- An IT resource – the go-to IT guy/gal in your field of expertise?
- The opinion everyone seeks?
- A trusted source of innovative IT ideas?
- The IT expert who turns those ideas into reality – inspiring sustainable change in not only companies but also within the industry?
- Creating IT blueprints, establishing the best practices and processes that others follow?
- Creating the foundation upon which other IT personnel build?
Becoming an IT thought leader opens the door to a higher level of professional achievement. It will bring you immense satisfaction – both professionally and personally, but it does not come without costs.
Thought Leadership requires:
- Time commitment – it isn’t a matter of deciding to be a thought leader, attending a webinar and presto – you’ve arrived. It takes time – even years – to build up sufficient knowledge, experience, and the ability to convey that knowledge and experience to others.
- Strength to stand alone – being a thought leader doesn’t happen from following the crowd. It takes a willingness to carve a new path, try a new way, develop a new method or pattern; in other words, be willing to “fail” a few times in the search for innovation.
- Willingness to work in a glass office – thought leadership brings with it exposure, strategic visibility, and a chance in the spotlight. While this can be beneficial, it can also be overwhelming and certainly removes a few layers of privacy.
Tough skin – when you stand out in front of the innovation pack, the knowledgeable, and the experienced, not everyone will agree with you. For all the people who seek your opinion, there will also be the naysayers and the sharp criticism. You need to decide early on that you will show respect for their opinion, glean from it if there is merit, and then move forward with your plan, idea, etc.
On the other hand, the rewards are incredible.
Thought Leadership provides the opportunity to:
- Influence others – as a recognized leader in your particular IT field, you will have the power to persuade individuals, departments, companies, etc.
- Move your organization or company in new directions. Once you are established as an authority, you will have the necessary clout to present, and then implement new systems, processes, ideas . . .
- Serve on various boards and/or government commissions
- Travel – perhaps even internationally – particularly if you are a gifted speaker.
- Leave a legacy – generating positive, transforming change within the IT community.
The path to IT Thought Leadership isn’t easy, but it is accessible to all – regardless of gender, ethnicity, culture, etc. Read next week’s blog for a complete “packet” of tips to help you reach this professional level.
Cynergies Solutions is all about assisting IT specialists and the companies they serve – encouraging thought leaders on both sides of the equation. We provide tools to help candidates attain fair market value for their services as they become well-branded leaders and move forward in their careers. We help companies solve critical IT staffing challenges in a time-sensitive environment where success depends on staying a step ahead of the competition. Contact us today.