Are You a Thought Leader?
Share Your Ideas
When I began my consulting practice twenty-two years ago, it was not with the intention of becoming a media star. My goal was to be an independent, objective ally who could listen to the challenges lawyers face and provide advice on what works best. Of course, that leads to a bit of a challenge - so many lawyers, so little time. I thus made the conscious decision years ago to leverage my coaching by engaging in another love, writing. Through books and articles and blog posts it was my objective to share coaching ideas and strategies with a wider audience.
My Writing Led to Speaking and More
Over time, however, an interesting phenomenon has taken place. Not only have I reached more lawyers through my writings, I've reached more people generally. Journalists increasingly do Internet research to find those experts with an informed opinion on topics they are writing about. And if you write articles, books or blogs, you are on the Internet. Writing also frequently leads to an increase in the number of speaking invitations I've received. In short, without really intending it, I've been quoted in The New York Times, The Journal (ABA), Lawyers Weekly and many other publications and have been a leader in the National Speakers Association, among other organizations. In short, I've become what is termed a "thought leader."
Create Your Reputation As a Leader
This is important for any lawyer to aspire to, by specifically creating a reputation as a leader in a given field. This means potential clients who have seen your articles or heard your talks and ask for you by name. A thought leader is someone who has evidenced their capabilities, their knowledge of the industry involved, and the leading stature of their expertise. In my case the dynamic runs like this. If you need to improve your firm performance, get a consultant; or, if you need to improve your firm performance, get LawBiz Management; or, better yet, if you want to improve your firm's performance and reduce your stress, get Ed Poll, a thought leader of law practice management.
Becoming a Thought Leader is a Process
Becoming a thought leader is a process. Write articles for local and national publications in your field; speak at conferences; create teleseminars; create a video; do podcasts; refine and improve your website; send out an electronic newsletter. The channel of idea distribution is not magic; pursue as many as possible. The more that your target market sees your name and knows who you are, the more likely they are to call you - if you've validated that call beforehand by establishing the reputation as a thought leader.