07 July 2011

5 strategies to be a Thought Leader in your field

Thought leadership is about innovative ideas. It's about being creative, original and inventive. It's about being contrarian, trend-setting and thought-provoking.

Sometimes it's easy to be a thought leader. You're passionate about the topic, you're immersed in it, and a good nights sleep has put your brain into gear and refined your thoughts. You're on fire.

Other times, no matter how hard you try, the thoughts don't come. Other people's postings are far more intelligent and inspirational. You strive for the genius but it remains a hazy image, resisting clarity. You claw for the connections, but the cavity yawns, sinking any hope of the next great idea.

My top 5 ideas for thought leadership:

1: Stay connected. Isolation puts us out of touch with trends. Find out what the buzz is about and what is capturing people's attention right now, which can lead you to points of interest for your future musings.

2: Build your network.. Thought leadership is not about being so radical that you stand alone. You need an audience. No point being the only shining star in a blackened universe. It's lonely. Create a community of friends and connections who value your pearlers. Watch what they say, and what you can add to the conversation to take it to the next level.

3: Hone in on your areas of interest. Subscribe to GoogleAlerts for your topic. Google your topic regularly. Look for what's being said and what you can add. Ask people whose ideas you value what their position is on your topic, and look for what you can add, change or contradict. Learn, learn, learn. Eventually, you may even become a master ... and a thought leader with your own unique viewpoint based on a well rounded knowledge-base.

4: Get a good nights sleep, eat well and drink loads of water. Exhaustion is the great limiter of creativity. We all live busy lives, but every now and then, we need to get conscious and catch up with the basics. If you're running on empty, you won't be able to travel the new roads.

5: Click the 'Send' button. Gain the courage to express what you want to say. And be heard. If you have done your research and you know your topic, don't hold back. If you've worded and re-worded your musings and you know it is sound and makes sense, get it out there.