Yes, You Are A Leader (by Sharing)

leadership positioning sharing trust Sep 14, 2019

I stumble upon this and similar sentiments frequently when engaging with professionals on all levels who are looking to position themselves effectively to attract new careers or business opportunities. They seem to feel irrelevant, overwhelmed or even insufficient in sharing their professional perspectives and experiences to a bigger audience, online as well as offline. The rationale for this might be a combination of an unclear personal content strategy, and personal preference to remain an observer, missing out on assuming a natural leader role among followers.  

"Why would anyone be interested in what I share, there is already so much content out there…"

We all have an opportunity to reflect our leadership in sharing our experiences, talents, and aspirations related to our favorite topics. This will not only attract followers, intrigued by our sharing, it will also provide new insights to where we go next as we engage with our followers. Our experiences, talents, and aspirations may not be unique standing alone, but the combination of these three factors may very well be. Hence, you are a leader if you use the tools available to you to engage with your followers and learn more about why they have chosen to follow you.  

Reflections & Trends 

During most of my professional life, I have been intrigued by formal and informal leaders who are creating a natural following. What is it that they do? Did they plan for it, or did they respond to their followers? How do they build trust? When reflecting on my own journey, I can certainly see how I started off by having a clear goal in mind about which leadership role I wanted to assume. However, as I engaged with stakeholders along the way, another leadership position emerged. They turned to me for very other reasons than I expected, and somewhat surprised, somewhat thrilled, I decided to go into exploration and co-creation mode. 

When I started my own business back in 2010, my goal was to be of service to other coaches and consultants who wanted to use technology to reach their ideal clients anywhere in the world, at any time. There was a lot of mind-set related obstacles to not physically meeting your client at a given point in time, and still be of value as a service provider. I teamed up with some of the pioneers in the area started supporting coaches around the world in packaging up their expertise and making themselves available at their client’s fingertips. Much to my surprise, other professionals approached me for other services, which had much more to do with my own journey as a professional. I realized that I could be of service to them by sharing my own combination of experiences, talents, and aspirations, and help facilitate theirs.

Who are successful in creating a natural following today? I would say that this is true for professionals who are bold enough to share professionally in a personal way and making themselves vulnerable. The sharing can happen in a 1:1 meeting, in a group, on stage, as well as online. It can only be effective though if the sharing is authentic and you build trust with your audience. As we easily get associated with what we share, it is instrumental to be mindful about our content sharing.

Hence, we need a simple, personal content strategy and select one, maximum of three areas where we want to share content with the ambition to inspire and educate our followers. The areas do not have to be related, but sometimes we will be able to combine more of our areas and this will make us stand out even more to your followers. I can’t wait to explore this more with my professional stakeholders moving forward.

The challenge

 

“In which areas to people prompt you to get your insights and advice?

Which topics would you be engaging in, offline as well as online, to make others understand what really excites you professionally?”

 

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in learning more about creating and nurturing a natural following, I recommend you taking part of the inspirational sources below:

The currency of the new economy is trust / Rachel Botsman

Dear to lead / Brené Brown

How great leaders inspire actions / Simon Sinek

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