Monday, January 15, 2018

When You’re Just Too Busy – Attention Pays!

We wear busy like a badge of honor. Busy has become a status symbol within our society, which is crazy when you stop to consider how terrible it is to our productivity, personal well-being and relationships. We believe if we aren’t busy, we aren’t productive. Problem is, being too busy is counterproductive to everything that matters most.

 

Researchers have discovered people are feeling overwhelmed at work dealing with constant distractions that then spill over into our personal lives, affecting our recovery, families and friendships. The result: the feeling of anxiety, stress, fatigue and a lack of focus on what matters most.

 

The Centre for Time Use Research at Oxford University says the total amount of time people work is the same as it’s always been and data indicates people who say they’re the busiest generally aren’t.

 


If studies show we are not actually busier than we have been in the past, why do we feel like it?
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Part of the answer is simple – attention is our new currency and is more valuable than ever before. With a constant stream of incoming emails, meetings to attend, things to read, ideas to execute, it’s no wonder we feel too busy and unable to give our undivided attention to what is most important.  When you couple everything competing for our attention with the digital age of technology, it’s no wonder we are feeling overwhelmed, overstressed and overtired. Fact is: we work 24×7. We never get a break.

 

Technology and societal pressures leave us feeling the need to be accessible to everyone all the time. As a result, everything suffers. Ironically, being constantly accessible actually decreases our productivity, not the other way around. When we feel rushed, we actually suffer from decreased production, focus and attention to detail. The pace of which we work slows, we are more apt to make mistakes and more likely to disconnect from meaningful relationships. Being too busy makes us too distracted.

 

When we are overwhelmed and lack concentrated focus, we inadvertently compile our stress by taking on even more obligations than we can handle. Before we know it, we are sacrificing what matters most to suffice what matters now. Even worse, we have pre-programmed ourselves to believe we must always be on, plugged in and responsive. We fail to give ourselves the necessary time to recover and refocus.

 

It’s time to change our mindset. It’s time for an Attention Revolution.  We must stop considering busy as an indication of our importance. We must measure our success not by the time it takes to complete a task, rather the results we achieve. It’s time to prioritize what matters most to us and use those priorities as filters for what we commit to doing. We must learn to say ‘no’ to requests for our time that steal our attention from what matters most. It’s time to start realizing the value our undivided attention brings to relationships, productivity and accountability.

 

Maybe then, we’ll see we aren’t as busy as we thought we were.

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

What I Wish I Would’ve Known Before Buying My First SmartPhone

Have you ever been so excited to buy something new you fail to consider how it might impact you in the long run? Let’s face it; rarely do we ever consider the long term consequences of our purchases and impulsive needs, especially when it comes to technology – like the smartphone.

 

I can still remember my first smartphone purchase – the answer to my productivity needs. The ability to map my destinations, create travel itineraries on a whim, respond to emails in a more timely fashion, take photos and more. I’ve never been one that is a cutting-edge ‘early adopter’ where technology is concerned, but the smartphone was truly that – smart. It was the answer to my overwhelmed, overly committed life.

 

Never one time did I stop to consider the long term impacts the smartphone would have on my life, let alone on society. Have you ever stopped to contemplate how your life has changed since introducing this device into it? Would you have bought your first smartphone if you knew then what you know now? Or perhaps, would you have introduced it to your life differently?

 


Would you have bought your first smartphone if you knew then what you know now?
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The following aspects are those I wish I would have – could have – considered before that first smartphone purchase:

 

Dinner Disruptions:

I wish I would have known that I would rarely see families and friends engaged in a conversation around the dinner table without the distraction of a device. I can’t even recall the last time I sat in a restaurant and witnessed everyone engaged in a non-device disrupting conversation and meal. Far too often I see adults tuned out reading online while kids mindlessly play games and avoid interaction. I watch as young couples engage more on social media than with each other. I wait as servers and staff turn their attention to patrons in need of photos, causing other patrons to sit in wait.

 

Traveling Challenges:

I wish I would have known that every airport would become a land mine of adults sitting on floors and against walls, hovering near any available power outlet or charging station, handcuffed to their device in a desperate hope it will charge before boarding the flight. Before smartphones, I can’t recall a time it was commonplace to see grown adults holding a small device as if it were their very life support.

