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 

The people who join your ‘tribe’ want to identify and connect with you. The more clearly you can tell a story, the more likely you are to build a loyal tribe. Sadly, few are born with the gift of storytelling – the rest of us have to work to develop it. Here are some resources that we recommend. 

• Watch TED Talks – to see how others present their ideas. A few of our favorites include Simon Sinek, How to Start a Movement, Brene Brown, The Power of Vulnerability, Seth Godin, How to Get your Ideas to Spread.
• Learn how to make your ideas catch on. Read Pop! Stand Out in Any Crowd by Sam Horn.
• Want to get great advice from speakers on how to be a better speaker? Subscribe to SpeakerNetNews.
• Hire a speech coach recommended by people you know and respect. Here are a few we like: Arina IsaacsonDan Sapp and Lou Heckler. Also, check out the great videos on improving your speaking at K. C. Baker
• Join Toastmasters –  to hone your speaking skills
• Take an improv class - to improve your spontaneity and presence
• Learn storytelling - or 
• Attend a National Speaker’s Association Event - there are also local chapters in many major cities
• Find lots of great resources here: Public Speaking: An Online Resource Guide
• Another page with great public speaking tips and resources: 27 Public Speaking Anxiety Tips [+ Bonus: Online Courses]
• Develop a 3-minute talk on a topic you care about and videotape yourself presenting it. (Need a video tool? Try Animoto or Camtasia.)  Replay the tape and give yourself a fair critique. What did you do well? What could you improve?
• Learn storytelling from the best in the business absolutely free. Pixar and Khan Academy are teaming up to offer a free online storytelling course

present your ideas MORE EFFECTIVELY

• Explore Canva - use one of their templates to better present your ideas
• Want to improve your video? Watch this great 2 minute video on How to Look Good on a Webcam.
• Start a blog –
• 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 - 
Learn Prezi so that when you create a presentation about your thought leadership ideas, people are actually engaged.
• Hire someone to create a cool Prezi for you. Here are some talented folks we recommend - my friends at Alimat, Inc.
• Learn how to tell a great story in a slide presentation. Here are some books we like, Resonate and Slide:ology books by Nancy Duarte.

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 organization. Learn how by reading Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change by Lisa Kay Solomon.
• 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 or on the ExpertFile website.
  • Take part in the Leadership California program or the equivalent program in your area.
  • Apply for a fellowship in your field of study.
  • Take an online Masterclass with an expert. I love the classes from Bob Woodward and Malcolm Gladwell but there are many topics to choose from.
  • 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 or LinkedIn.
•   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 in your organization or 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.coSquareSpace or Wordpress for easy site set-up, or check out the following blogs by Maggie Aland and Robert Mening who provide comprehensive lists and reviews of popular website builders.
•   Watch the Center for Creative Leadership webinar on Creating a Compelling Vision.  


We tend to get carried away. So here's another great page of resources.

career resources

In a career transition? Here is a page of career resources for you.

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.

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