I work with a lot of clients who want to be perceived as “thought leaders.”

Many of them think if they simply publish an ebook or get featured in the press that they will be a “thought leader.”

And there’s some truth to that.

If they’ve been quoted by Forbes, appeared on TV and authored a book, they’re likely to be perceived as a thought leader.

This doesn’t mean they are original thinkers or even smarter than most people in their field.

It simply means they understand how the game works. They understand the principles of persuasion and authority and have used them to their advantage.

You may not feel it’s “fair” but the fact is they will be the “thought leaders” people look to for advice.

The only catch is that their house of cards will come crumbling down sooner or later when people realize they have no depth of experience or expertise.

Memorizing facts and talking points can only take you so far.

The path to true thought leadership is hard. It requires years of commitment to your craft. It’s not for the faint of heart.

So if you desire to be a thought leader then make a decision to get better at what you do every day. Learn at least one new thing about your industry each day.

Record your thoughts and observations. Journal about it. Blog about it. Ask the stupid questions.

Don’t worry about protecting our ego or reputation. Don’t be afraid. If you want to really see how deep the rabbit hole goes you have to go all in. Stop scratching the surface.

Do the deep work. Study to be transformed instead of studying to teach.

Let your mind be molded by what you meditate on. This, my friend, is the pathway to true thought leadership. It’s as rare as it is valuable.