By Denise Brosseau
The how-to guide to becoming a go-to expert
Within their fields, thought leaders are sources of inspiration and innovation. They have the gift of harnessing their expertise and their networks to make their innovative thoughts real and replicable, sparking sustainable change and even creating movements around their ideas. In Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, renowned executive talent agent Denise Brosseau shows readers how to develop and use that gift as she maps the path from successful executive, professional, or civic leader to respected thought leader.
With the author’s proven seven-step process―and starting from wherever they are in their careers―readers can set a course for maximum impact in their field. These guidelines, along with stories, tips, and success secrets from those who have successfully made the transition to high-profile thought leader, allow readers to create a long-term plan and start putting it into action today, even if they only have 15 minutes to spare.
- Offers a step-by-step process for becoming a recognized thought leader in your field
- Includes real-world examples from such high-profile thought leaders as Robin Chase, founder and former CEO of Zipcar; Chip Conley, author of PEAK and former CEO of JDV Hospitality; and more
- Written by Denise Brosseau, founder of Thought Leadership Lab, an executive talent agency that helps executives become thought leaders, who has worked with start-up CEOs and leaders from such firms as Apple, Genentech, Symantec, Morgan Stanley, Medtronic, KPMG, DLA Piper, and more
Ready to Be a Thought Leader? offers essential reading for anyone ready to expand their influence, increase their professional success, have an impact far beyond a single organization and industry, and ultimately leave a legacy that matters.
Seven Steps to Thought Leadership by Author
Over the years, I have developed a time-tested, seven-step process to help individuals successfully transition from leader to thought leader. In this book, I will share that process with you. If you follow this step-by-step guide through the chapters, you’ll learn how to bring your own ideas to the world, have an impact on an issue you care about, and leave a meaningful legacy of which you can be proud.
Here’s what it takes:
Step 1: Find Your Driving Passion
Thought leadership starts with focus and passion. You will be far more effective if you identify the one arena where your interests, expertise, credibility, and commitment align—your “thought leadership intersection point.” Next you will craft a clear What If? future, a possible future that you are committed to bring about. When you identify and align to key trends, you will gain momentum and be well on your way to make a significant difference, not only in your company or community
but across your industry or niche.
Step 2: Build Your Ripples of Influence
To build your first ripples of change, you’ll test your ideas and opinions (often not yet fully baked) with knowledgeable stakeholders—colleagues, mentors, and friends—gather their input, and continually refine your thinking. By listening to what resonates, you will distill many different points of view into the kernel of a transformative idea that will bring about the What If? future you envision. Those conversations will also inform you how to position and leverage your message to tell a bigger story that gets your first followers on board.
Step 3: Activate Your Advocates
To expand your influence beyond your existing team or organization will require that you attract supporters and well-connected advocates—community leaders, industry spokespeople, analysts, journalists, research groups, or national partners—who can champion your product, program, initiative, or idea to a muchbroader set of audiences. In this chapter, you’ll learn to articulate what’s in it for them and to create real momentum for change as well as how to move your message out of the reach of naysayers, the people determined to stop any transformation in its tracks.
Step 4: Put Your “I” on the Line
To build sustainable momentum for a new idea requires someone to show the way, someone willing to step into the limelight and say “follow me.” We’ll explore how you can “put your ‘I’ on the line”—overcoming any self-imposed limits to standing front and center and risking your reputation to espouse a new direction or vision of the future, often long before others agree with your point of view.
Step 5: Codify Your Lessons Learned
The essential difference between leaders and thought leaders is often the latter’s ability to distill their know-how into a replicable model so that others can be inspired and empowered to expand on what those leaders have accomplished. This chapter will give you the tools to codify, test, and refine a repeatable and scalable blueprint for others who want to follow in your footsteps.
Step 6: Put Yourself on S.H.O.U.T.
To increase your credibility, strategic visibility, and reputation and gain recognition as a thought leader, you will have to get the word out about your activities, efforts, and lessons learned. You’re not a thought leader if no one knows anything about you or what you’ve accomplished. You need to be “discoverable” and connect with those who can build on your ideas.
Step 7: Incite (R)Evolution
Has the transformation you’ve envisioned and worked towards begun to take hold? In this chapter, you’ll learn to audit your progress to ensure that you gain traction for your ideas locally, regionally, nationally, and even internationally. As you accelerate and amplify your voice, you’ll increase your influence, expand your impact, and build a sustainable community of followers that will carry forward your efforts.
Here we’ll also explore how to prevent burnout as you bring about the evolutionary and even revolutionary change that will be your legacy.
