You’ve most likely heard the term thought leader tossed around in conversations or even read it in this magazine. But exactly how do you become a person whose unique ideas on a subject can influence an entire industry or community?
Dan Rockwell of the “Leadership Freak” blog, shares three practical tips on how to be a thought leader:
1. Stop talking.
Spend 15 minutes each day listening to what someone has to say. Asking questions is fine, but don’t contribute your ideas. Instead of seeking out people who have the same perspective, listen to those who irritate you or have opposing viewpoints.
2. Disrupt yourself.
The best way to come up with unique ideas and thoughts that will revolutionize your industry is to go out of your comfort zone and find new experiences. Pick up a publication with an opposing viewpoint, learn a new skill or even travel to a foreign country.
3. Share your thoughts.
It isn’t enough just to have interesting ideas. You have to share them with your community through blogging, being a quoted source in industry media, speaking at conferences or just tweeting provocative ideas. The best way to create a platform isn’t to actively try to create a platform—instead focus on helping others succeed, and an effective platform will probably evolve.