Be an open node ... hearts, not eyeballs
The Curated Issue: Are you holding yourself back? Are thought leaders born or made? Does thought leadership need a rethink?
“If you want followers, be someone worth following.” —Austin Kleon
G’day, my name is Trevor Young and this is my newsletter about positioning ourselves to take advantage of the opportunities that come with being an active participant in today’s ‘Reputation Economy’. You can subscribe by clicking on this button:
I'm going to double-down on Austin Kleon today.
The above quote is from Kleon's magnificent (and compact) book called Show Your Work. Kleon describes it as "a book for people who hate the very idea of self-promotion".
He writes: "Stop worrying about how many people follow you online and start worrying about the quality of people who follow you." Makes a lot of sense to me!
But then there's this bad-boy quote >>>
---> Today's message: BE AN OPEN NODE!
What thought leader Marshall Goldsmith taught Lisa Christen about success
"Do you want to be famous?"
That's the question leadership coach and author Marshall Goldsmith asked executive coach and board advisor, Lisa Christen.
Lisa answered: "No."
She went on: "I went into executive coaching because I wanted to help other people, not because I cared about personally gaining notoriety and fame. I want to share new thoughts with the world and help leaders and teams become less toxic and more supportive. But did I want to be famous?"
Marshall shook his head knowingly. "Of course you do, Lisa. Do you want to make more impact in the world, or less?"
"More," she replied.
"Do you want more people to hear your messages or less?"
"Then," Marshall concluded, "you want to be famous. Stop being so scared and letting excuses get in the way of owning that."
Are you like Lisa?
ARE YOU HOLDING YOURSELF BACK?
"Trust and attention are in a long dance, but only trust wins in the long run." - Seth Godin
Are thought leaders born or can they be made?
According to Andy Rowlands, Corporate Communications lead, UK & Europe at Accenture, thought leaders can be created from scratch: " ... with time, focus and some coaching anything is possible", he writes in the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) blog.
Andy says there are five stages in the journey to becoming an established thought leader whose opinions are valued by your peers and the media:
Inactive – the baseline. You do nothing so you have no influence or following.
Founding – making a start. Start with one issue, read around the subject – what are other people saying, what are the latest developments. Feel comfortable discussing the topic in your network or one-to-one with peers.
Emerging – you move beyond simply knowing your subject to forming an opinion about what needs to happen to solve a problem. You share this with your network, listening to the reaction and taking on board comments.
Promoting – this is where your journey to thought leadership takes off. To make an opinion more powerful you need to back it up with data through research.
Established – if your thinking is fresh and insightful over an extended period of time. If it is shared in the right places with the right people in an accessible manner it will get noticed time and again and your leader’s personal brand will start getting associated with the topic.
Andy likens the journey to thought leadership to training for a marathon:
"Only a few are dedicated enough to train and then run the full distance," he writes.
STILL ON THOUGHT LEADERSHIP …
Thought leadership needs a serious rethink
According to this article, so much of what we knew about thought leadership has changed.
The article's authors, Bonnie Rothman and Judy Kalvin, say that audiences want to be inspired and guided by leaders who share experiences that help make sense of the challenges we face today.
They write: "You may be timid about sharing personal stories, or your company might not want to take a public stance in this contentious climate. But, thankfully, you don't have to tackle the big issues head-on: Just insert humanity into your stories."
Rothman and Kalvin provide a list of examples to illustrate their point.
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