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Can You Be A Thought Leader?

by Carmela Maraan

Do you constantly follow certain individuals that you consider as authorities in your field of choice? Do their opinions, choices, and decisions influence yours? Do you find yourself hoping that one day, you’ll become as prominent as they are in your industry?

Those people are thought leaders. They are well-known as experts in their field, and their reach is widespread because not only can they offer revolutionary ideas, they also know how to sell these well. But they don’t merely ‘sell’ ideas, they can persuade people to actually implement them into their industry’s system. These skills are especially crucial in business development, where a solid thought leadership campaign can be optimized to drive and maintain your client base.

If you aim to become such an influencer, you may check the qualifications in the list below. But don’t fret if you don’t yet possess all of these, because you can develop them with time, mentorship, and practice.

  • Can you spot key issues in your industry and offer possible concrete and realistic solutions to them?
  • Are you an independent and creative thinker?
  • Can you solve problems with insightful and out-of-the box solutions?
  • Do you understand how your industry works, along with its advantages, drawbacks, and potential?
  • Are you passionate about constantly and actively developing the processes in your industry?
  • Can you communicate your ideas well?
  • Are you willing and able to hold a healthy long-term relationship with your audience?
  • Are you capable of developing strategies for rapidly broadening your market base?
  • Can you develop a sustainable strategy for monetizing your ideas?

Influence: If you know what to do and how to do it, this wouldn't be necessary.

Also, one critical trait that you need to develop is the ability to make ideas go viral. This is what differentiates a traditional leader from a thought leader, because the former simply drives people to act, while the latter specializes in changing people’s fundamental mindset to propel them to act.

If you have answered ‘Yes’ to at least one of the questions above, you can start pinpointing areas for improvement as well as reinforcement.

So, do you think you have what it takes to revolutionize people’s minds? Feel free to share with us your related experiences, successes, and challenges in the comments below.


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