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Three proven steps to becoming a thought leader

Thought Leader

 

Want to become a thought leader in your niche?

Ingrained in everyone is the natural desire to succeed. This is why sporting competitions dominate every space and every corner- Watching people compete for a common goal reflects the desire of the human race to rise above what’s normal and achieve the impossible.

This is what thought leaders do.

Thought Leaders dare to rise above all the odds stacked against them, pushing the bar higher with every step they take. The world’s influential thought leaders didn’t start out the way they are now. For example, when Olugbenga Agboola, the co-founder of Flutterwave, began his career in tech, he didn’t own a company that would eventually rise to unicorn status. All he had was characteristic of many thought leaders in the world today- talent, determination, and plenty of hard work, which eventually paid off.

Okay, so you want to become a thought leader. Now, there are so many processes involved but generous that we are, we’ve outlined them in these three proven steps:

 

1. Think

Sounds funny, right? Thought leaders are men and women who stop, pay attention and think. They are not complainers- you know those people who complain about every single thing: the government, the country where they were born, their background; all those kinds of things.

To think is to churn ideas out of your mind and make a constructive conclusion out of it. Thought leaders spend a large amount of their time thinking above any other activity, as it is from here that the process gets easier.

Rather than complain about what has already happened, thought leaders think about what can be done to change the narrative. They energize the creative powers of their minds, cooking up theories and stretching themselves to the point where every ‘crazy’ idea seems tenable. As simply as René Descartes puts it, Cogito ergo sum, meaning ‘I think, therefore I am’ Thought leaders think greatness, think positively and think on a global scale and then become.

Book recommendation: Thinking for a changeJohn C. Maxwell

 

2. Study

Another word for study here is self-development. Self-development is a broad term that involves all the actions needed to steer sustainable growth. In simpler terms, it is everything you need to do to become better.

If you must become a thought leader, you have to pay the price of sitting still to study. Studying is beyond reading books; it is the art of discovering what makes systems function and keep running. No human being created the earth, so the only way to make an impact while you’re here is to study what already exists and make alterations; sometimes little, other times, life-changing. Here are some important pointers to note to make studying effective:

  • Get available resources in your chosen field, including material resources & audios.
  • Identify the thought leaders currently influencing the field you’re interested in and follow their patterns.
  • Look out for the ‘besetting sin’ of your industry- common mistakes & misconceptions.

Studying requires great patience and a lot of effort, but certainly, the reward is with it at the end.

Book recommendation: Wealth without Capital, Capital without money – Bright UK

 

3. Act

Ready? Set? Action!

Yet, many are still left behind, waiting for the right time. For thought leaders, there’s no perfect time. The only time we are assured of is ‘Now’ and that’s the best tool in our employ- the power of today.

Acting needs to be sponsored by knowledge and that is why, for this final point to be fully effective, the first two points (Thinking and Studying) must be done flawlessly. Action requires a well-mapped plan for the effort to be measurable and defined by time. Without action, the world’s best books, greatest inventions, and revolutionary movements did not end as ideas, wallowing in the minds of their owners. After being convinced about how phenomenal their ideas are, thought leaders highlight the important steps to take and then repeatedly do them.

Book recommendation: Eat that FrogBrian Tracy.

There you have it- the three proven steps to becoming a thought leader. Consistently and deliberately practice these skills and you’re on your way to success.

 

Till next time.

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Dear Thought Leader (1): On Becoming a Thought Leader

Unlike many tend to assume, a thought leader does not throw completely new ideas into the available pool of knowledge in an industry. In fact, thought leadership is not knowing so much and sharing about a subject matter either. However, both factors have a part to play in the concept of thought leadership.

As a senior professional or veteran in your field, if you have ever thought about becoming an authority and multiplying your influence to be recognised as a thought leader and earn profitably from doing so, this weekly series of my articles scripted as personalised letters to you will help you to start and excel in your journey.

I invite you to read, apply, and share these inspiring, insightful, and infectious treatises with your like-minded friends and colleagues.

Who is a Thought Leader?

In simple terms, a thought leader has a systematic approach to bringing fresh perspectives into concepts, especially to address a particular audience’s pressing concerns. Not only do thought leaders provide answers to current nagging questions in the hearts of their audience, but they also give insights into related possible occurrences in the future.

Put simply, a thought leader is a leading authority in his or her area of expertise. What’s more? Thought leaders are deep thinkers themselves. They see trends before they happen — they can keep a pulse on what is happening in their industry today, and offer thought-provoking perspectives on what will happen in the future.

Being a thought leader entails a great deal of self-discovery and self-expansion. Until you see such a challenge as worth the while, you can’t lead others effectively with your ideas and messages.

“How do I go about my quest for becoming a thought leader?” you might ask. The following are questions you need to answer sincerely.

1. What exactly do I care about lending my voice, personality and perspective to which will be of great benefit to my audience or a group of people?

2. Are there people who are truly interested in areas of concern over this issue?

3. Do I care about affecting lives for the better by lending my voice to this cause or am I only focused on the supposed benefits that come with being recognised as a thought leader?

4. When I get criticised or challenged for sharing my point of view, will it invalidate my worth as a person?

5. Do I care about using my ideas and how they are shared to effect positive, lasting changes in those who interact with them?

6. Do I see myself as a know-it-all where my subject matter is concerned or am I open to and willing to incorporate and build on other thought leaders’ work where necessary?

7. Am I willing to continue sharing valuable information in this line even if I don’t get recognised for my contributions for so long?

8. Do I regularly ask for feedback, critique, help and constructive criticism on my work, so I’m continually expanding it in positive ways?

If your answers to the aforementioned questions are positive, you are on a journey of thought leadership.  While it may not happen overnight, consistently putting into action the answers above would get you started.

I’d like to keep this brief so you can ingest the ideas here efficiently and effectively. Expect a sequel next week. Also, please feel free to ask me questions here if you have any.

To your greatness,

Bright UK
The Chief Scribe