A Three-Step Equation To Elevate Your Thinking To Thought Leadership

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Published on Forbes.com on 8 December 2020, 07:00am EST

Words create worlds. And yet by habit, we have the tendency to unconsciously or unknowingly use self-limiting language. When we change our thought patterns, we have a unique ability to transform our mindset. When we shift the language we use, we create the reality we truly seek.

Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something you really wanted because you were afraid of doing it wrong? Have you ever played small or held yourself back because you believe that’s just the way it needs to be? Maybe you’ve wanted to elevate your thoughts and leadership skills by publishing a book, but you’re afraid your message is not profound enough, long enough or “perfect” enough.

Things will only be different once you begin to think differently.

In my work with high-performing executives and entrepreneurs, my philosophy is simple: It doesn’t have to be hard, it just has to be conscious.

You set expectations high for yourself because on some level you know the extraordinary capacity of your potential. On another level, however, you allow yourself to believe that your expectations are unattainable. In your mind, you put boundaries or restrictions around your capabilities.

Let’s take the example of embracing your own thought leadership. In reality, there is no magic page count, no ideal book length. In fact, some of the most powerful messages come in “tiny books” — books well under 200 pages. Would anyone deny the profound impact of books like The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz, Night by Elie Wiesel, and A Little Book on the Human Shadow by Robert Bly?

Maybe you’ve been creating content for years and you have an inventory of published blog posts, social media updates, interviews and presentations. This is your intellectual capital. Unconsciously, you’ve been building a body of work all along. You simply haven’t paused to see what you’ve already created.

To embrace and own your thought leadership, you must be willing to take a risk. You must be willing to show the world who you are and what you believe in. And you must do this with consciousness and intention. There are three components to the thought-leadership equation.

Your Thinking + Your Leadership + Your Action = Thought Leadership

Before you publish any piece of content, get clear about your point of view, your mission and your message. Put attention and focus on what you think and feel and on what you want the world to know. Let every piece of content declare what you want for the world around you. The key is to stop trying to be profound, stop trying to recreate the wheel and just be real. Show the world who you are, the lessons you’ve learned and the wisdom you’ve passed on to your employees, colleagues and other leaders.

Next, examine how you are leading. What do you think and feel about leadership? How does it shape your thinking? How can you bring intention to the way you lead?

Finally, once you’ve written a post, a mini-book, a white paper or whatever it is you write, put it out into the world. Share it and let it land. Then assess the impact, tweak and repeat.

Your message, your leadership abilities, your willingness to put things into action will elevate you to a thought leader in your space. As it works its magic in the world, it will also invite you to find your motivation. It will continue to provide gentle nudges for you to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself — and your work — out there.

Imagine what would be possible if you stopped using self-limiting language and started believing in yourself — if you allowed your words to create your world. What might you be able to accomplish?

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David Taylor-Klaus reintroduces successful entrepreneurs and senior executives to their families. A serial entrepreneur, David is recognized for combining candor, intelligence, and humor with masterful coaching. He challenges leaders and their teams to reach their highest levels of performance in their professional and personal lives.
His best-selling new book “Mindset Mondays with DTK: 52 Ways to REWIRE Your Thinking and Transform Your Life” is available on Amazon worldwide.

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