All Articles Leadership Careers Promoting yourself as a thought leader

Promoting yourself as a thought leader

4 min read


You’ve spent time thinking about leadership. You’ve practiced its principles. You’ve come to understand what works and what doesn’t work. The next step for you may be articulating your leadership style in a way others can reproduce.

Why write about leadership skills?

  1. Help organize your principles. One great thing about writing your thoughts down is that it helps you organize and solidify your leadership principles. It gives you a chance to explain why they’ve worked for you. You can share the pitfalls and problems your leadership style resolves.
  1. Share them with your organization. It’s one thing to show by example. And you hope your team will see your leadership style and duplicate it. However, people learn best by showing and telling. As you write articles about how and why you lead the way you do, your peers and subordinates understand your leadership skills better. They are better able to duplicate them.
  1. Promote yourself as a thought leader to the world. Executives change jobs with more and more frequency. As you share your leadership skills with outside publications, you gain credibility with a wider audience. You can list your articles on resumes and LinkedIn profiles to showcase your leadership reputation.

How to write about your leadership skills

  1. Choose a principle. Look at one of your leadership principles that you feel has been particularly successful. Perhaps you’ve used an unusual or out-of-the-box technique to resolve a thorny issue. Maybe you’ve discovered a powerful way to build consensus. Think of what you’re doing that would be of interest to your organization or business leaders in general.
  1. Organize your thoughts. What is a powerful way to introduce your topic? You may want to illustrate your leadership skill with an example. Perhaps you feel it would be most effective to talk about a problem you faced and how your leadership style provided the solution. Or maybe you want to contrast the old way of doing things with the new.
  1. Discuss what, why, how. Make sure you get all the essential information into the article. Explain what your purpose is in writing the article. What is the leadership skill you want to address? Why is it important for the reader to learn this? Focusing on the benefits of the skill helps readers want to take the time to read and master the skill. Finally, explain how to implement your expertise. Can you create a step-by-step pattern for others to follow?

Where to publish

  1. Company newsletter or internal publications. The easiest place to publish your article is your in-house publication. Does your company have a magazine, newsletter or expanded memo that gets sent out? Your organization’s print or Web media will give you the greatest visibility within the company. It will elevate your status and help the company embrace your way of leadership.
  1. Websites, articles for Harvard Business Review and similar publications, thought leader blog posts. To broaden your visibility, look at Web articles you typically read. You’ve likely already developed a relationship by commenting on articles that have appeared there. Check and see if those publishers invite guest articles or blogs. If so, submit there.
  1. Kindle and e-book. It may be that after you begin putting thoughts to paper, you realize you have a lot to say. You recognize there are many people who could benefit from the leadership skills you’ve developed. In this case, you may want to write an e-book.

Regardless of how you decide to disseminate your information, once you come to an executive position, sharing your leadership skills by living your truths and writing about them can benefit you and your organization.

Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 leadership coaches in the U.S. As an executive coach, he has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Amazon, Starbucks, Deloitte, Cisco Systems, and The Ritz-Carlton. He is the author of seven books, including “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.” More than 10,000 people subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work newsletter. If you sign up, you’ll receive the free e-book “41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!”