June 07, 2011

Thought Leadership: Nine Skills that one need to develop

Shelley Dunstone
Shelley Dunstone is the principal of Legal Circles and a mentor with Thought Leaders Ltd. She helps businesses to develop leaders who actively foster and promote innovation.
Email her at shelley.dunstone@legalcircles.com.
www.legalcircles.com and www.shelleydunstone.com

The thought leader checklist

To become a thought leader, there are nine key skills that you need to develop:

1.Foresight – learn to spot new trends that will affect your clients. How can you better prepare your clients to deal with the future?

2.Communication – develop your communication skills to help you get your point across in a meaningful, effective and engaging way. You might do this through speaking, writing, training, facilitating, coaching or mentoring.

3.Comprehension – when you are preparing to present at a seminar or conference, build in a variety of presentation techniques to get attention from more of the people, more of the time.

4.Expertise – this goes well beyond knowing what the law says. Draw deeply on your unique experience. Learn to unpack what you know and find engaging ways to express it.

5.Uniqueness – all of us are a product of our unique upbringing, education and experiences. What is your personal value proposition that effectively differentiates you?

6.Positioning – know how to position yourself, your business or your organisation so people know exactly what you do and why.

7.Commitment for lawyers, marketing is personal; clients tend to consult an individual rather than a firm. You need to be able to explain why they need you.

8.Pitching – you need to sell your services in a variety of settings, whether in a formal bid process or one-to-one with a potential client. Learn how to invite people to buy you, your business or your ideas more effectively.

9.Execution – take your great ideas and help your clients put them into action.

The Australasian Law Management Journal is produced by the Australian Law Management Group of
the Legal Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia

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