Generating Thought Leadership To Grow Your Career and Company

Being a thought leader makes you a person of interest, whether within your department at your company, within your industry, or on a global level.  How big you think is up to you.  The key is to develop your reputation as the obvious go-to person when people are seeking expertise in your area of leadership.  Doing so will increase your visibility within your organization and potentially within your industry, and as a result, job offers and your job security will both increase. As you develop into a standout expert, ideal clients will flock to your company, having heard others refer to you as a leader in the industry.

To start, consider whether you are already a thought leader. Do you have unique approaches, insight and expertise, preferably gained through experience? Avoid striving for encyclopedic knowledge of your area. Instead, uncover a deep level of expertise that you already have, delve into your insight on improving processes that you are familiar with, or consider something that you already do very well.

To more simply identify your own area of leadership, ask yourself the following questions.  What do your colleagues regularly come to you for?  What do your competitors fear?  Why do your customers buy from you?  What do your fans treasure about you?

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Healthy Impatience

If patience is a virtue and we’re living and working at breakneck speed, do we have to give up our virtue in the name of profitability? The surprising answer is probably not. If you and your employees have a healthy impatience, you will refuse to remain stuck because when people put their ego aside and don’t have to be the one with the answers, they can reach out for help and get unstuck quickly. And it creates results – in fact, American Express is just one company rating its managers on healthy impatience.

And the focus isn’t solely on impatience. It’s also on healthfulness.

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Making Mentor Relationships Work

 

Mentor relationships begin with plenty of promise. Often they don’t deliver because the mentor and mentee don’t know how to make the most of the relationship.

Here are three keys to creating a successful mentoring relationship:

  1. Don’t believe everything the other person has to say
  2. Be willing to be dumb
  3. Break Miss Manners’ rules

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Making the Highest Possible Contribution

Although the weak economy has people clinging to their jobs, recent studies show that 6 out of 10 employees are looking to change jobs. That’s a costly amount of disengagement. The heart of the matter is that many employees are not making their highest possible contribution to their organizations, which are contributions only they can make, by virtue of their unique talents, skills, interests and relationships. Once employers shift the focus of an employee’s engagement to making the highest level of contribution possible, the improvement in results is remarkable.

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Making Work Serve Life, Not The Other Way Around!

Simple rules for career development that improve everything…

  • Work serves life when it is a natural part of your existence that is a professional expression of your values, passions and interests.
  • Life comes first. Who you are, what you care about, your most important relationships and the values, passions and interests that make you uniquely you.
  • Create clarity about what you want your life to look like now. Capture your vision and hold it gentle ferocity. Firm flexibility is key since there are plenty of surprises and you want to enjoy them!
  • Work is a tool. The more aligned it is with your vision of your life the more fulfillment and enjoyment you will experience. Lesser alignment of work and vision sap your energy, foster frustration and encourage other self-defeating behaviors that lead further away from the vision.
  • Everybody wins when work serves life. Working with passion and engagement is the desire of every worthwhile employee and employer.
  • Transition is an opportunity – making work serve life is a fresh paradigm. To make it happen you cannot simply live by default letting others make decisions on your behalf. Take action, seek differently and put life first everyday.
  • “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” - Albert Einstein
  • It’s your job to believe in you. Whiners, victims, doubters and experts in self-limitation need not apply.
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Power in Vulnerability

Thinking about being vulnerable can be by its very nature uncomfortable and frightening. When we’re faced with new circumstances, feel threatened or feel the need to prove ourselves, we often cling to the power of position or knowledge. But it is this type of power that moves us away from our own learning and stifles both our own potential and the potential of our organizations.

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Reclaim Your Effectiveness With One Simple Action

The number one key to executive effectiveness is active self-esteem. We live in a Do-Have-Be world, “I do this work therefore I have this stuff which makes me be this person.” To grow active self-esteem, turn this around.

Appreciate first who you are being: your own qualities, what you like the very most about yourself. Secondly celebrate what it is you do: how you are living your life and the contributions you’re making to the world around you. The result is what you have: the relationships with the people around you, and yes, the stuff you treasure.

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Should You Hire For Skill Or Spirit?

Employee development needs to be included in both strategy creation and execution. There are two main ways to assess people and their development: skills and spirit.

Skills are things that can be trained. A leader can be coached on how to become more influential and engage their team to achieve great results. An employee can be trained technical skills such as engineering, accounting, and marketing that they need to do their jobs really, really well.

Spirit refers to the “soft” skills that can’t be trained effectively. You have to hire for them. These are hard to find but are necessary for a company to function smoothly.

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