How can business leaders become thought leaders? To help business leaders become thought leaders, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From creating valuable content to sharing your successes and failures, there are several ways to become a thought leader.
Here are twelve ways business leaders can become thought leaders:
- Create Valuable Content
- Express Your Thoughts and Ideas
- Have Experience and Exceptional Results
- Engage in Continuous Learning
- Listen to Others
- Provide Relevant Quotes
- Connect Passion to People
- Carve Out Your Own Niche
- Join the Conversation
- Share Your Opinion and Expertise
- Establish Credibility
- Share Your Successes and Failures
Create Valuable Content
We like to call it building “media companies” but another way to phrase it is to create content on platforms that you own but others that you guest on. This could be podcasts, blogs, or even video content. After many business leaders have done the “work” to excel in their businesses, it’s so important to make sure that you are getting visibility to be recognized as a thought leader. The first step though is to make sure you have demonstrated excellence to be a true thought leader.
Gresham Harkless Jr., Blue Media
Express Your Thoughts and Ideas
A great way to transition from a business leader into a thought leader is to create your own Youtube channel. You can utilize this channel to express your ideas, thoughts, and solutions to today’s business and ethical problems. You can grow this channel by sharing it on your social media accounts and having your employees watch your uploads. This will help turn you into a thought leader and gain more traction in this department.
Chris Gadek, AdQuick
Have Experience and Exceptional Results
I believe that business leaders can become thought leaders by having proper experience with exceptional results. I also think business leaders need to have others’ best interest in mind and build trust in order to become a thought leader. This process may begin by sharing educational content with others, being thoughtful in their approach, and doing good by others.
Alison Stine, Stine Wealth Management
Engage in Continuous Learning
Every sector, I believe, is evolving – some quicker than others – and as a thought leader, you must remain on top of what’s going on in order to share and remark on trends. As a leader, you must constantly learn about your business as well as the macroeconomic factors at work in the larger economy. That is my opinion. Being a thought leader necessitates foresight, but it also necessitates the discipline to research market dynamics in order to spot patterns. You may then apply what you’ve learned, analyzing those patterns with your vision, to solve real-world issues.
Gerrid Smith, Joy Organics
Listen to Others
Thought leaders do not have all of the answers, and they never stop learning. I feel it is critical to recognize your ignorance and remain humble enough to listen to what others have to say. Learning from others in your area is an excellent method to stay connected and broaden your knowledge on a subject. As a leader, I feel that true thought leaders actually understand and listen to each other’s stories. They value the concept that we are all on the same human path and are the authors of our own life.
Edward Mellett, Wikijob
Provide Relevant Quotes
Utilize services like Terkel or HARO to provide relevant quotes that are important to you and your business. Quotes are easier to manage than entire blog posts or essays and building in a little time each day (or week) to comment on issues that are important to you will get your name out over time and help you build a thought leadership foundation for future opportunities.
Sylvia Kang, Mira
Connect Passion to People
For business leaders to become thought leaders: start with understanding professional passions and “love languages.” Once you understand what drives you, you can understand where you will be best equipped to engage and educate others. Look to where you have affinity and proclivity as well as demonstrated success and expertise and pick that as the topic of thought leadership. Then, read and research to be well-versed, network with peers in that area, and start sharing and promoting your insights. From writing thought leadership pieces (Medium is an excellent outlet), to sitting on panels, to curating content on your social media – being a thought leader is all about connecting what you know to the people who know (and want to know) you, who can learn from you, who can profit and benefit from you.
Sentari Minor, evolvedMD
Carve Out Your Own Niche
Business leaders become thought leaders when they establish their own expertise. To be a good leader, you need to be well-rounded and knowledgeable on a variety of subjects. But, to be a thought leader, you really need to figure out what your bread and butter is. What’s the thing that separates you from the herd? Figure out what that is, and lean into it.
Join the Conversation
The best thought leaders aren’t afraid to share their opinions. In fact, they often see themselves as part of the conversation. That means sharing your thoughts on social media, writing for blogs, speaking at conferences, and so on. You don’t have to go overboard, though. If you’re not comfortable talking about yourself, then don’t. Keep the content focused on your audience and you will make a bigger impact on those who follow you.
Jenn Christie, Markitors
Share Your Opinion and Expertise
For a business leader to become a thought leader, they have to share their thoughts. The fact is that you can’t be shy about sharing your opinions and expertise if you want to be thought of as a thought leader. So, know what you want to say, decide how you want to say it, and then be consistent with your message. Do all that, and you’ll build up a following, gain the respect of your peers, and be recognized as a thought leader.
Lily Yu, Oak Springs Realty
Before you can be recognized as a thought leader, you have to establish credibility. In other words, share stories about both your successes and your failures. Take people behind the scenes of your business, and answer any questions that they have. Over time, you’ll build up a reputation as a leader in your field, and people will seek you out for — and accept — your advice.
Ed Stevens, Preciate
Share Your Successes and Failures
We see business leaders humble bragging on Linkedin every day. The true leaders are those that share both their successes and (even more importantly) their failures. Don’t be afraid to share your whole story, including those missteps that helped you become the business leader you are today. No one ever gets to the top without making a few mistakes along the way, and sharing those mistakes will make you more human and relatable to those who would benefit from your experience and learnings.
Sam Browne, HARO SEO