If you are a thought leader (that is a speaker, author, trainer, mentor, facilitator or coach) then are you primarily sharing your stuff or someone else's? An example is a wonderful colleague in Thought Leader's Business School yesterday, who was NLP trained and used to define herself as an NLP trainer, rather than include that as something in her kitbag so to speak, and focusing instead on her own unique value.
Certainly this is something that I tend to do. If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you will know that I frequently refer to the Thought Leaders methodology or Sally Anderson's Evolved Leadership curriculum. I just love being part of both of these amazing communities, and there is a big part of me that wants to share the immense value I have received from them.
Do you feel that your own work is 'good enough' to share, really?
Ok, this is one of those calling the 'rhino's head in the room' blogs. In the past, when I got comments that I tended to share other people's stuff more than my own, I would vehemently defend doing that, and emphasize that they are just too important messages not to share. But I think there might have been something more sinister going on...
"There was a part of me that didn't think that people would find what I had to say that valuable".
It was way easier for me to demonstrate credibility by identifying myself as an accredited Thought Leaders mentor or an Evolved Leadership certified coach, than simply Laurel McLay.
And clearly, with both of these programs, there is validity to this, because they are simply extraordinary.
But here's the irony. A key philosophy of both of these communities is to celebrate your uniqueness, share your own stuff and stories with those around you, and build your own tribe. And in putting other messages first, before my own, I wasn't actually honoring one of their key messages myself.
Then I nearly lost some work because of it (there may of course have been more opportunities I have lost that I don't know about :-)). I recently had a beautifully engaging conversation with a wonderful man who organises speaking events for a highly influential group of leaders, and we were discussing what kind of session I could present to them. I gave him a copy of my book Lead Generation, and left the meeting feeling very excited about this opportunity. A couple of days later I received an email from him withdrawing his offer, because after reading my book, he felt that I was primarily promoting other people's material and that he was looking for people who spoke their own voice- ouch! Talk about the irony of expertise, a key part of my own message is for people to illuminate and shine with their own stuff!
Thankfully, I got back to him and shared my perfectly timed revelation, that I had been focusing too much on other people's work, and was now embracing my own, and shared some personal decisions that I had recently made which supported that. Often the way you respond to a hiccup with a prospect or client can actually cement the relationship going forward and this was the case here.
How about you (and this doesn't just apply to thought leaders by the way!)? Do you spend time developing your own unique thought leadership and material, or do you hide behind other proven philosophies? I promise you, once I made a choice to primarily focus on the value that I personally can bring, I experienced another one of those cool shifts in business, and suddenly a whole lot of fabulous opportunities came my way. I do believe that there is something that changes at a universal/woo woo level here, when you truly claim who you are.
Don't get me wrong, you will still hear about these programs, and other amazing philosophies that I come across. But the key message from me will be my own stuff, and I invite you to make that decision for yourself too!
Stop hiding, and start shining!!!