At the end of June, less than a month after my mom died unexpectedly, I was asked to give an inspirational talk. It’s hard to think of anything inspirational when you are sitting shattered and vulnerable in the valley of despair.
I decided to talk about sitting in that valley and the value of honoring my pain. I shared my story of losing my mother as a mirror to their own lives. I shared with the women in the crowd the idea that it is essential to feel their full range of emotions—the good, the bad, and the devastating—in order to be more creative, better healers, teachers, and leaders in their lives.
That evening, I was a thought leader. Not because I was saying anything completely new and revolutionary, but because I dared to be vulnerable in public in order to share an idea that was incredibly important to me. Thought leaders make a difference in the world because they dare to show up. The next week, a woman who had been in the audience reached out to me. Her sister has breast cancer and Paula thanked me for the reminder to stay present with her sister, as uncomfortable and painful as her diagnosis is on everyone.
A thought leader is someone who introduces a new, inspirational, motivational or innovative idea or habit to the world. Their contribution helps others have happier, healthier, more effective, and more fulfilling lives.
Everyone has the capacity to be a thought leader.
Being the best kept secret is of no value to others.
I can be more because I watched you be more.
What makes You a Thought Leader?
You don’t need a Ph.D. in shoe-tying to teach a child to tie their shoes. You were either taught by someone who knew how to do it, or tried and failed often enough to figure it out on your own. And now, you are qualified to teach others.
The same principle applies to every other aspect of your life. Your lived experience holds incredible value for others. We are all thought leaders. We only need to lead those who are two steps behind us on our path.
The Thought Leader Sweet Spot
We all have the potential to be thought leaders, but finding the right way to bring that leadership into the world is key. We have to find the sweet spot where our story and our message overlap to reach our audience in our unique voice.
That sweet spot, your unique voice as a thought leader, is at the intersection of:
- Your Story: Who you are, your why, your values and your experiences; and,
- Your Message: The one lesson you want to use to make a difference in the world.
When you can combine your story and your message, you have your unique voice; the way you can impact people unlike anyone else. As a thought leader, you’ll share your voice through your book, brand, and business.
What are you passionate about? What is your story? How will you use your unique voice to help others in the world? I am very excited to be working in this realm with budding thought leaders by helping them write their books to launch their unique voice. I would love to know how you are showing up as a thought leader in your world. Please feel free to share or ask a question in the comments below or send me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.