Useful Links, Ideas & Resources
Thought leaders must regularly develop their expertise in a variety of arenas. What skills would you like to develop in the coming year?
Improve Your Ability to Tell Stories & Present Your Ideas
• Start a blog – www.wordpress.com
• For more on the benefits of blogging and tips on how to get started - 11 Reasons You Should Start Your Own Blog
• Start or join a writing group - www.sanfranciscowritersworkshop.com/
• Join Toastmasters – to hone your speaking skills
• Take an improv class - www.improv.org to improve your spontaneity and presence
• Learn storytelling - www.storynet.org/ or www.storytelling-in-business.com
• Attend a National Speaker’s Association Event - there are also local chapters in many major cities
• Watch Prezis of interesting thought leaders - www.alimat-inc.com
• Learn Prezi – and create a presentation about your thought leadership ideas
• Find lots of great resources here: Public Speaking: An Online Resource Guide
• Another page with great resources: The #PreziTop100 Online Resources Every Presenter Should See
• Develop a 3-minute talk on a topic you care about and videotape yourself presenting it. (Need a video tool? Try Animoto.) Replay the tape and give yourself a fair critique. What did you do well? What could you improve?
• Want to improve your video? Watch this great 2 minute video on How to Look Good on a Webcam
Nurture Your Innovation & Change Orientation Skills
• Trying to sort out what to do first and build your efforts for success? Try this updated resource and rethink of the basic SWOT analysis from Justin Gomer and Jackson Hille
• Read Creativity in Business by Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers
• Read innovation newsletters like Springwise or Iconoculture
• Host a strategic conversation about the change needed in your company. Learn how by reading Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change
• Identify something big that needs improving at work and create a strategy to fix it
• Engage others in making a change in your community or volunteer for a campaign already underway
• Start a meditation practice to give yourself quiet time to rest your mind. Try this cool meditation app, or learn how to mediate with this helpful article
• Stay up to date with topics in your industry by setting up a Google alert to notify you when articles are posted
• Play Innovation Games
Build Your Leadership Skills & Credentials
• Ask someone to nominate you for an award – like the San Jose Business Times Women of Influence Award or the Crain's 40 Under 40 Award. Provide them with your bio and the key supporting information for the nomination to assure they put the best case forward.
• Get listed as an expert in your field in this handy Women Also Know Stuff database
• Take part in the Leadership California program or the equivalent program in your area.
• Apply for a fellowship in your field of study
• Before seeking another credential or degree, be sure that it is really necessary to what you want to achieve
• Take a free online business course with Academic Earth
• Read blogs related to your field so you stay up to date on what’s happening – Try Alltop to find the top blogs by topic area
• Step forward to lead a strategically important initiative at your company or in your community
• Join a non-profit board
• Write an article for your company or industry newsletter that showcases your expertise.
• Create a personal web page. Try Go.co or Wordpress for easy site set-up, or check out this comprehensive list reviewing popular website builders
• Watch the Center for Creative Leadership webinar on Creating a Compelling Vision
Expand Your Network
• Join the board of a trade association or non-profit in your niche
• Before attending your next networking event, develop your “Brag points” – see Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus
• Update your LinkedIn page so others can learn about you
• Sign up for a weekly update of events in your niche (check www.Meetup.com) and attend 2-3/month
• Host a teleseminar or webinar on a topic you are an expert in and invite others to attend. Try a tool like GoToWebinar to host your webinar
• Start a monthly breakfast group with others you want to meet
• Use Newsle to stay informed about people in your network
Build Followers for Your Ideas
• Start Tweeting – share resources, links, ideas (not what you had for breakfast). Re-tweet others and follow key influencers in your niche
• Use Hootsuite social media dashboard to monitor your followers
• Read New Relationship Marketing: How To Build A Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using The Social Web by Mari Smith or The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Social Media Marketing by Jennifer Abernathy
• Read Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki
• Get training in writing an Op Ed - www.theopedproject.org
• Write an article for a specialized publication in your field
• Guest blog on a popular blog – Try Alltop to find the top blogs by topic area
• Start an e-newsletter and send it to people in your industry/niche. Use an email marketing tool like iContact or Constant Contact
• Convene a group of people with the same title/job across your industry for quarterly calls or meetings
• Speak on a panel at a leadership conference
• Comment on the blog(s) of others who are thought leaders in your niche, industry, organization
Improve Your Strategy-Setting & Visioning Skills
• Read Herminia Ibarra’s excellent case study on Women and the Vision Thing
• Read Jim Collins’ articles
• Take a strategy class at a local college
• Hire a strategy consultant to teach you everything they know and actively participate in strategy sessions at your company
• Use the templates from The Grove
to set your organization, team or group’s strategy & vision
• Join a LinkedIn Group of people in your niche or volunteer to moderate an existing group
Begin to Develop Your Platform
• Search SlideShare to see what other experts in your niche have created to support their platform
• Find thought leaders in your niche through LinkedIn Influencers and follow their activities.
• Attend the Platform conference.
Use These Tools to Track Your Progress
• Determine your Klout Score
and work to improve it
• Monitor your brand online with Brand Yourself
• Check out your social graph with the ‘super-actionable visualizations’ at Followerwonk
• Set up a Twylah page
to help others see what you’re tweeting about more easily by topic. Find trending people and topics, too.
helps you share your ideas with the right audiences so you increase your visibility online.
• Try Meet Edgar
, a new social media tool from Laura Roeder, that lets you customize your social media content and schedule endlessly.
If you have more resources to add to the list, contact us
. We always appreciate your suggestions, but please be patient and give us a few days to review your resource and determine if it's an appropriate match before following up. Thank you.