Aspiring corporate executives are individuals who yearn for leadership roles. They are a type of person who possesses the self-confidence and abilities to make extraordinary things happen. However, it is important to understand that leaders can only lead when they have gained the respect and esteem of their colleagues and staffs; no true leader is self-appointed alone. To become a thought leader, you must carefully present yourself to public scrutiny, demonstrating the qualities and expertise you possess that warrants you to be followed. To become a thought leader, it is essential to understand what this leadership entails. A thought leader is an individual that competitors, clients, and intermediaries perceive as one of the foremost figures and minds in a particular field of specialisation. The result of this acclaim leads to this individual becoming the “go-to” guy when expertise is required. Demonstrate your Abilities Acquiring the skills and knowledge to become a leader in your field is not enough. Individuals must demonstrate to others that they have these abilities. One of the best means to ensuring that these skills are recognised by others is by articulating your skills in a way others can identify and potentially use for themselves. Writing articles and journal entries within professional journals and newsletters can accomplish this. The written word is a great platform to aid in organising your professional principles. Taking the time to write these principles down offers the opportunity to organise and solidify your leadership philosophies. It provides a basis to explain to others why these principles have worked and how they could benefit from their implementation of them as well. People generally learn best by showing and telling. As you write articles about how and why you operate in the manner that you do, peers and subordinates understand your leadership skills better. Self Promotion: Utilise Media Professional writing also enables individuals to self-promote. Promoting yourself as a thought leader
can gain credibility with a wider audience. These publications can be used articles on resumes and professional profiles to showcase your leadership reputation. The easiest place to publish your professional written word is through in-house publications. These can include company-run magazines, newsletters or memos. An organisation’s print or online media will offer the greatest visibility and recognition within the company. It can elevate your reputation and help the company adopt your philosophies. External publications can also be utilised to promote your methodologies and ideas. These include career-specific websites, articles for business journals- such as Stanford Business Magazine, thought leadership blog feeds, and other social media forums. Self Promotion: Utilise Events Those who possess the skills of rhetoric also have the spoken word to promote their leadership capabilities as well. Business conferences and events provide an excellent platform to assert your expertise within your occupational field. Such events are designed for individuals to pontificate new ideas and methods; by becoming a featured speaker at one of these events can provide evidence of your status and reputation, as well as gain public recognition. This forum is not for everyone, so those who possess such skills have a clear advantage in this forum. Thought leadership is one part expertise and one part marketing. An individual must be able to self-promote, acquiring a public recognition that others with similar expertise may not have. Regardless of your methods to disseminate your information, acquiring a public status is pivotal in achieving leadership roles.