While the term thought leadership might be relatively new, it never quite fails in creating a buzz. It means people not only look up to you for details about a product or service, but also look to you for information and ideas. Once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your respective industry, potential customers and clients will begin to trust you more, bloggers start approaching you with more zeal, which in turn helps in boosting your PR options as well as your credibility.
When it comes to thought leadership, it’s all about separating yourself from the crowd, finding ways to connect with your audience and being able to inherently deliver the information they want. When Bill Gates, in 1996, said content is king, little did he realize how true his words would hold today. After all, no one looks up to opinions of creators who produce low-quality content.
If you’re a corporate leader in today’s world, you should also establish yourself as a pioneer, paving new paths that few would dare go down, by staying persistent right until the end. To be a successful pioneer, you need to be self-confident and trust yourself enough to share your unique ideas with the world. Apart from scaling your business and taking it to new heights, thought leadership can create a sense of engagement amongst your employees while also imparting thrill and excitement back into the workplace culture. Employees always look up to leaders that are more open and vocal in sharing their thoughts and perspectives. If you plan on becoming a thought leader anytime soon, here are some of the top organizations that can assist you in your thought leadership journey.
Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)
YPO is a global platform for executives to grow and learn. With 26000 members in 130 countries, members harness knowledge, trust and influence, of the world’s most innovative business leaders to create a huge impact. Quite similar to EO, the key difference here is that, you don’t need to be the owner of the company, but its current leader. Titles representing this position may include President, Chairman of the Board, CEO, Managing Director, or Managing Partner. Also, the revenue requirements for YPO are higher and you need to be under the age of 45.
Intellectus – Leadership platform for Experts
Intellectus is a promising social enterprise, and a highly distinguished, invite-only space of acclaimed experts from different industries. Intellectus gives community members the opportunity of coming together on a single platform so that they can provide valuable thought-leadership content based on their field of expertise. It helps experts build a brand for themselves by getting their articles published on top publications. The sole reason behind starting Intellectus is to empower experts by bringing their thoughts, ideas and insights to the world.
In order to be a part of Intellectus, you need to have 5+ years of experience in your respective industry, have strong leadership skills, should have been recognized on an authoritative platform along with having done substantial work in your industry.
Young Entrepreneur’s Council (YEC)
YEC was created by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs. From the very beginning, YEC was an invitation-only forum to exchange ideas and resources, make high-value connections and also provide needed mentorship. YEC is on a mission to take community management a notch higher. The founders are recognized by media outlets worldwide and it comprises the most influential super connectors impacting industries worldwide. In order to be a part of this community, you need to be 45 years old or younger and located in North America. In addition to that, you also need to be the founder or co-founder of your company.
Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO)
EO is a global non-profit organization whose mission is to engage leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow. Founded in 1987, it was formerly known as the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization. This global network, built exclusively for entrepreneurs helps them grow through peer-to-peer learning, once in a lifetime experiences and connections to experts. EO seeks to inspire, educate and transform by offering numerous valuable resources in the form of global events, leadership- development programs as well as offerings designed for professional and personal growth. To become a member of EO, you must be the founder, owner or majority stakeholder of a business earning a minimum of US$1 million in the most recent fiscal year. Venture-backed companies must have a minimum of 10 employees. The funds must either be privately-raised funds of at least US$2 million or publicly-raised funds of US$5 million.
Business Networking International (BNI)
BNI is an American franchised networking organization where members discuss business on a weekly basis and also support each other’s businesses by sharing referrals. It comprises around 2,33,000 members in 8399 chapters worldwide. BNI can predominantly help you in building an extremely strong network that fuels growth in every sense and is a great organization for solo entrepreneurs and sales people. To be a part of BNI, you should be working full time in your current position. You must be ready to commit with regard to showing up to weekly meetings and be willing to give referrals to other members in the chapter. You also need to ensure you are not a member of another competing organization.