Ready to Be a Thought Leader: How to Increase Your Influence, Impact, and Success


"Achieving the status of thought leader—while it will nothappen overnight—is absolutely worth the effort. You'll gain aseat at the table and the credibility you need to build a moresuccessful company or catapult your career to the next level. Ifyou want to know how to become this kind of go-to guy or gal inyour industry, community, or profession, I suggest that you readthis book."
—From the Foreword by Guy Kawasaki

Ready to Be a Thought Leader? is about how to build afollowing for your ideas and maximize your ...

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"Achieving the status of thought leader—while it will nothappen overnight—is absolutely worth the effort. You'll gain aseat at the table and the credibility you need to build a moresuccessful company or catapult your career to the next level. Ifyou want to know how to become this kind of go-to guy or gal inyour industry, community, or profession, I suggest that you readthis book."
—From the Foreword by Guy Kawasaki

Ready to Be a Thought Leader? is about how to build afollowing for your ideas and maximize your impact in the world.Denise Brosseau maps out a specific, time-tested action plan thatwill help you galvanize others to rally around your ideas. Sheshows you, step by step, how to hone your insights, win supporters,amplify your influence, and even create a real movement basedaround whatever is most important to you. Her integrated processencompasses seven principles, including:

  • Find your driving passion: Identify the one arena where yourinterests, expertise, credibility, and commitment align
  • Build your ripples of influence: Engage your first followers byleveraging your message to tell a bigger story
  • Activate your advocates: Find the supporters who will championyour product, program, or initiative

Brosseau illustrates this proven framework with lessons from thepersonal stories of successful thought leaders, including RobinChase, founder of Zipcar, and Chip Conley, founder and former CEOof Joie de Vivre Hospitality.

If you're ready to increase your professional success, make animpact far beyond your current organization and industry, andultimately leave a legacy that matters, Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader? is for you.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Denise Brosseau is a champion of entrepreneurs andcorporate executives alike, and she lays out a step-by-step processfor all who want to achieve status as a thought leader. I highlyrecommend her book for every motivated individual.”
—Kay Koplovitz, founder, USA Networks; chairman,Springboard Enterprises; and author, Bold Women, BigIdeas

“Denise Brosseau has done a great service by makingthought leadership accessible to all of us. Her case studies andpractical resources make this book approachable and a must-read.I'm going to recommend this book to my start-up CEO friends, as itwill help them to get their ideas heard in an increasingly noisymarket.”
—Aneel Bhusri, cofounder and co-CEO, Workday

“Are you tired of the status quo? Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader? will give you practical guidance and inspire you withreal-life examples. I've known Denise for 11 years, and she'spassionate about helping people make a difference. Put herexpertise to work for you.”
—Susan Doherty, CMO, Hipmunk

“Thought leadership can be a significant competitiveadvantage for independent consultants. People want to hire thebest, and thought leadership validates your reputation,credibility, and expert knowledge. If you want to know what ittakes to become a respected thought leader in your arena, buyReady to Be a Thought Leader? today.”
—Gene Zaino, CEO and president, MBO Partners

“Denise Brosseau will give you the GPS to find and achievethe designation of thought leader. Whether you're an entrepreneur,executive, or nonprofit leader, you won't want to go to workwithout it.”
—Peggy Klaus, executive coach, and author, BRAG!and The Hard Truth About Soft Skills

“If you want to build community, advance ideas, and effectlasting change, read Denise Brosseau's Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader?. You'll find all the inspiration and know-how you needto enhance your impact and improve lives, startingtoday.”
—Jane Wales, president and CEO, The World Affairs Council,and vice president, Aspen Institute

“Denise Brosseau’s ground-breaking book teaches ushow to make our careers matter, changing ourselves and others forthe better. If you are ready to live your life to its fullpotential, I highly recommend Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader?.”
—Sheryle Bolton, CEO, Sally Ride Science, Inc.

