What is a thought leader? Lisa O’Neill explains.

by | Success ideas for work and life

LISTEN: Listen to the last in this series of the BE SO GOOD PODCAST, Episode #030:

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You might be a thought leader and not know it.

In Episode 30, the last in this series, Lisa O’Neill opens the book on thought leadership as perceived through the Thought Leaders Business School, of which she is CEO.

How would you ever know you are a thought leader?

The tests.

1. Do you have a book in you? i.e. one about your particular expertise.

2. The best test is to ask whether your thoughts – your approach – comes from your own distinctive perspective. It won’t be as an expert in Meyers Briggs assessments, Dale Carnegie Institute teaching, D.I.S.C. or any other field where the IP is prescribed by someone else. That would make you a thought follower.

3. Your field of expertise doesn’t have to be unique though. There is nothing new under the Sun as the old sage wrote. There is room for many more thought leaders in your field. It’s a big world.

4. Your expertise has to be in a field where people normally buy access. Money is proof that you’re really good—you shift the energy of the people in a room—it’s a measure of your relevance.Thought leaders operate (according to Lisa) across six separate modes:

The opportunities

  • Speaking
  • Training
  • Authoring
  • Coaching
  • Facilitating and
  • Mentoring

You’d need to be strong and capable in most of them, yet might elect not to practise in one mode very much.

The process

You need to capture your expertise.
– Examine it and see where it fits with right brain, left brain, in which context it features; stretch it out, make it amazing.
– Put that amazing content into say 6 sessions and offer to share it with a paying audience whether private or public.
– Write it up – in a blog, a white paper, a LinkedIn article, a newsletter, even a book.

This leads to your credibility. Be patient. Masterpieces take time.

  • You won’t get on stage in the Melbourne Convention Centre next month.
  • You won’t get to mentor the CEO of BHP next week.
  • You won’t be invited to train IT specialists this year.
  • Your book won’t be a best-seller overnight.
  • Your blog won’t go viral just because someone else’s cat video did.
  • You won’t get to coach your nation’s Olympic team by putting up a web site saying you can.
    You have to earn the right. Thought Leadership is a work of art.

And when you are ready, people will beg you for your thought leadership, and pay you.

How to find Lisa
Lisa is easy to reach at www.lisaoneill.co.nz

 

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