If you’ve ever spoken at an event like a SQL Saturday or Code Camp, answered a question on a forum, written a blog post, or helped lead a discussion at your place of work then on some level you are already a Thought Leader. If you’re asking what a Thought Leader really is, you’re probably a lot like I was when I first started reading Denise Brousseau’s Ready to Be a Thought Leader. A Thought Leader is somebody that drives thinking and learning in a particular industry, group, or profession. These people are widely recognized as an expert and authority on their subject matter and a go-to-person for learning and insight into their field. Thought Leaders are men and women that take the time to increase their knowledge, share what they’ve learned, and make a difference in the lives of others in their niche. Ready to Be a Thought Leader demonstrates a seven step pattern laid out by Denise Brosseau instructing the reader on how to become an innovative, forwarding-thinking, cutting edge Thought Leader.
Why should you want to be a Thought Leader?
But before I tell you what this book is about and why I think you should read it, why would you want to be a Thought Leader? ThoughtLeadershipLab.com (Denise Brosseau’s website) defines a Thought Leader as “…the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise. They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.” Thought Leaders are leaders and innovators! As a Thought Leader, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people in your field, around you, and around the world. When we become that innovative, encouraging, leading person in a particular area that gives you a unique level of credibility that opens doors to opportunities to truly make a difference and inspire others in a special way. This credibility also has a profoundly positive impact on the career, business, and life of a person.
And that’s really what Ready to Be a Thought Leader is all about: How do we achieve that status of credible, innovative, and inspiring Thought Leader? Denise Brosseau draws upon her experience as CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, founding CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, and cofounder of Springboard to lay out the seven following steps to becoming a Thought Leader:
Chapter 1: Find Your Driving Passion
– What is your niche? In what area do you want to lead and make a difference in order to inspire and engage people in that niche?
Chapter 2: Build Your Ripples of Influence
– Participate in the forums for your niche! Make connections and build relationships!
Chapter 3: Activate Your Advocates
– In order to scale out your ripples of influence, you need to identify people that you can count on to go to bat for you and recruit them to be part of your team as an advocate for your ideas.
Chapter 4: Put Your “I” On the Line
– At some point you’re going to have to step into the spotlight and present your ideas to the world. Don’t be afraid! Share what you know and gracefully learn from the feedback.
Chapter 5: Codify Your Lessons Learned
– Don’t forget to document what you’ve learned so that it can serve as an inspirational blueprint for other people.
Chapter 6: Put Yourself on S.H.O.U.T.
– Create a network of followers through community involvement that will help spread your ideas among the masses.
Chapter 7: Incite (R)Evolution
– Identify and engage with people as a way to identify your idea-adopters. At some point you have to pass the baton, so don’t forget that.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. Ready to Be a Thought Leader has inspired to me to take some of the things I was already doing and improve my quality and focus. As a consultant at Pragmatic Works, I can honestly say that I’m already doing a lot of the things Brosseau mentions in her book but over time I’ve lost sight regarding how what I do as a consultant, trainer, blogger, speaker, and Thought Leader can make a difference in the lives of people around me. I would recommend this book to anyone that is passionate about anything. That’s a pretty broad group, but I think the book has some good things that you’ll find valuable.
What did you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on the book, so please leave me a comment.
If you consider yourself a Thought Leader, what points in this book do you consider valuable and what did Brosseau leave out? Leave your comments down below.