To become an influencer, you need followers and a representative community or better yet owning your own niche. No matter where you look there are thought leaders and influencers in every marketplace. I often refer to my "vowel" strategy utilizing the principals behind the letters "A, E, I, O. U" that incorporate the meaning of "Authority, Expertise, Influence, Organizing and Unifying". Master your 'vowels' and thought leadership and influence is yours for the having and lasting for the shaping of things to come. Tools of expression and broadcasting such as hosting a talk show or a podcast, blog or Youtube channel can be effective when directed to a strategic end. Positioning yourself in the vowel context means you’re not only sharing your voice with the world, you are also intentionally growing an active online community which contains those among you the key target you will impress whom themselves evolve as influencers in the making; all learning from your leadership example.
What is a thought leader? While the term "thought leader" might sound like another corporate buzzword, its meaning is very valuable to individuals and businesses alike.
What can your followers do to help spread your influence?
Within your tribal network friends interact by commenting, liking and replying. When friends follow each other they may post positive reviews about you or reply to comments and can receive notifications. In setting up a community such as mastermind group or a club, each member gets their own personal profile page that they can customize. As a notable expert in a specific company, industry or society, a thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. In other words, a thought leader has a positive reputation of helping others with their knowledge and insight. Jake Dunlap, founder CEO of Skaled, said that thought leaders draw on the past, analyze the present and illuminate the future to create a comprehensive, unique, and impactful view of their area of expertise. "They possess an innate ability to contribute to the conversations happening today while also being able to speculate on what is going to happen tomorrow," as quoted in Business News Daily.
"Rather than chime in on every topic, they set the pace for the industry, and offer intelligent insights and informed opinions." This unique ability allows thought leaders to bring a point of view to the table that cannot be obtained elsewhere. This is especially helpful for running a business. "A thought leader recognizes trends before they happen and applies that insight to achieve actual business results," said Numaan Akram, founder and CEO of Rally. However, sharing insightful thoughts and strategies is only one part of being a thought leader. Knowing how to successfully lead is crucial as well. [Contact me about my CEO leadership workshop]
Learning how to be a good thought leader can greatly impact levels of success for your team, your organization and yourself. By facilitating open communication, trust, consideration to ideas and encouraging employee growth and development, by giving and receiving honest feedback you can demonstrate what-it-takes greatness.
Here’s how to do the Thought Leader vowel thang:
Address a need or deficiency (see #5) from an authority perspective
Explain and express your expertise in easy to understand language
Investigate and Inquire what 'influences" as your big why in your intention
Outstanding demonstration reflecting sincere outreach to your organizing
Understand the wants, interests and needs that can unify your community
While the vowel points above bring intrigue and will be addressed more in-depth in future posts attaining the status of "thought leader" is an elusive goal that many business leaders and executives strive for status-wise but rarely achieve measurably. However, with the right coaching and mentoring your tactics, along with dedication, patience, and education, you ought to be able to successfully influence others in your respective field and become a reliable source of insight and information.
In future posts, we'll explore the deeper dimensions of the 'vowel' strategy on thought leadership to not only create new ideas and gain notoriety, we will examine the needed characteristics and know-how implementation to deliver the goods, make impact and get the desired results that constitute a worthwhile effort.