What is your professional development strategy? Are you a resource to colleagues and customers or are you an implementer-doer? It’s the difference between folks asking you “What do you think?” versus “Can you do this for me?” It’s nothing less than differentiating yourself and assuming thought-leadership.
What role do you want to have in your career?
Most of us want to make some sort of difference to The Way Things Are. We want to leave our mark. More importantly, we want to improve the quality of outcomes for others. “Doing” is the way of implementing what we’ve been taught to do. Becoming a resource for others means taking the steps to define ourselves as a thought-leader and innovator.
Are you willing to put in the time and effort to differentiate yourself as a thought-leader and resource to your profession?
Are you an order-taker or an innovator? A technician or a thought leader?
Becoming a thought-leader and a resource involves more than taking the steps to establish your value to your organization and customers. The globally competitive economy doesn’t ensure anyone’s job stability; nor does it ensure the longevity of your company.
- Establishing your thought-leadership in your domain space involves collaboration tools and communication skills.
- Establishing your thought-leadership means you don’t keep What You Know inside your head.
- Establishing your though-leadership involves understand your industry ecosystem, for starters.
- Establishing your thought-leadership means articulating your value, in words that everyone seated around the business table understands.
- Establishing your thought-leadership means learning to listen and ask provocative questions so everyone learns from each other, not just from you.
- Establishing your thought-leadership involves becoming proactive and anticipatory of marketplace and technology possibilities.
- Establishing your thought-leadership isn’t simply a matter of one more certificate, post-graduate course, award or accolade.
- Establishing your thought-leadership makes people squirm in their seats as you move them 1 millimeter outside of their status quo comfort level.
- Establishing your thought-leadership invites comment, moves people to common “Aha!” moments and collaboration.
- Establishing your thought-leadership means infusing a collaborative toolkit of cross-functional communication skills into your professional arsenal.
Ask yourself whether you are comfortable, and satisfied, with remaining an order taker vs. an innovator and thought-leader. Your professional development is firmly in your hands. It’s up to you to recognize the difference between being asked to take on additional responsibilities and being asked to take a different seat around the business development table as you establish yourself and your thought-leadership .
Your ability to understand these differences can assist you in making productive decisions that lead to sound career choices over the long haul.
What domain area expertise do you have? How might you establish your thought-leadership? It may be the fulcrum of your professional development. Something to chew on this week.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, traverses the sales-engineering interface®, bringing entrepreneurial mojo to small and mid-sized businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors. She builds vibrant revenue-producing business strategies for technical startups. She provides you and your colleagues with an arsenal of collaboration tools and communication skills required for today’s globally competitive marketplace.