Anthony James, our Founder and CEO, was recently featured in Thrive Global’s “99 Thought Leaders Share the 5 Most Important Things Needed to Become a Thought Leader” by Yitzi Weiner. Check out Anthony’s insights below!
Here are 5 Things Needed to Become a Thought Leader:
As the founder and CEO of Linux Academy, I’ve found that becoming a thought leader often rests in putting yourself out into your community — this can be as simple as actively contributing to existing projects and communities or as transformative as coming up with a whole new product or philosophy that shakes up the industry as a whole. Make yourself known by contributing to projects, talking at conferences, or attending meet-ups.
You also don’t want to settle for convention — leaders contribute, but they also look for ways to improve and change things, not just passively follow the status quo. Consider new approaches to solving common problems or think about how to use current tools and technology to improve current processes. Don’t be afraid to look outside of your industry for ideas, don’t be afraid to try something completely different, and don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is inevitable when pioneering new concepts, and there are lessons in failing that can never be learned if you only succeed.
As a thought leader, you also want to take the sum of your experiences (good and bad) and use them to teach those around you. Thought leaders are often expected to be experts in their field, and taking the time to show those new (or newer) to your industry the lessons you have learned affords you the chance to not just leave an impression in the present day, but contribute to the future of your field by lifting up those who will inevitably be leaders of it in the future.
Finally, it’s paramount that you practice what you preach — there’s a reason this is such a cliche. As you begin to cement your place as a leader in your industry, people will look not just at your words, but your actions. Leaders are very much expected to lead by example, and you might find yourself setting the tone of events or discussions even inadvertently. It’s important to see how your actions affect others and to learn how to be genuine and sincere while still putting your best self forward.
Anthony is also the co-host for Scale Your Code, a community where you can hear interviews from industry leaders on how they develop code and build their infrastructure. Learn more about Anthony and how he has grown his career and company below.