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What do you think when you hear the term “thought leader?”
Do you think you can be one? (Hint: you can!)
I define a thought leader as someone who has an interesting idea that challenges the status quo, challenges our assumptions, maybe even breaks the rules, especially one that hasn’t been talked about a lot in their circle of influence, who communicates it with conviction and boldness, who inspires people to take action AND who causes people to be self-reflective, to learn more about themselves and how they relate to the world.
We did a client survey recently and the phrase “thought leadership” came up more than I had expected.
It makes sense that if you enjoy speaking, it means you want to have a bigger impact, reach more people, and grow your brand and business, all of which is related to being a thought leader.
But sometimes it can feel like you’re putting out content – and yet it doesn’t seem to go anywhere in particular.
What’s missing is a container for what you’re doing.
You don’t need to have extraordinary charisma or a great PR machine.
(Although how you communicate does matter, but not in the way you may think.)
For this episode, I analyzed 5 people – 4 women and 1 man – who’ve become thought leaders to see what they had in common:
- Brene Brown
- Simon Sinek
- Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- Layla F. Saad
- Rachel Rodgers
Why did I select these 5? They were the first who came to mind and I wanted to analyze a few who’ve been around awhile (10 years) and a few who are more recent.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- 5 key elements that turned them from speakers/content creators into thought leaders
- What makes their communication style especially effective
- The role that thought leaders play for people
- What it means to have a container for your message
- Questions you can ask yourself
This episode is the first in a new series we’re doing on thought leadership.
About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals create their signature talks and gain more visibility to achieve their goals. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power: on stages, in businesses, on boards, in the media, in politics, and in our communities. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com.
Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/184
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Connect with Carol on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolcox
- Brene Brown’s TEDx talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_the_power_of_vulnerability
- Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
- Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s speech on the House floor: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4894496/representative-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-speaks-exchange-representative-ted-yoho
- AOC’s Instagram post about her speech: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDMrZIzAI1B/
- Layla F. Saad’s Me and White Supremacy challenge and book: http://laylafsaad.com/
- Rachel Rodgers’ Instagram video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CA1Ez5qHL6o/
- Rachel Rodgers’ podcast: https://helloseven.co/podcast-page/
Related Podcast Episodes:
- Episode 175: The Work of Anti-Racism as White Women with Carol Cox and Diane Diaz
- Episode 179: The Deep Truths You and Your Brand Need to Say with Rebeca Arbona [Finding Your Voice Series]
- Episode 180: You Say You Want to be a Thought Leader: What That Really Means & How to Find Your Voice with Carol Cox and Diane Diaz [Finding Your Voice Series]
- Episode 183: Amplify Your Voice by Having a Sponsor with Jhaymee Tynan [Finding Your Voice Series]
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