How to Use This Book (Taken from book)
In Chapters One through Three, you’ll learn to build your own thought leadership platform around an idea. In Chapter Five, we’ll discuss how to create a blueprint so others can join and replicate your efforts. Then, in Chapter Six, we’ll explore how to
get out and “S.H.O.U.T.” widely about what you’re up to, and finally, in Chapter Seven, we’ll cover how to create a community that can continue your work. If you’ve already been on this adventure a while, you don’t need to start at the very
beginning of the book. Jump to Chapter Five or Six to find some tools and techniques that will accelerate your efforts. If you’ve hit a roadblock, turn to Chapter Four to discover some suggestions from other thought leaders on how to move
forward. If the journey’s a new one for you, I invite you to follow the playbook from start to finish.
Throughout the book, you’ll find lots of tips, shortcuts, and encouragement. You’ll also meet some amazing people who are changing the world. I’ve included these case studies to offer inspiration and new ideas for how to begin or jump-start your own thought leadership journey. The following chapter, “Getting Started,” includes an assessment for evaluating your progress to date; we’ll also explore the behaviors and characteristics of successful thought leaders.
Throughout the book, too, you’ll find exercises and resources at each stage of the process. You can also find more information, case studies, and resources at www.thoughtleadershiplab.com. One quick aside: as I wrote this book, I learned that some people are not comfortable with the term thought leader. There is no question that this term has been misused or misapplied by self-proclaimed experts who are all about self-promotion (or simply personal wealth). But we needn’t reject the phrase altogether. Instead, I advocate that we reclaim “thought leader” to denote the following: change agents whose intentions and efforts are aligned to improve the world and who then choose to have a more significant impact by sharing their expertise, knowledge,
and lessons learned with others, aligning their efforts in a way that creates momentum for sustainable evolutionary and revolutionary, change.
Those are the folks I am talking to in this book.
Those who are not satisfied with the status quo; those who are actively working to bring about needed improvements in their company or industry, in their region or field of expertise, in laws and attitudes and in the way things have always been done. I hope you are one of those people.
If you picked up this book because you’ve been asked to establish your company’s thought leadership within your industry or you’re part of a group that wants to develop a shared thought leadership platform, you too will find that the ideas in this book will be applicable to your efforts. If you aren’t looking to gain the designation “thought leader” but you know that pursuing thought leadership strategies will help you get ahead in your career, establish your credibility in your community, or help you build your business, you’ll also find a lot of ideas here.
Or perhaps you’re mentoring or sponsoring someone and hope to inspire him or her to step into a broader role as a thought leader. You’ll discover here lots of techniques and resources you can share and many ways to offer support and ultimately ensure the person’s success.
And if you’ve already started on your own path to thought leadership, but you’ve hit a seemingly immovable roadblock, or if you are tired, discouraged, or almost
burned out, you’ll find any number of workarounds, some new directions, and a lot of the necessary motivation to keep moving forward.
The Time Is Now (Taken from book)
Hopefully, the idea of thought leadership inspires, motivates, and excites you and you don’t think, “I could never do that.”
Thought leaders do not have a special gene, any inborn talents, or a secret decoder ring. They exist in every industry, nation, and arena; they are men and women, young and old, and they come from every ethnic, cultural, and socioeconomic background.
They are not always confident—they have their moments of doubt. They are not always the smartest kid in the room; most will admit that even if they are the “expert” in their community, they still have a lot to learn and they have made (many) mistakes along the way. I know I have. And thought leaders do not always start out with a clear path, plan, or purpose. They have stumbled around, lost their way, and then, somehow, found it again. And so will you.
If you crave more visibility for what you are already doing, read this book. If you want to build more credibility in order to advance an agenda or a big idea, read this book. If you are ready to use your skills and talents—and develop new ones—in order to make an indelible imprint on the world, then this book is for you.
And most importantly, if you want to leave a legacy that extends beyond a series of job titles on a resume, please read this book. I wrote it for you. I believe we need many more voices at the table, many more solutions proposed, and many more people inspired and empowered to build a purposeful life that serves and calls others to action.
Now is exactly the right time to begin your thought leadership journey. Ready?
ASIN : 1118647610
Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (January 7, 2014)
Language : English
Hardcover : 272 pages
ISBN-10 : 9781118647615
ISBN-13 : 978-1118647615
Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
Dimensions : 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
Best Sellers Rank: #624,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#7,721 in Leadership & Motivation
#8,071 in Personal Finance (Books)
Customer Reviews: 4.8 out of 5 stars 96 ratings
AMAZON CATEGORY: Books › Business & Money › Management & Leadership