How to Become a Thought Leader

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Connie Ragen Green — How to Become a Thought Leader

Recently someone referred to me as a thought leader in the area of online marketing for new entrepreneurs. My initial reaction was to be flattered that anyone would think of me in this way and even announce it in public. My next reaction was to take a closer look and investigate why we think of some people as thought leaders in their field. If you want to become a thought leader, and I believe we should all be thinking in this way, here are some steps on how to become a thought leader this year:

  1. Express your thoughts openly
  2. Become an expert on your niche topic
  3. Don’t be afraid to be controversial or contrarian
  4. Ask others what they think
  5. Read everything on your topic so you’ll be able to discuss all points of view
  6. Look for venues to express your thoughts and ideas regularly

I contend that if you take these steps it won’t be long before you become a thought leader, which will then catapult you to the next stage of your life and business.

What does it take for someone to become a thought leader, or a leader on any level? Some people believe that you must be born with it. While it may be true that some people possess a natural ability towards leadership, it can be learned. Like anything else, you get better at it with practice.

One of the key features of a leader is to lead by example. Our society has gotten too used to the idea that leaders simply bark orders at people. They expect people to follow those orders without the willingness to do the tasks themselves. Leaders need to be the captains of the ship and be willing to go down with the ship.

Another role of a leader is to take responsibility for your actions. Don’t pass the blame onto others. If you assume or accept a leadership role, then you will be looked upon to guide those you lead. Own up to your mistakes and figure out alternative courses of action when needed.

A leader must also have a vision for their organization. You should know what you are trying to accomplish and figure out how you are going to get there. To continue with the captain of the ship analogy, you need to map out a route to take the ship.

When you are leading others, you need to display confidence. When people view you as a confident leader, they will do whatever you ask of them. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. Be careful not to confuse the two even though they sometimes can cross.

Leaders are allowed to make mistakes. How they recover from those mistakes defines their ability to lead. If you hide from the problem, you will lose the confidence that others have placed in you. Face up to the adversity of the situation and figure out how to handle it. This can require some tough decisions, but that is part of the role of the leader.

Leaders should listen to the people they are leading. If you take the approach that you are always right, you will set the stage for a group of yes people. What this means is you will need to be responsible for every decision, even the ones that you thought you were delegating. Bring the right people aboard your team and let them do their jobs. Listen to their concerns. Listening to others does not imply caving into their demands. You simply need to take what others say into consideration.

To become a thought leader is to shift your thoughts and actions to a new level. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.

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Online marketing strategist, author, speaker, and publisher working with entrepreneurs on six continents.

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