3 Ways to Grow Your Thought Leadership with Other Leaders

Posted on: September 16, 2020, by :
Photo by Michal Czyz on Unsplash

As leaders, we need others to understand our vision and capabilities. If we fail to successfully communicate our potential with others, we miss opportunities to contribute and have an impact.

That’s why it’s important to manage your reputation.

Having a vision is critical, but that’s really just one aspect of communicating and connecting with others. You must be able to help others understand what you value and what you’re capable of.

In my over 30 years of experience, I’ve learned what it takes to communicate your potential to others. Consider if any of these three steps can help you to grow your thought leadership with other leaders. 

Give Back

Volunteering is one way in which you can make an impact while communicating your values. When you volunteer, you use your experience and insight to add value to organizations that otherwise may struggle without the support. When leaders volunteer, they also further develop themselves and strengthen their ability to manage themselves and others while also letting other leaders know what they’re capable of.

Your actions and how you contribute, can inspire others. This in turn, reflects positively on your reputation and the likelihood that you will receive invitations to other volunteer opportunities. Just as important, your actions may directly inspire others to have a positive impact on others. 

What do you want other leaders to know about you? What volunteer opportunities exist that enable you to contribute while using the knowledge and skills you want others to be aware of? Show others what you value and contribute in meaningful ways, and they’ll better appreciate your abilities and potential.

Have Productive Conversations

Participating in panel discussions at conferences can be valuable ways to share your knowledge and insight with others while also raising awareness of your experience and abilities. Investing your time to share in this way is important, but it’s not enough. Often, panel discussions are one-way, and limit dialogue and productive conversation.

You must ensure the format is conducive to sharing information vertically as well, where all participants have opportunities to participate and share their expertise with one another as well as with the speakers on the panel. That way, participants are more inclined to take away ideas that they can turn into action within their organization.  

Determine if a panel session is a good fit with your goals by asking the organizers key details including questions about the objectives for the panel and the audience needs and pain points. You should also ask about the format, other participants, and if reading material will be distributed prior to the discussion.  

Write a Book or White Paper

Sharing your expertise in a book, white paper, or via a blog can be very helpful in expanding your reach. For example, you may discover that creating papers on topics in which you have expertise may help you attract clients or opportunities more closely aligned with your interests and abilities. 

When you share your expertise in writing you lead the conversation and challenge others to consider their views and beliefs. Writing books and papers helps introduce you to other professionals and set the tone for conversations and engagements with you. They position you to help others in ways that are convenient for them. Having books or white papers accessible also separates you from your peers, making you more distinct and memorable.

As professionals, growing our thought leadership with other leaders begins with us. We must be proactive about managing our reputations, no one else can assume this responsibility. Start with your goals and how you can add value, and develop a clear plan to achieve your goals. Then, set out to have fun and share your expertise relentlessly. Be inspiring, you will attract attention and broaden your impact.