Sector News

The Golden Rules of Thought Leadership

November 18, 2014
Borderless Leadership

Here are must do’s for becoming an elite expert in your field.

All Thought Leaders are experts in their industry, but not all experts in their industry are Thought Leaders. It’s a title reserved for only the most elite, and there’s no guaranteed path to get there. Much like getting a nickname as an Astronaut, it’s something you have to earn, and it’s something that can only be bestowed upon you from others, much like a Philosopher. Becoming a Thought Leader should never be an end goal, but the common best practices to get there should be revered by all.

Think Thought Leadership is in your future? See if you’re following the golden rules and find out. Who knows, you might be the next go-to guru in your field and even make a name for yourself beyond your industry.

  1. Advise, educate and inform

A Thought Leader’s goal is never to show off, to confuse with industry jargon or to leave anyone in the dust. They promote intelligent discourse by bringing issues to life, fostering conversations and helping to educate everyone from fellow executives to the consumer. This is much tougher than it sounds and requires a knack for reading the audience and acting accordingly. A Thought Leader can explain in layman’s terms with ease.

  1. Be an established industry expert

How will you know if you’re an industry expert or simply have the same (vast) amount of knowledge as everyone else in your field? You’ll know–you’ll probably have at least a decade of experience in the field, you’ll have a plethora of published articles/interviews under your belt in reputable industry outlets, and you’ll often be asked to speak at relevant conferences. I’ve been working a lot on this for my current startup.

  1. Your presence brings profits to any business

It’s not enough to just be an expert. You will bring a quantifiable value to any business you’re linked with at any time, and (if necessary) you can point to analytics that back it up. It’s relatively easy to wax poetic about the future of search engine optimization or mobile readiness. It’s quite another to get paid handsomely, and then let those profits trickle into your business(es) of choice.

  1. You’re a charismatic communicator

There are certainly exceptions, but for the most part, Thought Leaders are master communicators. They can draw in an audience with their speeches, their blogs, or their savvy tweets. The good news is that this is one skill set everyone can actively improve upon. Get a speech coach, join Toastmasters, or take a blogging class. Here’s the deal: Thought Leaders love to communicate, anytime, anyplace. Learn to do it well.

  1. They’re truly passionate about what they do

There’s not a Thought Leader out there who doesn’t genuinely love what he does, and adore his industry. They will keep doing what they do regardless of status, pay level, or praise. If you’re in an industry you don’t love, you can be successful–but you’ll never be a Thought Leader. The old advice “do what you love” is a given for Thought Leaders. What else would they do?

  1. They always want more

More information, more tech advancements, more education. More, more, more is the mantra of Thought Leaders, and few of them will ever fully retire. They’re also natural-born teachers and have a gift for spreading their excitement beyond the industry walls. Their energy is infectious. If you’re hungry for more in your industry, you’re on the right path.

Unfortunately, “Thought Leadership” is a title many are trying to bestow upon themselves when they haven’t yet earned it. Don’t worry. The real Thought Leaders will always rise to the top.

By John Rampton

Source: INC

comments closed

Related News

October 17, 2021

Scaling AI like a tech native: The CEO’s role

Borderless Leadership

What if a company built each component of its product from scratch with every order, without any standardized or consistent parts, processes, and quality-assurance protocols? Chances are that any CEO would view such an approach as a major red flag preventing economies of scale and introducing unacceptable levels of risk—and would seek to address it immediately. Yet every day this is how many organizations approach the development and management of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics in general.

October 10, 2021

How business leaders can reduce polarization

Borderless Leadership

Rising polarization is unlikely to disappear anytime soon, and it can have severe ramifications for businesses, whether they take a public stance or not. However, by taking a selective and strategic approach, CEOs can reduce the harm of polarization first within their own companies.

October 3, 2021

With so many people quitting, don’t overlook those who stay

Borderless Leadership

The marketplace for talent has shifted. You need to think of your employees like customers and put thoughtful attention into retaining them. This is the first step to slow attrition and regain your growth curve. And this does not happen when they feel ignored in the fever to hire new people or underappreciated for the effort they make to keep business moving forward. They need to be seen for who they are and what they are contributing, and leadership needs to ensure this is happening. The authors offer four steps for leaders to take.

Send this to a friend