CADDManager on July 3rd, 2008
This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Thought Leadership

Many would ask: Why should I bother doing all this? What’s in it for me? What will I gain by being a Thought Leader? Let me list a few things that I think make it an advantage to you and your career to become a Thought Leader. Admittedly these are from my personal perspective. Others might find value in things that I do not.

You gain Exposure

Above all of the benefits that you gain from being a TL (Thought Leader) you gain exposure. Notice I did not say positive exposure. This is because the exposure that you gain is dependent upon you making it positive. You can be “out there” and be thought of in a negative light if you play your cards wrong. You could espouse the wrong perspectives. You could be an average speaker. You could present yourself in a way that seems too negative. All of these could actually put you out there in a negative light.

You get Perks

There are many times when a Thought Leader will get into areas that were once off limits. I have been invited to conferences, events, press opportunities and more. Not because I necessarily have something fantastic to add to the event, but just because I am seen as one that “can” contribute or provide insight or reporting on the event, software or tools.  I have not received nor really sought out “freebies”, but every so often someone will offer me something.  The perks really come as opportunities to expand the ability to interact with others.

You get to Share

This is actually one of my most rewarding things. I enjoy passing on information and tips to others. I am not hoarding things. I am sharing about as much as I can. I do it through writing, speaking and interacting with others. I enjoy giving away advice.

You get Paid (sometimes)

Many writers get paid for their writing (at this time – I do not). I have submitted articles and gotten paid inthe past. I am not really focusing on that at this time. Many speakers get paid for their speaking (I usually do). I do focus on speaking opportunities. Most of these are paid or are swapped for free attendance at the event. I speak and get to attend the rest of the event for free. I am often invited to speak or I send in abstracts for presentations.

You gain Stature

Others will begin to see you as a leader. They will look to you for perspectives. They will ask you questions and seek your advice. They will want to interact with you. They will look to your experience as a possible reflection on what they could gain.

You increase your Options

By becoming known in your industry, you increase you options for employment. Those who have name recognition will have greater opportunity. You will know more people, have a larger network and be recognized by many more firms.

The benefits of being considered a Thought Leader are many. These are only a few. You could have more. There could be positive things that come from even the most limited exposure in the industry.

Get out there and speak up.

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One Response to “Thought Leadership – What’s in it for you?”

  1. Great series, and a consistently useful blog. I don’t know if we can all be “Thought Leaders” (who would follow?) but many of the benefits you indicate will come from simply striving for such a lofty goal.

    As far as finding opportunities to speak and improving how and what you say, I’d highly recommend joining a Toastmasters Club. You can speak, give and receive feedback on your presentation, and learn from others, all in a supportive environment.

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