If you have been asking yourself: “We all learn and work, but what distinguishes some people and make them so influential and authoritative in their areas of expertise than others?!”, then you are not alone.
Most of us work hard since our early life years to complete our education then get a good job to work and master a specific discipline and become experts in our fields. Unfortunately, not many know how to do that and keep going around in circles for years. To answer our earlier question; what really distinguishes some people and make them more influential and authoritative in their fields is the COURAGE they exert to be “original” and “vocal” with their ideas. They possess an enchanting ability to share their knowledge and opinions with the wider community for the greater good and benefit. These are a special group of people who have both the “character” and the “competence” to forge a new path and become Thought Leaders in their fields without worrying too much about what others might think about them.
The fact of the matter is that the world is full of challenges and injustices and if you focus on a certain field or area of specialization and have your unique say about it in a way that will add value and contribute positively to making the world a better place then you are already acting as a change agent.
First and foremost, you need to establish credibility and prominence in your area of work by setting benchmarks of excellence and contributing to the body of knowledge with new and innovative ideas and concepts. Create movements that transform laws, attitudes and even actions of people far beyond their immediate circle. The main principle for exercising thought leadership is to be “authentic”. This means being more comfortable with your ideas, uniqueness and at ease to let your personality shine…
But, how to do that? You may ask. Start by choosing a specific arena to work in and envision the possibilities of improvement in there, then start taking actions yourself and bring about positive change. This arena or niche will be determined by a sum of your expertise, credentials, and commitments. In other words, this is your “Sweet Spot” where you can thrive and influence others as well. Once you start preaching that; don’t just tell people what to do; walk the talk. Make changes in yourself, organization, and the wider community.
As a thought leader; your impact will be exactly like ripples in a pond; sharing new ways of thinking and encouraging others around you to make a change, then as you engage more people to share your ideas more widely, your ideas reach wider and wider audiences and create positive change in the world.
Also ensure to continuously improve and hone your ideas and be progressive to bring fresh perspectives and clear plan about what needs to be done to make the world a better place. Learn how to deal with people who oppose you and slow you down as they will pinpoint to you the gaps that you need to know about and can potentially keep you from going the wrong path! They thus contribute in a big way to your success at a later stage without realizing it.
Thought leaders are trying to change people’s mindsets and behaviors so they need to look for few shortcuts and try a bunch of different approaches to eventually succeed getting people on their side. Just continue making progress in the right direction and don’t give up your calling for whatever reason.
Be proud and celebrate the contributions you make in your area of expertise. Silent your internal saboteurs as well as negative external voices and ask yourself: “If not me, then who”? Others don’t make you a “Thought Leader” or “Influencer”, it’s up to YOU! Therefore, an important aspect of thought leadership is also to have the courage to be visible and vocal about the value you are adding and the difference you are making in your area of expertise, or no one will know you or benefit from your valuable improvement ideas.
And remember, thought leadership is not just about being known, it’s about being known for making a difference. Your efforts should always be geared towards establishing trustful relationship with the community and tribe you serve. You also need to have a long-term perspective when carrying your mission, so ensure to empower others to pass on your ideas in their communities to accelerate your influence and expand your reach.
The world needs far more people who are ready to step beyond the “Traditional Leadership Roles” and into the role of a “Thought Leader”. As Onyi Anyado has put it so beautifully: “A visionary is a leader of excellence who sees what others do not see, who achieves for now and plans for the future, who positively impacts different generations and raises up other visionaries”. “Disruptive innovation is entrepreneurs changing their industry with unique creativity”.
As I always say; the only thing that you must not waste is “Time” and if you are on purpose, you will be able to utilize your time in the best possible way most of the time. Ready to start taking the right steps today?
- Start reading my book “Beat The Odds” to acquaint yourself with the most effective practices that I’ve personally applied throughout my work life and achieved incredible results.
- Connect with me here to book you complimentary coaching session to discuss how can I be of help in your career journey.
- Have a great and productive time ahead 😊