What exactly is a “thought leader?” The short answer is that it depends on who you ask. Although the definitions can vary, the majority agree that a thought leader possesses expert knowledge in a particular field, and their position and opinions about that subject are both authoritative and influential.
Anyone who wants to be a successful coach should focus on becoming a
thought leader. The term “coach” is broad a term and can include business coaches, career coaches, life coaches, financial coaches, exercise coaches, etc. If your profession centers around helping others find their way down a specific path to reach a desired result, you are a coach. And you can increase your overall success by becoming a thought leader, as well as by writing a book to increase your credibility and attract a following.
Becoming a thought leader better prepares you to be a coach
To be a true thought leader, you must put in the time and work necessary to gain that coveted title. Media and advertising analyst, Rebecca Lieb, describes thought leadership as, “rather like achieving academic tenure,” and goes on to say, “Thought leadership requires a continuum of wisdom, accomplishment, and a body of published work that stands the test of a degree of time.” (Source)
A true thought leader doesn’t become an expert overnight. They have honed their craft, gathered knowledge, and learned by working over a number of years. They have a list of accomplishments that prove their value. When a coach puts in the time to become a thought leader, they are not simply knowledgeable but also influential, meaning that they not only help their clients but also other professionals in that field.
Publishing a book sets you up to become a thought leader
When you present your knowledge in a well-written nonfiction book, you set yourself up for success. You go from being a self-proclaimed expert to a recognized expert. You set yourself apart from the crowded field and add a significant credential. You know that knowledge is power, but name recognition is just as important. There are hundreds of coaches in your field and the competition for clients is fierce. Don’t you want to be the one with the prestige and name recognition associated with being a thought leader?
When you write your book, you establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, set yourself apart from all the self-proclaimed experts, and attract a following. It’s one way to take a step towards thought leadership.