 

Distracted Driving:

I wish I would have known the rate people would crash, or even die, due to distracted drivers. Let’s face it, there are few things more annoying, distracting and dangerous than a smartphone alert going off when you’re behind the wheel of a car. No matter where you keep the phone – your purse, console, glove box or back seat – there is something about the sound of an alert that pulls your focus from the road. Never would I have imagined how many people I would share the road with that would be texting while driving, reading the news, posting online or even live streaming their thoughts in transit. Even when thought I have disciplined myself not to look at the phone while driving, the very thought of what awaits for me competes for my attention more than I would have ever imagined. I was shocked to read a recent statistic that revealed over 25% of all crashes are due to drivers texting while driving. The Department of Motor Vehicles reports 9 people die every day because our drivers distracted on their smartphone. Is it worth it?

 

Home Life Hindrances:

I wish I would have known how much I would ask my friends and family to pause their thoughts as I answered a self-inflicted obligation to respond to emails after hours. I can remember when I first linked my email to my smartphone and thought how amazing it was to respond to emails after the work day was over. I considered this a productivity win as my response times were cut in half. I had faith that others recognized my diligence and would be appreciative of my timely response. What I didn’t realize is that in time, my enthusiasm for answering after hour emails would turn into a habit and that habit would turn into obligation. Little by little, I had trained those in my circle to expect an immediate response from me. Before I knew it, my 9 to 5 turned into a 24×7 workday. My loved ones became the ones in wait as I took time and attention from them to respond to messages that could have easily waited until morning.

 

Need for Instant Information:  

I wish I would have known my need for instant information would become a crutch. I’m not sure if you’re like me, and have lost track of the number of times you’ve stopped mid conversation to research facts and figures to prove a point. While having information at our fingertips is amazing, it can also hinder our ability to be free thinkers and engage in healthy debates and judgement without the need to immediately prove who is right.

 

Social Media Influence:

I wish I would have known how toxic social media would become. If only I could have seen the day I would wish for photos of a friend’s meal to be the topic of social media fodder. Instead, the smartphone has allowed all of us to think, and post, without self-censorship. We’ve entered into a world where what we feel is immediately available for others to read. I would have never guessed the draining effect it would have on my in my daily life, feelings and productivity. Not only has the smartphone increased my accessibility to read social media, it’s made it addictive to the point that a concerted effort has to be made just to tune it out or avoid it all together.

 

Productivity Nemesis:

I wish I would have known that the very tool I was purchasing to help me become more productive would be the very thing that would challenge my ability to do so. With constant alerts, messages and updates, it’s hard to remain focused on anything of importance. Trying to focus on a task becomes challenging when I know someone has messaged me and is awaiting an immediate response. Now, I have to make a conscious effort to download apps and schedule times of days they work to keep alerts and messages at bay. Never the less, the impulsive need to check my screen for notifications is often more than I can bear. Despite my need for focused thinking, I find my attention challenged in ways I would have never previously imagined.

 

Talking to Foreheads:

I wish I would have known that the introduction of the smartphone meant learning to carry on conversations with people’s foreheads. If only I had the ability to grab someone by their face and say what my 5 year old friend, Donovan, taught me – “Listen with your eyes.” Put the phone down and pay attention to what is right in front of you, not what can wait. If only I would have known how preconditioned I would become – we would become – to accepting interruptions and someone’s half attention as the norm. I couldn’t believe the news when I heard the World Health Organization announced a new classification of mental health disorders due to persistent and addictive gaming. Will we ever be able to retrain our brains to step away from our smartphones and connect with a real reality as opposed to a virtual one?

 

Is there anything you wish you would have known before buying your first smartphone? While technology has helped us in many ways, it challenges our focus and competes for our attention for what is truly important. While I don’t regret having this amazing technology, hind sight is always 20/20. Now that we know the challenges, can we change our habits, or are we doomed to distraction?

 

I believe attention is our new currency. Attention to what matters most is where we will profit, boost productivity and increase accountability. Paying attention to what is important is a skill we must learn – if not relearn – to help us achieve balance in our lives with technology, empowering us to take a digital detox.

 

What are your thoughts? I would love to read them. Are you committed to changing your habits and learning how to use the smartphone as a tool and break the dependency you’ve created? If so, subscribe to my ezine to learn tips, techniques and strategies to help you pay attention to what matters most.

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

We Are a Distracted Society – Distraction Decays. Attention Pays.

