How to Become an Authority

by | May 2, 2013 | 0 comments

Do you have authority? Are you one of the few in your field? Do you stand out?

Having authority means you matter, others listen to you, and others even ask for your input. But, how do you get from the point of nobody caring what you say to having authority?

Five Steps to Develop Authority 

1. Do not be a title, have a mission

No one cares what your title or field is, they care about the changes you want to make in the world. So communicate the mission. For example, I may be a faculty member, a leader, a teacher, a speaker, etc. Who cares? My mission is to help change the lives of people by showing them how to take control of their lives and their income. The result is changed people, changed companies, and a changed economy. People care about this mission.

2. Be yourself

Do not mimic others. Do like you do. Sound like you do. Many others are doing something similar to what I am doing – as they are for you. Learn from them, but do not be them.

Yes, with all your flaws and imperfections – be you. I have come to realize that people like transparency and reality over polish.

I am a currently serving on the faculty at a major university. Yet, I am not “academic.” I do not walk around using big fancy words. I barely fit in with the elite academics. But, that is part of my brand. Nor do I have a soft cushy approach to helping people. I tend to be matter of fact and let’s get to work. This is me, and it works. Be you, and it will work also.

3. Learn continually

You will always be learning, so continually look to learn from others. And, do not be shy about telling others you are learning. Your crowd wants to know you are learning. Don’t you want to know your doctor is still learning?

4. Be generous.

Share ideas. Share information. Give it away. Even when you think you are giving too much away for free, give more. You are the authority – so act like it by sharing your expertise to help others.

5. Speak with authority.

Forget the weak words of “I think…” or “I believe ….” Everyone thinks and believes. Everyone has an opinion. Forget opinions, yours is expertise. Expertise does not doubt, it knows.

For example, people argue with me over how to start companies. Some say you should ALWAYS get investment or you are wasting your time. Lots of these people are friends. I say, forget it. That works, but it works for so few that it is the waste of time. Instead, go after your business like a bootstrap focusing on making money like a madman and gaining market share. Then the investors will listen.

Are both of us correct? Yes. But you cannot do both directions at once, you have to choose who to follow. Those who want to raise VC as the only alternative to start will not likely be following me. So my line in the sand helps me attract the kind of clients I like working with and turns away those I prefer not to work with.

The Main Action to Take to Show Your Authority

All above is key, but only if you speak up. Authority is not silent. You have to be out there.  Blog, write articles, speak, comment on Amazon books, comment on forums, comment on blogs, etc. You must first have a voice to be an authority!

Note that very few people will share their thoughts. Few people will comment on blogs, review books on Amazon, or speak up on anything. For instance, a blogger will get comments from a small fraction (very small fraction) of its readers. How few  – less than 1% will speak up.

The authority is not silent. They have an opinion. Their opinion matters.


[reminder]What are you doing to establish your authority? [/reminder]

About the Author

Dale Callahan

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