In India, the concept of action is equated to karma. As per Indian philosophy, karma is what creates the circle of life and establishes a bond with one’s self. And, this is why the seven actions laid out to become a thought leader are also referred to as karma.
Building the practice of Thought Leadership
No matter who is on the path of emerging as a thought leader, a stride of self-discovery is necessary every day.
So, here is a 52-week practice that is stacked across seven fundamental actions. These 52 values, qualities, and principles stacked together can be tried one at a time. You could pick one of them each week, as we progress. They are inspired by the seven colors in a rainbow. Nothing is superior or more important. Each action is just a frequency that you choose to tune into.
Each color in a rainbow corresponds to each action involved in building Thought Leadership.
7 actions of Thought Leadership
Think, Discover, Treatise, Emerge, Repeat, Evolve, Amplify.
Let’s take it one at a time.
The first action to “Think” is focused on your mind and thinking pattern. And, this determines your personality. You develop a field that defines the boundaries and rules of your life. With this action, you agree upon what you want vs what you don’t. This action would sound spiritual. But, the point is how can you tie this with how you could achieve your goal.
Thinking lets you clear the air and drop anchors that you could hold onto. So that the rest of your course is storm-resistant, literally.
Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.Thomas Szasz
Clear thinking helps to stay aware of where you are and shifts the mindset without too much friction. When your ideas and beliefs are ridiculed, clear thinking secures your stand amidst non-believers. War always needs a weapon. But the weapons need not kill people, they are used to win the war. Mahatma Gandhi’s stirring ideologies around non-violence and Satyagraha is one such example of that manifested out of clear thinking.
“We are what our thought has made us; So take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; They travel far.”Swami Vivekananda
Good writing and design are a result of good thinking. The first step is to articulate the thought and fixate your mind upon it.
The second action is Discover. If you have already experienced the act of ‘Thinking’, you would be in tune to discover yourself, your stance, and the idea that you want to lead.
Self-Discovery is never one way. It is tied to many loops of feedback. To step into the act of discovery, you need to start with three qualities:
At this stage, you would not be just discovering about yourself but also about what do you have and not have for real. It could be money or mindset. It is also about figuring out what resources you have to achieve your end goal. So if you plan to reach a target of 10,000 free plan subscribers or 1000 paid subscribers or bring in a million followers – what are the things that you need to change in your personal brand to be able to achieve that.
In the process, you will discover your niche and carve out a journey, mapping it back to the thought that you want to lead.
The third action is Treatise. What’s that? After the discovery phase, it is common for someone to repel at one’s own discoveries. Sometimes, you may move into denial mode. Even though you accept, there is a possibility to slip back into a non-commital zone.
What you discover may not sound very comforting because it involves negotiations and compromises. It involves coming to a consensus with yourself, your partners, your friends, and your entire ecosystem… Especially, if you are a people pleaser, you don’t want to hurt anybody, you may not move beyond this space. You would be stuck for a very long time trying to convince everyone. The truth is even world-famous leaders both in politics and business, have to live with their own set of people who would always disagree with them. This act of treatising with yourself has eight steps associated with this action. They will help you move out of this zone very quickly. So that now you can start emerging as a Thought Leader.
Here is where you set your own rules, collect your experiences, find your anchors, allies, and build your ecosystem.
The fourth action is to Emerge. Right before this, is when you settle with yourself and become a new person. During this step, you rise as a new person which why it is called emerge. There are 10 qualities or skills so to say that help you emerge into your new self. It helps you stick around with your goal and act upon it.
“Not so soon?” Is that what you thought when you saw REPEAT. Whatever you have become and or have learned until now, you will put that on a repeat mode. And that’s why the fifth action is called Repeat. Many a time, people ignore this assuming that things are all in place, but when we repeat a process in different circumstances, we realize how it needs to be further tweaked for perfection. It helps us sail through with our personal brand during tough scenarios. It also adds speed and fool-proof mechanisms that we can put to use.
After repeating, the sixth action is EVOLVE. When you repeat a process, you will see that you need to customize your role for different scenarios. And that would put you into uncomfortable spots many times. So, you need to spend some time shedding certain aspects about yourself and regathering a new self. Just like in any other process, evolution is an ongoing cycle.
In fact, this is when you would re-calibrate your pace, pause or you could find a rhythm for yourself or transcend into a new place.
Go full-on. The last and the seventh action is AMPLIFY. Why not right? Amplify your thought leadership. Amplify sounds like you want to make it loud, but is actually showcasing only what is important. It would involve an empathetic mindset, a little bit of personalization, building a shared purpose, being approachable, attract the right audience, helping people resonate with your thoughts, you know making them stay hooked to your ideas, and achieving that excellence.
That sums up your cycle to thought leadership that pretty much may sound like a journey to excellence 🙂
So let’s recap what are those seven major actions that would help you gain thought leadership.