We are a distracted society. People are distracted staring at their phones – walking down the street, through airports, at restaurants and coffee shops, networking events and family gatherings. We have become so distracted, we are losing the ability to connect with each other and our surroundings.

 


We have become so distracted, we are losing the ability to connect with each other and our surroundings.
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Many of us are guilty of going through the motions of day-to-day life while failing to invest any real concentrated effort into any of it. We drive from place to place, often not remembering how we got there because we are tuned out, lost in our heads, distracted with technology and suffering from mental fatigue. We finish the workday exhausted while feeling we’ve accomplish nothing of any real value. We participate in conversations and fail to remember more than a quarter of it. Our distraction is eroding our relationships, time management abilities, success and productivity.

 

Our society is overlooking what important and failing to honor what matters most. We sacrifice time with our families and friends to answer emails and messages. We give up necessary sleep to check alerts and texts. We lose lives because drivers focus their attention on a screen and are distracted on the road.

 

When do we say enough?

 

When do we acknowledge we are distracted and aren’t paying attention?

 

Do we recognize and acknowledge technology is a tool, not as a life source?

 

At what point do we commit to changing our habits and realize distraction decays and attention pays?

 

I believe when we commit to focusing our attention on what matters most, everything in our lives flourish. Relationships are fed, tasks are completed, profits are boosted, productivity increases and accountability is restored.  Organizational leaders must commit to avoiding interruptions in order to engage in a conversation and truly connect with their employees. As a result, morale increases, productivity skyrockets and profits soar. When coworkers remove daily distractions, they have time to focus on important tasks and achieve deadlines. When families commit to each other, their relationships grow and their need for superficial technological fulfillment decreases. When we as individuals realize we cannot operate in a 24×7 world and that we require rest and recovery to be our best selves, our productivity improves.

 

Are you ready to make a change? Are you ready to admit you’re distracted? Are you ready to recognize it’s time to pay attention to what matters most? Join me as I embark on an #AttentionRevolution where we change our habits and behaviors so our distractions no longer decay and our attention pays.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mini Gift Guide For The Tech Traveller Business Person In Your Life

tech travellerNormally, I shy away from gift guides. This year is different.

I consider myself a tech traveller. I travel about 150,000 miles per year (for some that’s insane, for other that’s called “February”). With that, I am always super specific about the gear that I travel with. Because I never check bags, everything must be super lightweight, ultra durable, multi-purpose and truly functional for heavy usage. Over the years, I’ve often had the question: “Where did you get that?,” while sitting in airports, hotel lobby’s or just over lunch with a friend. I quickly realized that I, in fact, am a huge nerd and love scouting out the latest and greatest in tech and travel gadgets that can make your business trip that much more pleasant.

Let’s level set first.

Before rattling off some of the best gadgets for the tech traveller in your life, it’s important to note that I travel with a MacBook Pro (the new one that is USB C only) and the iPhone X. I travel, mostly, domestically in North America and I have a physical aversion to checking any luggage. So, I pack light and wear similar clothes (black only!).

