

Preparing to Build Authority and Selecting a Mentor

Identifying your talents, and your most valuable activities, is a good start to identifying where you should become an authority on. Spending time on developing yourself, and sharing your knowledge by training others, will help to develop yourself as you are teaching others what you know.

If you need help, then the fastest way to become the authority is to get guidance from someone who has already become one. You find a mentor, someone You trust and who has already achieved success. And by following their device and communicating with them regularly, you progress toward ultimately becoming a master like them. You can find a mentor in any of these three settings:

  • Inside of your company – then you can identify one person who is highly successful in what you want to become an authority on, and is already an authority within the company. You might approach them and try to develop a professional relationship, getting their permission to ask questions regularly, so that you can learn from them.
  • Outside of the company – you can go outside your company, but generally within your network of friends and acquaintances. It’s usually a bit easier to get these people to be your mentor because you already have a relationship with them, or you may have a friend who can introduce you to someone who is a master. You’ll have to work with this person to create a structure that works with their busy schedule and yours, so that you can meet occasionally and learn from each other.
  • Long distance mentorship – in this situation you find a master to mentor you from afar. connect with them on online social networks. If they have a blog, I would subscribe to it. If they have a podcast, I would listen to it, and certainly if they’re writing books, or delivering seminars, I would want to participate in those. Any opportunity you can get access to and learn from their expertise. As you’re following a mentor from afar try to discover how they rose to an authority position, what path they followed, and try to build a history to understand that path.

There are no shortcuts to becoming a master in your field. Becoming an authority will take you some time, but finding another master to learn from and consistently scheduling a time to learn from them will make the process easier to rise from apprenticeship to a master yourself.

Building Authority within a Company

When it comes to building your authority inside of the company, the simplest and fastest way to begin is by becoming a systems expert. A systems expert is someone in a company who best understands certain processes and procedures within the business. Documentation alone is not enough. For people to be truly successful in a position, they must learn from someone else.

To get company buy-in, you must follow the guidelines that have been established within your company. It may take some time to build your authority and be recognized within a larger business. The idea is to get as much information as you can about a system onto a single page. If You try to document a system in too much detail, it loses its value because people are less likely to read and use it. You want an outline, a sketch of what someone should do when using the system. This is where You list all the system’s steps. You don’t need to provide every little detail regarding the how. You just want to create an outline, a sketch of the general steps that someone should follow to complete this system. Keep in mind that this system is designed to be a training tool for use in teaching the system to another person. The fine-details can be covered in the teaching process.

Once you have created the system and once it’s been approved, make it available for everyone else to use and learn from as this will formalize the system. Once its finalized, you can begin using it to teach other people. By reviewing, editing, and then formalizing systems you create, you will begin to improve your skills as a systems expert within the company.

Building Authority in the Public

The steps involved for building your authority are as follows:

  • Climbing the authority ladder – First is writing helpful reviews of products and services. Next, you can actively comment on others’ blogs. You want to participate regularly so that you become recognized on those blogs as an expert. Next you can also create your own blog or a podcast. Create a schedule, be consistent, don’t forget to make the posts.
  • Building a library – There are three general ways in which you can build your own library. They are articles, books, and videos. The best way to begin building your own library and helping other people make decisions is by regularly writing an article.
  • Building an online network – When I talk about building a social network, I am referring to building your perceived authority by becoming the leader of other leaders. The more focused you can get your message the easier it will be to build your authority. You can then invite other people who are already perceived experts in this topic to join the group.
  • Building an offline network – Build the group locally as that’s the easiest to get people to attend. Begin small. Don’t feel like you need to have 50, 100, or even 10 people to begin. If you start with just three or four interested people, you have the nucleus to form a group. Think of it like an association, regardless of what you want to call it. Any association you’ve seen, all began with just a few people getting together to discuss common interests.
  • Gaining personal publicity – Recognition and coverage in the press can be very helpful when building your reputation as an authority and a decision leader, not only will it give you exposure to people who are interested in your expertise, but it becomes a resume builder.

Thought leaders don’t have all the answers, and they’re never done learning. It’s important to admit what you don’t know, and remain humble enough to listen to what others have to say. And, perhaps most importantly, it can, for many, answer the deeper question – why am I here, what is the meaning in my work, what will I leave behind? As your influence and platform grow, so will your opportunities to create a significant impact on a larger and larger scale, to inspire and bring about meaningful change that can last long after you’re gone. As a thought leader, you will leave a legacy – transformed teams, communities, industries, systems or governments Brousseau, 2017). This is something that I should be focusing on in my career over the next little while, lets see who I can teach, and get involved in what I am an expert resource on, so they can become an expert resource and help me with growing my career.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog and I hope you have a wonderful week 🙂

Joan

References

Beswick, C. (2016, November 11). Introducing the future shapers – your innovation thought leadership resource [image]. Retrieved from https://crisbeswick.com/introducing-the-future-shapers-your-innovation-thought-leadership-resource/

Brenner, M. (2017, March 18). WHAT is thought leadership? And when you should use it? Retrieved from https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/what-is-thought-leadership-and-when-you-should-use-it/

Brousseau, D. (2017). What is a thought leader? Retrieved from http://www.thoughtleadershiplab.com/Resources/WhatIsaThoughtLeader

Brousseau, D. (2017a). Ready to be a thought leader [image]? Retrieved from http://www.thoughtleadershiplab.com/AboutDenise/AboutTheBook

Crenshaw, D. (2012, September 5). Thought leadership. Retrieved from https://www.lynda.com/Business-Skills-tutorials/Becoming-a-Thought-Leader/88535-2.html?org=nait.ca

Dodaro, M. (2017, September 6). 5 ways to increase thought leadership & build trust [image]. Retrieved from http://topdogsocialmedia.com/increase-thought-leadership-trust/

Thought leadership. (2017). Propel marketing group [image]. Retrieved from http://propelmg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Thought-Leadership-Infographic.gif

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