Think of the greatest mentor of your professional lifetime. What did you admire about them most? Chances are, it was not the way they looked, their accent or the style of their office. It was probably not their prosperity, vocation or even the respect of their employees. What likely stood out in a voluminous fashion was the way this praiseworthy mentor spoke to you. The raw advice – meaningful, determining and even momentous – that captivated, inspired and inspirited you to galvanize your plans for business successes of your own.
In other words…Thought Leadership.
Entrepreneurs who have lived through successes, failures and more successes have an influential presence – one capable of evoking exhilaration, energy and zeal in those around them. The greatest of entrepreneurs recognize that, as a reward of their own endurance and enterprise, they are also gifted with the unique opportunity to share their insight, judgment and philosophy with those looking to empower their lives – personal and professional.
Thought Leaders recognize that their experiences have given them a unique perspicacity, one that, if shared, can greatly benefit the next generation of business leadership. Unfortunately, not every entrepreneur realizes they can be a true Thought Leader. They do not recognize that their worldliness, seasoning and empiricism can deliver profound guidance to those just learning how to navigate professional waters. This, of course, is a pity – as the world can use as many authentic, unfeigned thought leaders as possible.
Now, of course, it is understandable that titans of industry – big and small – may not see themselves as Thought Leaders. They may not realize the titanic opportunity they have to impart their expertise for the betterment of tomorrow’s business leadership. It is possible that many successful business leaders simply do not realize all they have to offer, as people in business…not just as business people.
As 2014 emerges, seek out thought leaders that you feel amplify your own professional intentions – mentors with prodigiousness and, in some instances, even a latent omnipresence. Read their books. Read their blogs. Recognize the potential in them – and in you. Then, consider stepping forward as a thought leader in your own right, one interested in participating in the distribution of knowledge and expertise. Becoming a Thought Leader is not as difficult as it may sound, if you simply catalog sharing your wisdom as an action that is important to you.
To be a Thought Leader in 2014:
Becoming a Thought Leader is altruistic. It is also smart marketing! Thought leaders are building their own professional reputations every time they share their inspiration. In short, being a Thought Leader is a win-win opportunity, especially for the Thought Leader. Why? The Thought Leader gets the personal rewards of sharing their expertise, while, at the same time, earns the professional recognition and reputation boost that comes with being an established authority. As an added bonus, business professionals and emerging entrepreneurs are benefiting from the knowledge shared by the Thought Leader – and the next wave of Thought Leadership is born.