Three proven steps to becoming a thought leader

Thought Leader

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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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