Thought leaders are a unique breed of business professionals who command the highest form of respect from stakeholders in your industry. They are often considered role models who help drive their organizations through great leadership and swift decision-making capabilities.
Thought leaders are not born overnight. They are powered by an elaborate process of grooming that may take years. In this article, our focus is to set you on the path to become inspiring thought leaders.
1. Make a commitment
You will need a strong focus to become a thought leader. Dedicate a couple of hours every day to prepare and research for your new role. For example, you could evaluate your dressing style and the way you carry yourself. Go for a fashion overhaul if required.
2. Learn as much as you can
A thought leader is an expert authority in his domain. It is important you embrace the latest technologies to stay ahead. Keep reading. Every day provides you an opportunity to learn something new.
3. Watch other leaders and cultivate your own style
It’s important you watch speeches given by other experts in your domain. Observe how articulate they are. Spend time practicing on your own to build a style unique to your business.
4. Work to significantly improve your communication skills
It’s important to take your communication skills to the next level. As a thought leader, you will be communicating with people from all walks of life – and you will have to be at your best to make an impression. Don’t forget that people already have role models they look up to within your domain. You should go beyond these role models.
5. Build a quality online reputation
Start a blog and write quality articles that will have a lasting impact on your target audience. Make sure you feature only original content on your blog. Also, engage with audiences on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Keep them interested with regular updates.
6. Make yourself visible on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best place to get yourself quality branding. Showcase your credentials on the site and build a network of professionals.
7. Make connections
Make connections – both online and offline – with other thought leaders. Communicate with them on a regular basis and learn how they go about sharing their knowledge with their audience.
8. Seek public speaking engagements
Once you are confident enough to speak in public, have your team spread the word about you. Seek opportunities to speak at business meetings, conferences and association meetings. Build a reputation as a witty speaker. Record your speeches and promote them on your primary website and social media sites.
9. Provide insights on television and newspapers
Write in to newspapers and television channels providing your expertise as a knowledge expert. Send them an exhaustive bio that explains in detail your professional achievements. Make your bio as attractive as possible – it will serve as your passport to greater visibility in the mainstream media.
10. Let your company grow with you
There is no point building a good reputation for yourself if your business lags behind. Your company should be the focal point in your thought leadership program. Take your company and employees along for the ride as you prepare yourself for individual glory.