Ready to Be a Thought Leader?: How to Increase Your Influence, Impact, and Success

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These guidelines, along with stories, tips, and success secrets from those who have successfully made the transition to high-profile thought leader, allow readers to create a long-term plan and start putting it into action today, even if they only have 15 minutes to spare. Ready to Be a Thought Leader? Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform. With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more. Our thinking was, if we could create a venture conference that was for women, if there was a three to six month program prior to the event, that was actually selecting the best entrepreneurs and then putting them through a boot camp, a series of mentorship opportunities and a chance to really prep their business before they got on that stage, and then in addition, some introductions to the right people, the lawyers, the bankers, the accountants, the folks who can really help them shore up their business idea and get it ready for prime time, those women were really going to shine.

We started this here in Silicon Valley in January of The numbers are astonishing. We really have an amazing track record. The knowledge and information that they got and the connections that they got took their careers to a whole other level. How exciting.

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You have also written what is a big favorite of many, many people. A great book called Ready to be a Thought Leader? Can you give us your definition of the difference between the two? Leader is someone obviously within a single organization or entity usually, who begins to make change, who begins to create a followership around an idea of doing things newly, doing things better, shipping a better product, creating a new service, whatever it might be.

They understand that by building a tribe of followers, by creating a blueprint of what they have, by convening within their industry, that they can broaden their change.

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  • That, to me, is thought leadership. You write for many, many companies, like Fast Company and Inc. I love your story, which I believe you said comes from your blog, Why Leaders are Great Storytellers.

    Are You Ready for

    We remember those stories. We engage with story. I learned this for myself when I was pitching the Springboard conference, going out and talking to media and talking to funders. When we could share the stories of iRobot and Constant Contact and ZipCar and the companies we were helping, people are very involved and engaged with those stories. They want to see how women are making a difference and the great ideas that they have. Secondly, I learned it when I was trying to create a community of people who understood how to pitch their businesses.

    Here we are at Springboard and we get women up to tell their story about their companies.

    You are here

    I have to say it was a little painful sometimes. Yes, you have to have that, that is necessary, but not sufficient. The story is what people engage with. The guy who I think really showcased this so well in the book is the guy Avinash Kaushik. When he talked to me about that decision to step into being a blogger and, in his field which is search engine optimization and web analytics, there was a lot, a lot, a lot of blogs out there.

    Avinash Kaushik realized that the gift that he could bring to his followers was this idea of un-complexifying. As he focused on writing every blog post, he realized they had to be un-complexified, which of course is a made up word, but it just sums it all up for me. Denise, can you also speak to what you wrote about the importance of a metaphor as a way to tell stories?

    Denise Brosseau

    I really learned this so beautifully from Robin Chase of Zipcar. She did this great blog post, Fossil Fuel is the New Slavery , morally and economically corrupt.

    Are You Ready to be a Thought Leader with Denise Brosseau

    When you think about that, I want to read that article. I want to know why is fossil fuel the new slavery and what does that mean for my decisions everyday as I drive my car. Slavery is obviously not something I believe in. These other women were really there to be the pizzazz. I realized, I just have to get real. I have to rethink my presentation style. I realized, I just have to get real [and be vulnerable].

    After the talk, there was a line around the corner to talk with me. By sharing this personal epiphany … Not just for the sake of getting people to cry and not for the sake of getting people to like me, but really from an honest place of why I went back to business school, why I realized entrepreneurship was the path for me, why it can be for you.

    There was a theme and there was a line that I was drawing between that story and what I wanted them to be thinking. That caused this huge outpouring of people coming up and approaching me. We want to be approachable. This is not about telling stories just for the sake of stories, but for helping people see a path forward for themselves. That is just everything. You want them to see themselves in your story and be part of your team and be inspired to wait in line. Of all the pitches they heard at demo day or whatever the situation is, they want to ask you more questions because they want to know more about your story.

    There was a woman whose business was not the best business of the 27 businesses that presented that day, but she walked out on the stage twirling a basketball. Everybody was talking about her for the rest of the day. Everyone wanted to go and fund her business.

    TSP | Denise Brosseau - Ready To Be A Thought Leader? by Keynote Speaker John Livesay

    Again, as I said, the business model? Nothing much. She, and her story, we all wanted to help those athletes because we saw ourselves in her, we saw the help she was going to offer as something we could get on board with.

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    • An expert who does not publish or communicate their wisdom cannot be considered a thought leader. There, we said it! To evaluate if a vendor knows their business and industry, look at their publications. This could include books, speeches, podcasts, blogs and interviews.

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      For example, Microsoft has a specialized publisher — Microsoft Press — that produces books and other materials designed to help people succeed. Look for publications that help you understand the industry, explain a process or move closer to your goals. What does that mean in the context of a thought leader? Look for cases where the vendor is quoted in high quality publications. For example, search general news publications such as the Wall Street Journal and industry specific publications like American Banker and CIO for quotes.

      In addition to quotes, look for awards and other industry recognition. In the technology industry, check if the vendor appears on rankings and reports created by Gartner and Forrester Research. If a vendor has attracted the interest and recognition of a specialized research firm like Gartner, you have social proof to recognize the vendor as a thought leader. Question : What third parties e.

      Publishing training resources helps the professional community achieve specific tasks. While a book or blog may enlighten the reader about risks or trends, training has a different impact. Specifically, training resources like tutorials and certifications give the reader additional skills. Training resources matter when a buyer is evaluating complex software like identity management software.