“At 85 Broads, we help smart women develop the leadershipskills they need to dramatically increase the lifetime return onthe investment they make in their careers. To do that, they need toknow how to build a network of dedicated followers around theirgame-changing ideas. Ready to Be a Thought Leader? Is justthe kind of savvy, inspirational, and engaging guide to help anyonebreak out of the pack and stand out for all the rightreasons.”
—Janet Hanson, founder, 85 Broads

“As a long-time technology executive who has experiencedseveral career transitions, I have learned the importance ofthought leadership to raise my own profile within the industry andopen the door to new opportunities for myself and others. Readyto Be a Thought Leader? offers just the sort of practicaladvice that I could have used along the way. I highly recommendthis book for every executive.”
—Beth Devin, chief information officer, Silicon ValleyBank

“To climb the corporate ladder, you not only have to knowwhere you are going, but you have to bring people along with you.Denise Brosseau teaches you how to enhance your credibility andfind encouragement from a broad constituency supportingyou.”
—Lydia I. Beebe, corporate secretary and chief governanceofficer, Chevron Corporation

“Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an executive, orrunning a nonprofit, Ready to Be a Thought Leader? will helpyou establish your credibility within and outside your organizationand create a tribe of dedicated followers.”
—Sheryl O’Loughlin, executive director, Center ofEntrepreneurial Studies, Graduate School of Business, StanfordUniversity; cofounder and former CEO, Plum, Inc.; and former CEO,Clif Bar and Company

“As the CEO of a large nonprofit, I know the importance offinding and engaging with a passionate set of people who believe inand will engage with our work, and one way for me to do that is byestablishing myself as a thought leader. Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader? provides the strategies and resources entrepreneursneed to have their ideas not only heard, but acted on. I recommendit as a must-read.”
—Telle Whitney, president and CEO, Anita BorgInstitute

Ready to Be a Thought Leader? provides tips,tools, and resources that will help you articulate your passion,demonstrate your leadership, and engage others in accelerating newand creative initiatives. Denise provides a step-by-step process togain strategic visibility for your ideas and your work and in turnthe vital contribution you make to improving the world. A must-readfor anyone who wants to be more strategic and systematic in theirwork as a change agent.”
—Ellen Snee, EdD, vice president, leadership programs,VMware

“Is it time to stand out from the crowd and gainmorerecognition for your achievements? Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader? will open your eyes to new possibilities for increasingyour visibility and credibility within any organization—justwhat every savvy executive needs to get ahead.”
—Miranda Lin, senior vice president, Bank ofAmerica

“To rise above the noise, you need to stand out as atrusted and reliable resource for your customers. DeniseBrosseau’s timely and engaging new book, Ready to Be aThought Leader?, shows just what it takes for executives andCEOs to become that go-to guru. Her strategies will ensure thatcustomers flock to your door.”
—Mike Gill, vice president, US Sales and Customer Care,Medtronic Diabetes

“As a Silicon Valley executive talent agent, DeniseBrosseau has a front-row seat on what it really takes to stand outfrom the crowd. In Ready to Be a Thought Leader?, she sharesthat know-how in an easy-to-read, down-to-earth, and approachablestyle.”
—Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist; coauthor, GenBuY; and professor, Golden Gate University

“Whether you’re an up-and-coming entrepreneur or anestablished executive, Denise Brosseau will provide you specificguidance and invaluable insights to help you take control of yourbusiness and career. Denise’s stories, examples, templates,and tools have—to quote one of her case studies—the‘strong smell of reality.’ She’s been there, donethat, and helped hundreds of clients get to where you want togo.”
—David Newman, author, Do It! Marketing

“If you’re ready to break out as the‘go-to’ person in your niche, Ready to Be a ThoughtLeader? will cut ten years off your learning curve. Withactionable advice, a step-by-step execution plan, and inspirationalstories of leaders, this book will help you put your career onoverdrive!”
—Dan Schawbel, author, Me 2.0 and PromoteYourself

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118647615
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 581,471
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Denise Brosseauis the founder and CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, where she works with executives and entrepreneurs who want to build their visibility, credibility, and thought leadership to enhance their professional success. Her clients include leaders from Apple, Genentech, and Morgan Stanley, as well as startup CEOs, partners in professional service firms, and nonprofit executives. Denise speaks to corporations, associations, and groups nationwide and she is a frequent guest blogger for, Chic CEO, and Salesforce. Denise has an MBA from Stanford and in 2012, she was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change.

For more information, please visit

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Guy Kawasaki xiii

Introduction: What Do You Want to Be Known For? xv

Getting Started: From Leader to Thought Leader 1

1 Find Your Driving Passion 19

2 Build Your Ripples of Influence 41

3 Activate Your Advocates 69

4 Put Your "I" on the Line 99

5 Codify Your Lessons Learned 121

6 Put Yourself on S.H.O.U.T. 147

7 Incite (R)Evolution 183

Conclusion 207

Notes 209

Acknowledgments 221

About the Author 223

Index 225

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