A brunette woman stands at a gray wall, writing leadership words in black in the shape of a lightbulb, with the word leadership in yellow at the center of the bulb.

Be the Trailblazing Thought Leader You Want to Be

March 16, 2023

You can only stay on the leaderboards of thought leadership if you constantly learn and grow. 

Key Takeaways:

  • To stay on top of your thought leadership game, you must constantly renew yourself, create unique and valuable content, know your audience, and keep an eye on your competition.
  • Authenticity is crucial in thought leadership. People can detect inauthenticity from a mile away, so don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. Embrace your quirks, passions, and unique perspective.
  • Be humble and let your work speak for itself. Passion and consistency are also critical to build credibility and trust with your audience.
  • Honesty and transparency are necessary to gain the trust of your audience, and you should always be learning. Seek out new information and perspectives, and always be ready to embrace knowledge from others.
  • Being a thought leader means you deliver genuine value to your audience and encourage them to achieve their goals. It’s about being the real, authentic you – you must share your unique insights and perspectives with the world.

In today’s cutthroat business world, it’s no longer enough to sit back and revel in what you’ve already done. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. You have to want to make waves and inspire others – and if you’re serious about thought leadership, you must build the muscle to want to push yourself to grow – you’ve got to constantly renew yourself and strive for self-improvement as you continue to raise the bar.

A client once told me that you have to “give plus plus,” meaning it isn’t enough to provide just that little extra that many others will give – you must give even more. You have to pick up where others leave off – you must raise the bar, push yourself, and not start at the same point as everyone else. Thought leadership allows you to reach the point where you’re able to start where others end. 

In every area of life, if you don’t use it, you lose it – and this is also true for your thought leadership status. Be tenacious in your quest to know your audience, create tons of killer, valuable, unique content  and keep a close eye on what your competition is up to. 

Even more importantly, any thought leader worth their salt knows you must be yourself if you want to keep your thought leader status. No matter how much people revere your point of view, you have to bring forward the authentic you and stay true to your 3 Keys that got you to where you are today.

And remember that being a thought leader first and foremost means to be a leader. You’ve got to provide your audience with the tools and resources they need to succeed and “be” thought leaders in their own right. 

Here, we’ll turn a critical eye on how important it is to constantly renew and reassert yourself as a leader, acknowledge your weaknesses, and always stay on top of the latest industry and world events. You must remain hungry as you were when you first attained your thought leader status. 

Are you ready to bring your A-game? When you master these skills, you are positioned to stay on top of your thought leader game and make big waves in your field. 

What it means to stay relevant as a thought leader

You can’t be relevant if you don’t know what it takes to be a thought leader in the first place. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what it means to be an authentic and successful thought leader.

First and foremost, authenticity is crucial – and non-negotiable. People can sniff out inauthenticity from a mile away, so don’t try to be someone you’re not – it will be obvious if you’re just putting on a mask. Embrace your quirks, your passions, and your unique perspective. You do you (and not anybody else)! 

While it’s important to be confident in your abilities, it’s equally important to be humble. No one wants to hear you constantly toot your own horn that you’re a fancy thought leader. Let your work speak for itself, and let others give you that title if they see fit.

Passion is another crucial element of thought leadership – you have to really want it and believe in what you’re doing. If you’re not genuinely invested in what you share with others, why should they be? Allow your enthusiasm to shine through in your work, and your audience will be much more likely to engage with it.

Now, let’s talk about consistency. If you constantly flip-flop on your views and stances, you won’t be taken seriously. Consistency is the only real way to build credibility and trust with your audience.

And on the subject of trust, honesty is crucial. In today’s world, where skepticism runs rampant, you can’t give your audience any reason not to trust you. Always be honest and transparent in your work.

Last but certainly not least, never stop learning. Keep yourself informed, seek out new information and perspectives, and always be open to learn from others. For my part, I spend countless research hours staying current on industry trends so I’m positioned to always stay at the top of my game. After all, that’s how you continue to grow and evolve as a leader.

My advice to thought leaders everywhere – budding or established

And there’s the nutshell – the details of what you need to know to be a true thought leader in your industry. It all comes down to authenticity, humility, passion, consistency, honesty, and a commitment to always be learning.

Thought leadership isn’t about self-promotion – you must deliver real value to your audience so they can achieve their own goals. That’s why it’s so important to stay authentic, humble, and honest in everything you do. If you’re not genuine, people will see right through you, and you’ll lose your credibility faster than it took to earn it.

On the other hand, if you’re genuinely passionate and have made a commitment to share your knowledge with others, people will notice. You’ll be seen as a trusted authority in your field, and others will look to you for guidance and inspiration.

Whether you’re a business owner who wants to break into thought leadership or a seasoned thought leader who wants to stay relevant, I urge you to embrace your inner self and share your unique ideas, insights, and perspectives with the world. With the right mindset, tools, and support, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. You just have to be the real, authentic you! 

It’s no secret that the world of thought leadership evolves constantly. To stay on top, you can’t afford to rest on your laurels. Be willing and eager to adapt, grow, and learn new things – we’re here to help you on your journey..

Let us join you on your thought leadership journey

It’s quite simple when you boil it down to basics – you need to be yourself, let your passion show, and make it a point to learn something new every day. When you act like a thought leader, the world sees you as one. (Just don’t give yourself that label, or you’ll look like a pretender to the throne.) 

With Advantages, you can uncover your 3 Keys and stay focused and passionate about what you do. We guide you through the ever-changing landscape of thought leadership, stay on top of the latest trends and innovations, and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for excellence.

Let’s chat about how to connect profit, purpose, and thought leadership for your brand.

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