July 16, 2019
July 16, 2019
While in Vienna recently, we walked into a pub (this sounds like the start of a joke!). Inside the building, I saw the following motivational quote written on the stairs. Much to the embarrassment of my children, I took a photo. Both my daughters rolled their eyes said, ‘Are you going to write a blog about that Mum?’. I responded with a resounding, ‘Yes I am!’.
The quote resonated with me instantly because it reminded me of when people embark on their own Thought Leadership journey.
When people start to contemplate the possibility of being known as an expert, I always suggest that they should simply commit to the process. You won’t always know where it will lead and you certainly don’t need to have a clear end destination in mind.
The reasons for investing in Thought Leadership can vary. Some people will start this journey because they truly want to be recognised as an expert in their field. While others want to learn a way to develop their thinking so that they can improve how they articulate their messages. Motivation may also come from wanting to increase speaking, writing or job opportunities. In certain cases, it could simply be that an individual wants to raise their profile internally.
Whatever the reason, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take that first step.
A great example of this is Denise Collazo. I first met Denise at Harvard in 2016 and have recently featured her in my new book Real Communication: How to be you and lead true. She is the Senior Advisor for External Affairs for Faith in Action, the largest faith-based community organisation network in America.
Denise attended my New York Thought Leadership Intensive training in November 2017. It would be fair to say that Denise was a reluctant participant for two reasons. Firstly, she wasn’t sure it would be worth the investment in both money and time. Secondly, she wasn’t sure what it meant to be a Thought Leader, so she was unsure of the value she could offer.
I received the below email from Denise the day after seeing the staircase quote.
I wanted to share with you some of the victories I’ve experienced since I attended the Thought Leadership training in November 2017.
- I have published 9 articles in external publications and 10 articles on my LinkedIn platform.
- I’ve grown my LinkedIn followers from 0 to 1,500 and created a sub-group of Latinas in the Social Movement Field.
- I’ve accepted 4 new speaking engagements, the largest being an audience of 700.
- I am actively considering writing my first book.
- I’ve joined Toastmasters International to refine my public speaking/audience awareness skills.
Coming out of the Thought Leadership training with you, I set a goal for myself. “Be an established Thought Leader in this country by 10/31/2022.” I think I am on my way.
Just want to let you know how influential the training was. And when I gulped hard about spending the money to attend, I now feel that those were the most leveraged dollars I’ve spent on my professional development.
Enjoy your vacation with your lovely family!
What a very generous email to send. I must say that I have loved watching Denise seize and create opportunities since she took that first step.
If becoming a known expert in your organisation or industry is something you have been contemplating, then consider this …you don’t need to see the whole staircase to start. Take that first step, because what I know to be true (and what Denise’s story has shown) is that when you do the work and have the courage to put yourself out there, you will definitely increase your profile, influence, and opportunities.