With that, here’s my mini gift guide for the tech traveller your life…

  • Anker PowerCore Fusion 5000 2-in-1 Portable Charger and Wall Charger. A killer little travel device that enables me to leave all of the Apple charger bricks at home for the smartphones and tablets and — at the same time — this also double as a portable charger for your smartphone. I can’t thank Scott Stratten enough for introducing me to this device. I also love how it plugs directly into the wall and recharges the battery, while being able to handle two USB devices. Simply brilliant. This literally took me from four separate charging devices/portable batteries down to just one.
  • Poweradd 2-Outlet Mini Travel Surge Protector. This is another “must have” device. I picked up a portable and mini travel size power bar at a trade show booth for free. I loved it. It eventually died, and I replaced it with this one… and I am glad that I did. This has room for a few devices to plug in, plus two USB ports. If you have ever been to a hotel, airport lounge or airport lobby, you know how scare, hard to find and tight the spaces are to actually plug anything in. This one is so well designed, that it even plugs perfectly into that pesky little outlet that are in the base of hotel room lamps on the night table. Frequent flyers also know how tough it can be to get those Apple chargers into in the in-seat plugs (if you’re lucky enough to have one). This cures all. I love the way the chord wraps and hides itself, and I’m a huge fan of the little green power light as well. You have no idea how often I plug something into a random wall on the road, and I don’t know if the socket is dead, if it’s the charger, etc… This lets you know when it’s actually getting power. This gets you from one plug to two plus two USB ports.
  • Anble 4-in-1 USB Type C to HDMI, DVI and VGA Converter. If you have to give a business presentation, you need to have one of these. While my primary dongles to attach my laptop to projectors are the official ones from Apple, I always want to have a back up (especially because these new MacBook’s are using USB C, and very few AV teams carry this new format/dongle). With that, I always want a backup. This is it. It’s an all-in-one, so I would not trust it as the only solution, but it’s great for a backup. The bonus of this one is that it also has DVI. DVI is a format I don’t see often (and Apple doesn’t even have a USB C to DVI dongle), but just in case I always keep this one handy. So, you can connect to VGA, HDMI and DVI all from this one dongle.
  • 2 in 1 Lightning iPhone 7 Adapter for iPhone. If you use headphones, one of the biggest adjustments that must be made as you transition over to the newer iPhones, is the lack of a headphone jack. I’ll recommend some great Bluetooth headsets for being on-the-go next, but it’s a shame to waste the headphones that you already have. This would be a solution. The ability to plug into a corded headphone while also being able to charge your device at the same time (a must for being on the go with these battery draining smartphones). Candidly, I’m not sold on these adapters, but they are essential. The challenge (as I have discovered) is that while these do the trick of allowing you to listen to audio while charging your device at the same time (something, the official Apple adapter does not allow), it does render the buttons on your headphones useless. So, if you want to jump tracks, raise/lower the volume or even use the microphone on your headset for a call, these adapters don’t always allow for that functionality. Buyer beware. I’m hopeful that Apple creates an official version of this, at some point soon.
  • Bose QuietControl 30 Wireless Headphones. These are my wireless/bluetooth headphones of choice for travel. Bose is a brand that many know and love. I’ve gone through the lot of their headphones (and other brands as well). There is no doubt that the sound quality and true noise cancelling is much better on the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, but I am a stickler on a few points that the 30 delivers on over the 35. First, if you ever have to sleep on a plane, I find it much more comfortable to have the in-ear option. The over-the-ears don’t allow you to move your head around as much, and if you’re lucky enough to get a lie-flat seat on an overseas flight, you can forget about sleeping on your side with the 35. I also much prefer the slim form factor of the 30 over the 35. The 35 has a much bulkier packaging, which makes it harder to slip into your briefcase. These are both expensive headphones. Both work great. I choose the 30 over the 35.
  • eBags Professional Slim Laptop Backpack. This is my backpack/briefcase. I could not be happier with it, and I have bought — literally — hundreds of briefcases and backpacks over the years. I’m always looking for something light, durable, black, professional and with enough pockets and areas that I can zip through security and customs without having to fumble around too much. The good people at eBags really have something with this bag. I can’t think of one thing that I would want to add/remove. This one is so smart — from the front pocket for emptying your pockets at security to the base at the bottom of the bag that will hold all external chargers, to the smaller top compartment especially built for your tablet (or Kindle or whatever) and the separate area for your laptop. If you’re looking for a professional bag that does it all… you can’t go wrong with this one.
  • Briggs & Riley Baseline Rolling Cabin Bag. Another area where I have spent way too much time, money and effort on is the ideal carry-on. This is the one. By far. Many airlines are now forcing gate check for carry-on bags that are too big. I went in the opposite direction, and I will never turn back. I often find myself on smaller planes, where all bags must be gate checked. This has stressed me out for connections and created delays. This is the best solution. It’s small enough that it can fit in many of the smaller aircrafts overhead bins. And, if it doesn’t, I slip my eBags briefcase (above) in the overhead bin, and this bad boy can go under any seat. I can’t express how much love I have for never ever having to gate check a bag. The trick with this bag, is that you have to pack light. I recommend rolling (tight) all of your clothing and coupling this with Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Garment Folder Small (make sure you get the small version or it will not fit in this bag) for articles that you do not want to wrinkle (dress shirts, sport coats, dresses, etc…) — see below for that product. I’ve been able to use this cabin bag for two nights and three days on the road, though it is more ideal for a quick overnight trip.
  • Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Specter Garment Folder Small. I do not know how I ever lived without this product. Remember, if you are going to go with the Briggs & Riley Cabin Bag above, make sure you get the “small” version of this magic little packing solution. This garment folder claims to be able to hold up seven items (according to their website), but from my experience, it really hold two dress shirts and one sport coat tightly. Still, it compresses the clothes and keeps them wrinkle free — and it works like a charm. If you travel, you must try these out. They’re the best at space saving for packing.
  • RuMe Bags Baggie All Zippered Organizer. Last (but not least) is this little charmer. Cables, dongles, headphones, adapters, presentation remotes, etc… can quickly turn the inside of your bag into something that resembles a pit of tangled snakes. For years, this bag has been my go-to organizer. I put my two remote presenters in the front pocket with my USB stick of backup files. The middle section gets all of the dongles that I need to connect to random projectors and AV set-ups, and the main compartment gets everything else. These bags are simply awesome and will keep every small-ish piece of tech and accessory organized and never to be lost again. For those who live in Canada, Dollorama has a similar bag in their stores, that I think are actually better (thicker material and slightly bigger) for under $4, so go and hunt it out in the office/school supply section.

