Ready to Be a Thought Leader?

For two years, GMN has been working with small cohorts of members to help them develop expertise in a particular area of interest, elevate their voices online, and build their experience in talking about and leading discussions on their chosen topics. We call this the Thought Leader Project, because we’re helping members become thought leaders in the fields that matter to them. In doing so, we not only help individual members become thought leaders, but we also help elevate the voices of all grants managers as a profession with thinkers worth listening to.

We are holding an informational call on April 21 for members who may be interested in joining our next cohort of thought leaders. Register for the call online.

Here are some ideas to help you crystallize your thinking around the topic:

What is a thought leader?

  • Thought leaders are the informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise.
  • They are trusted sources who move and inspire people with innovative ideas; turn ideas into reality, and know and show how to replicate their success.
  • Thought leaders are indispensable because they’re custom made. Their unique experiences and choices have shaped who they are and how they perceive their environment, which makes them one of a kind.

Questions to Consider Before Pursuing a Thought Leader Path

While the thought leader position can be enticing, this strategy isn’t necessarily correct for everyone or for every organization. Before pursuing the thought leadership path answer the following questions. If you’ve answered all of them with an emphatic yes, then you’ll be ready to proceed to the next steps toward becoming a thought leader in your field.

  • Do you have something insightful to say?
  • Will you invest time in developing your voice?
  • Are you committed to the process?
  • Do you have resources to be pervasive in multiple channels and formats?
  • Are you opinionated?
  • Are you available and persistent?


Why Become a Thought Leader?

  • Increase your personal brand visibility and advance your career
  • Add a critical, unique voice to the conversation
  • Represent your industry/organization on topics where it matters
  • Offer new ideas and solutions that change the status quo

Bonus: Learn how to develop a thought leadership strategy!

Join the call on April 21 to learn more about what it takes to become a thought leader and decide whether you’re ready to take the lead! If you have questions or comments, please contact Nikki Powell at



Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's effective practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.

Leave a Reply