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Would You Clean Your Ears with a Plunger?

As an author, speaker or thought leader you have at your disposal a relatively wide array of tools for any given task. A client wants someone to motivate the troops a bit at their annual off site? A speech is certainly an appropriate tool for that. However, if the same client comes to you and needs something that will drive customer satisfaction or increase their close rates on complex sales, a speech isn’t the right tool for the job.

That seems like a pretty obvious statement, however, all too often I see thought leaders using the wrong tool for the job. It could be because they have a one size fits all mentality, “Hey, my keynotes are so awesome they can cure all that ails you! It can motivate! It can inspire! It can get your team to collaborate more effectively!” It could be that they only have one or two tools in their tool box. It could be they’ve never really thought of how their content can have a broader impact on an organization.

A master craftsman has a wide array of tools at his or her disposal. What makes them masters of their respective crafts is not just their skill with each tool but their ability to determine how to use the best tool for the task at hand. Sure, you could tear down a wall with a screwdriver, but it’s a lot easier to do with a sledgehammer.

Let’s say an organization really appreciates and respects your content. They’ve been exposed to it through your books or articles. They reach out and want you to work with them to use your content to solve a problem, to change behaviors, and develop a new or enhance an existing skill. Do you have a methodology in place to diagnose the situation? Do you have a process by which you can roll out your content at scale to an enterprise?
Most thought leaders and authors don’t, and because they don’t they not only leave a lot of money on the table, they limit the impact their work can have on an enterprise.

Developing tools and solutions that work and work well is not easy (and frankly for many it’s not something they know how to do or enjoy doing). However, in order to best serve your clients, in order to truly be a master of your craft, you need a suite of tools at your disposal to choose from. Cleaning your ears with a toilet plunger is silly, painful and ineffective.

Peter Winick has deep expertise in helping those with deep expertise. He is the CEO of Thought Leadership Leverage. Visit Peter on Twitter!

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