Those are my top tech traveller’s business person gifts… what are yours?

note: all of the links above are affiliate links on Amazon. My intent is to donate whatever money is generated by the links to a local woman’s shelter. Hoping that you’re cool with that? And, yes, I really do use each and every one of these gadgets almost every day. If it’s in this list, it’s because I love it and use it.

Mitch Joel is President of Mirum — a global digital marketing agency operating in close to 20 countries. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful blog and podcast is a business and marketing bestseller. His second book, CTRL ALT Delete, was named one of the best business books of 2013 by Amazon. Learn more at: www.mitchjoel.com.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Make Time to Pay Attention to What Matters Most During the Holidays

how to pay attention during the holidays

Holidays have you feeling stressed for time and attention? Do you feel pushed, pulled and pressured to participate in every request for your time?

I know. It may be the most magical time of year for some but for many in today’s 24/7 world there’s a whole lot of stress served up along with those holiday trimmings.

The holidays can be a challenge as you attempt to balance obligations, family, friends and experiences all while trying to pay attention to what matters most. Here are 10 ways you can prioritize your efforts, simplify your life and make the most of these holidays.

  1. 15 Minute Mental List Release: Give your memory a break during the hustle and bustle. Take 15 minutes each morning to just do download your “mental list” of everything on your work/home to-do list and create a plan. Take tip from sales training pro and author Brian Tracy who shared, “It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan out your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to two hours (100 to 120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort through the day.” We could all use time savings like that!
  2. One stop shopping: No time for mall madness or dashing through the snow?  Let your fingers do the walking.  Shopping online is perfect for knocking out your gift list on a deadline, having everything delivered timely, and many stores offer gift wrapping options. You can even “gift” Amazon Prime memberships now – how about that?
  3. Give experiences. Instead of a candle, wine or standard gift – you may consider giving an “experience” instead.  “The reason experiential gifts are more socially connecting is that they tend to be more emotionally evocative,” says Cindy Chan, an expert on consumer relationships. Have fun with it. Gift cards are also now available in wide varieties. One fun idea for couples or families are gift cards for the movies. It’s a luxury for a lot of people now and they’ll think of you fondly when they get to go on date night or have a night out for fun with the kids! Put a bag of popcorn in a padded envelope with the movie gift cards and you’ve got an awesome gift. Restaurants, spas, or gift certificates to an interactive experience like the Escape Rooms or Rock Climbing places that are cropping up everywhere are terrific ideas as well.
  4. Help with the clean sweep: Book a cleaning service to do some of your heavy lifting this season. Think of it as a gift you give yourself, your business, and your family. According to Meagan Francis, author of thehappiesthome.com, hiring someone to clean your home, especially during stressful times, is a smart management decision – it allows you to focus on bottom line production. It’s also good for the health of your family (be gone dust mites), and wonderful for your mental well-being.
  5. Put your VIPs on the top of your list: While you’re filling your calendar, be sure that high achieving team members are made to feel special with some one-on-one time and reward high performers with an early afternoon.  Time off is a hot commodity this time of year!
  6. Ring-a-ling: Be sure you are setting aside a solid 15 minutes every day to call clients with warm holiday wishes.  I love the advice Fordyce Letter of Recruiting Straight Talk shares, “For certain clients and prospects, a quick telephone call to wish them a happy holiday goes a long way to separating yourself from the competition. If you get their voicemail simply offer your best wishes and let them know you will follow-up in the New Year. Too many rule out the telephone at this time of year when it should be your first choice.”
  7. Gifting inspired action: Want a great gift idea? Think powerful productivity, communication or success books for your team that will fire them up for the new year. I recommend Folding Time  (of course because this is my book!), Steal the Show (Michael Port’s great book makes a great gift for anyone in your life), and Fascinate (Sally Hogshead is a great speaker and friend and this book is awesome) … if you need more recommendations check out our blog.
  8. Delegate: More than almost any other time, delegate all the little things you can so you can stay focused on achieving your highest priority items. From family members to assistants, to virtual assistants to the neighbor’s college kid that is home on break and needs some cash for the holidays.  Take those pesky items on your to do list that you don’t want or need to do and delegate! When it comes to deadlines, many hands make light work.
  9. Exercise: I said it. I know no one wants to think about it when there’s Christmas cookies to nibble and nog to sip.  Without keeping our health and body on the list, we won’t have the energy we need to be our most productive selves.  Might it require a little earlier rise in the morning or a shift in schedule? Probably. But you’ll feel better and you can try that slice of pie guilt-free!
  10. Make family and friends a priority: If you’re like most top producers, the holidays are times of year your family thinks you might be in stealth mode. Be sure this isn’t that time.  Schedule in fun. Decorating. Laughing. Holiday movie watching. Down time.  All work and no play never made anyone happier.  Find the balance. Calm the chaos, stop and enjoy being in the present with everyone you meet today. And give generously of your time, smiles, hugs and encouragement.

