I've recently spent some time mentoring amazing thought leaders (subject matter experts) within large organisations. I call these thought leaders 'intrapreneurs'.
They often say to me.. 'I'm not a thought leader, I'm just doing my job'… Seriously though, they are.
Sure, they may not sell their expertise as a well known author or conference speaker, but they often speak at conferences. They may not get paid to coach individuals, but they are doing it all the time in their day-to-day jobs.
In my mind, the 'intrapreneurial' thought leaders who may be the head of Learning & Development within an organisation, or the Project Manager on a major project, are just as much a thought leader as the well-known author speaking at their annual conference.
Your senior partner could and should have a book published. They all share the same fundamental issues. It’s only the commercialisation of their ideas that differ.
It seems to me there are 9 fundamental questions you need to be able to answer well in order to establish yourself as a thought leader (subject matter expert) in any field...
- How is it relevant?
- Do you know how others think?
- How can you be persuasive?
- What do you know?
- How do you communicate?
- How do you sell what you know?
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- Who needs that?