How to Identify Your Strengths as a Thought Leader

I took an assessment today and got some shocking results.

I’m sure at some point you’ve taken at least one of those assessments that promises insights into your personality, behavior, career choice, or Hogwarts house.  While it seems quizzes and assessments are as plentiful as my excuses for not folding the laundry the same day it comes out of the dryer, there are only a small handful that I recommend to my clients and students — assessments that is, not laundry excuses.

The best assessments offer truly useful insights and are backed by sound research. (In case you were wondering, the Meyers-Briggs is not one that I recommend. While it can be interesting and entertaining, it’s usefulness is as limited as the science that backs it up. If you’re curious, I’m an INTJ for what it’s worth.) On the other hand, I’ve used an assessment called Strengthsfinder 2.0 with my clients for almost a decade.

SF2.0 is an assessment based on a 40-year study that cataloged 34 talents and led to a truly powerful quiz that reveals your top five talents. When you focus on leveraging your top five talents you will experience more flow, satisfaction, and efficacy in your work and relationships.

Perhaps you’ve taken SF2.0 before. What many don’t know is that there’s a completely different type of report you can get based on your top five strengths — a leadership report. This second report tells you how you can be most effective as a leader. It offers specific insights about how you can best inspire, influence, and earn trust. The Strengths Based Leadership report tells you exactly the kinds of things you can do to express your most powerful leadership and influence qualities. Read more

How Thought Leaders Cut Through the Noise

How Thought Leaders Cut Through the Noise

What has changed the most since you’ve been marketing online? What’s coming up next in online marketing that entrepreneurs need to know about to stay ahead?

I get asked these two questions a lot in interviews. People are curious to hear my answers because I’ve been creating and marketing brands on the Internet since 2003. I’m going to answer both of those questions for you now.

This brings me back to the idea of The Long Tail of Influence from my last post, How Thought Leaders Rise to the Top of the Market

Let’s dig into that diagram now. Read more

How Thought Leaders Rise to the Top of the Market

Have you ever discounted or tucked away an idea even though it kept showing up in your mind?

You tell yourself that it’s not important, but really the idea fascinates and inspires you, and you’re just worried that others won’t find it as interesting as you? Because of this you may keep hiding it away or telling yourself a story about how you’re “still working on it.”

 

Have you ever done that?

 

There is a particular idea that I had for two years before I decided to share it with anyone. I’d brought it up in a handful of conversations, but I never ventured (or dared) to put it out in public and develop it further with the feedback of an audience. Then one day, I picked up a book on a friend’s recommendation.

 

As I read the jacket copy and flipped through the pages, I was stunned to realize what the premise of the book was very similar to my idea! Not only that, but the author won a Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award for the idea! If you’re not familiar, the Thinkers50 is basically the Oscars or Grammy awards of business thought leadership. Read more

The Achilles Heels of Every Thought Leader

The Achilles Heels of Every Thought Leader

Can I tell you a secret?

I’ve worked with and talked to a lot of extremely successful, ambitious, and influential people over the years- visionary people who have done amazing things. There’s just one problem. Every one of them deals with their share of challenges like a lack of focus, crippling blind spots, self-doubt or fear at some level. Some of these are huge online and media personalities, best-selling authors and notable speakers. Yet they are not magically impervious to the demons of derailment.

It’s easy to look at the people we admire (or even get jealous of) and assume that they have their shiz together at all times. Here’s the secret…

They don’t.

Even the most visionary people flounder and struggle sometimes to find clarity and confidence about where they are going and how they will get there. They’ve been able to do amazing things because they’ve recognized their limitations as a visionary and created a support system that mitigates the fallout when the demons of derailment start raging. As one of my friends says (she has a 2M+ dollar business), “I’ve made my business me-proof.” Read more

How Thought Leaders Stay Relevant

How Thought Leaders Stay Relevant

Have I ever told you about the time I almost decked a guy in Paris?

In 2014, my wife and I achieved one of our top bucket list dreams when we moved into an apartment at the base of the hill below the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. My daughter CeCe and I would often play on the hill and climb the stone steps that led to the basilica at the top. The hill attracted throngs of tourists in the summer eager to enjoy the panoramic view at the top.

And where there were tourists, there were street vendors. You couldn’t walk two steps up the hill without an aggressive vendor stepping in your path. One after the other, dozens accosted tourists all of them selling the same worthless stuff. Because there was no differentiation between them and little value to their tchotchkes, they had to resort to obnoxious, manipulative tactics to get attention and make the sale.

One day one of these fine gentleman thought he would continue blocking my way until I bought something. Meanwhile, my three-year old daughter was quickly getting farther away from me putting crowds of tourists between us. Some sort of parental instinct kicked in I had a sudden desire to deck the guy. Thankfully I found enough sense to settle for a gentle-ish push on his shoulder so I could step around him. Eventually, I learned how to dodge and tune out the vendors. Read more