Now, go out there and love every minute of the this sensational season.  Breathe deep. Smile big. Get the most out of each day paying attention to what, and who, matters most!

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Get Others to Pay Attention to Your Thought Leadership

Have you ever heard the term ‘Thought Leadership’ and wondered what it was and who gets to call themselves a ‘Thought Leader?’ True thought leaderships shapes and shifts ideas, perspectives and focus in others.

 

Thought leaders don’t just know something, they are known for something. People often consider themselves Thought Leaders and yet are actually just thought repeaters. If you really want to stand out as a unique leader who drives passion and focus in others, you must know with conviction, or be willing to develop the skills that meet the following Thought Leadership criteria:

 

  • Within your business or corporation, you are the go-to resource that best represents your brand, idea and thoughts.
  • You can quickly strategize using thought leadership as a marketing strategy to operationalize your unique ideas.
  • Create ideas and information your business and department can capitalize on by sharing it with the world in a way that is unique and one-of-a-kind.

 

Utilizing your unique talent and ideas in Thought Leadership can help you inspire and develop top talent within your company. It can also help you attract and retain a larger client base with great connection, engagement and partnership with your brand.

Question is, once you’ve identified your inner thought leader, how can you share your insightfulness to those around you?

  1. Capture what you know: You must take the ideas from your head and create ways to communicate them to the marketplace. Thought Leaderscan be found in any existing field of work imaginable; however, having a thorough knowledge and unique insights into a topic is only the beginning. Document what you know, your intellectual property. Become a subject-matter expert with unique insights and perspectives to share in your area of expertise. Communicate them in a way that demonstrates value, with language that is uniquely yours.
  2. Make your ideas known by others: Of equal importance is the Thought Leader’s ability to educate others on their ideas. It is critical to to share ideas in such a way that you inspire others to want to pass the information along to those in their inner circle. So, package your ideas in an accessible and attractive format to distribute to a market hungry for insights and solutions to problems, and those hearing your message will be eager to distribute it accordingly.
  3. Communicate with other Thought Leaders: Communicate with other industry thought leaders, those that are shaking up the way their industry operates. Those with unique insights and ideas often value like-mindedness. They will embrace your approach and engage others willing to listen and learn.
  4. Concentrate your messages to the markets that will value your expertise: Your ideas offered must be powerful enough to shift, or contribute to the future direction of an industry, community or even a whole way of thinking. If your thought leadership ideas focus on customer engagement, focus on developing relationships and creating connections with those whose interests concur. If technological ideas are what you’re known for, engage with other like-minded industry thinkers that will see the value in your message and understand the long-term impact your ideas will have.

Thought leadership is a unique skillset and way of packaging solutions to problems others may not consider. Once you’ve identified this talent within yourself, or developed the skills to be known for what you know, move forward with the communication strategy presented so you can spread your knowledge and ideas successfully.

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