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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority

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Are you invaluable? In terms of your value as a human being, clearly the answer is yes, but what about your value to your marketplace? Do you offer something that your market can't live without or at least doesn't want to live without? The people who have the greatest value in the market, the ones who earn the most and who have by the world standards very successful careers, have used six factors to get there. They may not even be aware that they have been using them, but the combination of these six factors determines one's value in the marketplace. The first factor is savvy. A savvy person possesses know-how, an intuition to understand what's going on in the market and with the business. The second factor is ability, which simply measures how well you do what you're supposed to do. The third factor is irreplaceability, putting yourself in a position that makes it very difficult to find someone else to do your job. The fourth factor of focus goes hand in hand with irreplaceability. Focus refers to your ability to eliminate distractions to your time.
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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

10/26/12 10:09 PM

01:18 01:22 01:27 01:32 01:38 01:41 01:47 01:52 01:59

The fifth factor is connection or your ability to build relationships with people around you, particularly in a professional or business sense. And finally, the sixth factor, authority refers to how strongly the current market considers you to be the top expert in your field. We're going to take a look at each of these in more detail throughout this series. This course explores the invaluable factor of authority. By building your reputation as a thought leader, both inside and outside of your company, you will become more sought after as someone who is invaluable.

Collapse this transcript Understanding the importance of authority 00:00 00:05 00:08 00:13 00:18 00:23 00:26 00:31 00:35 00:38 00:42 00:45 00:50 00:53 00:58 01:02 01:07 01:09 01:15 01:20 Do your peers both inside and outside of your company consider you to be a leading expert in your field? The invaluable factor of authority is tied to your answer to this question. Authority is the last factor because it builds upon the other courses. In fact, in order to get the greatest benefit from this course I recommend that you complete the previous four courses first. Authority is particularly important because many people overlook it. They believe that it doesn't apply to them unless they own their own business; they are an author or have certain credentials. They may also feel that some of the things I suggest they do to become an authority are too challenging. This creates an opportunity for you. If you are willing to put in the effort, you put yourself into an elite group. An employee who is recognized both inside and outside of their company as a leading authority dramatically improves their value. This factor evaluates how strongly the current market considers you to be a top expert in your field. The most valuable people have found the way to leverage authority to their benefit. Think about this for a moment. Our world is saturated with information. Many people have so many choices that informed decision making is nearly impossible. An authority helps this situation by being a decision leader. People can make decisions with confidence by listening to the recommendations of a legitimate authority. Most of the decision leaders and authorities in your life aren't celebrities, they are mentors, teachers, community leaders, friends, or perhaps even your boss. Every person has the potential to be an authority in a unique area. The question isn't whether you have expertise to offer, but rather what is your best expertise and who would be most interested to learn what you know. As you develop authority, your opportunities to serve others will increase. In this course, I'll help you identify your area of expertise and then help you work on strategies you can use to develop authority, both within your company and in the community.
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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

10/26/12 10:09 PM

02:20 02:26

As you do this, you'll make significant progress toward becoming invaluable.

Collapse this transcript Using the exercise files 00:00 00:03 00:08 00:13 00:18 00:22 00:27 00:28 00:32 00:34 00:38 00:40 00:42 Collapse this transcript Throughout this course, I'll be asking you to fill out worksheets to better understand how well you're progressing on the path to becoming invaluable. These worksheets have been provided in the exercise files tab on the course details page for all lynda.com subscribers, or if you're watching this tutorial on a DVD-ROM, the exercise files have been included there. I suggest that you download these worksheets and print them out prior to watching the course. At various points throughout the course, I'll be asking you to pause the videos and fill out a worksheet. In order for you to get the most out of this training, I recommend you have these worksheets on hand. Now let's get started.

1. Preparing to Build Authority Determining your area of authority 00:00 00:05 00:09 00:13 00:16 00:22 00:26 00:28 00:32 00:38 00:43 00:47 00:52 00:56 00:58 01:02 01:07 01:13 01:18 01:21 01:25 01:30 01:35 Now that you understand the importance of the invaluable factor of authority, your next question is likely what should I become an authority in? This is an important question to answer because it's going to build the foundation for all the work we do in this course. To help you identify and choose one or two possible areas of authority, I've provided a downloadable worksheet that builds upon our previous courses on becoming invaluable. To get the greatest benefit from this worksheet, you may want to review the section on talents in my course on unlocking your abilities, and the section on most valuable activities in making yourself irreplaceable. In the authority identification worksheet, you'll see a simple chart. The first section asks you to list three talents. I define talents as activities where you are gifted, that you love to do, and where you've developed skills. When all three of those come together, you have a talent. List your top three talents in this section of the worksheet. Next you'll list your most valuable activities, or MVAs. These are your activities that are worth the most per hour; that you would have to pay someone else the most money to perform them as well as you can. Choose your top two MVAs and list them here. Next you'll see two columns, advice and like. Check the advice column, if that's an area that people commonly come to you for advice or mentorship.
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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

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01:35 01:37 01:42 01:44 01:47 01:52 01:58 02:03 02:05 02:11 02:15 02:18 02:24 02:28 02:32 02:35 02:39 02:44 02:48 02:52 02:54 03:00 03:05

advice or mentorship. Check the like column, if this is an area where you would like to be recognized as an authority. It's important that you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others in the activities you choose, since you'll be doing more of that in the future. Now look for talents and activities where you've put check marks in both the advice and like columns. Also look for areas where your talents and your most valuable activities are the same. Wherever you have a match, between your MVA, your talent, advice, and like, is likely the area in which you want to build authority. Below this table, you'll complete two statements. The first says, Inside of the company I work for I would like to be known as an authority on... Go ahead and finish this sentence. The second statement for you to complete is In the public, I would most like to be known as an authority on... Sometimes your answers to these questions will be different. This is common when you're new to your career and haven't yet established authority in a particular field in the public or in your company. If the two answers are the same that will make your path to becoming an authority even easier. In the upcoming videos, I'll discuss how you can create a plan to build your authority in that area, both inside and outside your company.

Collapse this transcript Scheduling time to build authority 00:00 00:05 00:08 00:13 00:16 In other courses, I've suggested that you schedule time to focus on developing yourself. In becoming a leading authority however, you're going to create a time budget for sharing your knowledge with others. Certainly, as you teach others, you'll develop yourself. I have found that I always learn the most when I help others learn, and it's the same with you. Your career will progress and all the other invaluable factors will improve as a result of your efforts to become a leading authority. The process is fairly straightforward. Open your calendar and find some time every week that you can budget to work on becoming an authority. Be realistic; one hour per week is enough to start. Look in your calendar for a regular day and time when it's most likely to be quiet and you won't be interrupted. Then set up a recurring weekly appointment, and when that time arrives in your schedule keep that appointment. In the coming videos, I'll show you plenty of things you can do to make that time meaningful. As you become more of an authority, you'll want to devote more time in your schedule. When you get to that point just assess how much time you're spending and then establish a revised time slot. Setting the schedule is the foundation. By using the schedule and making just a little progress each week, over time you'll see the accumulation of your effort
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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

10/26/12 10:09 PM

01:22 01:28 01:31

little progress each week, over time you'll see the accumulation of your effort and grow steadily to become an authority.

Collapse this transcript Selecting a mentor 00:00 00:04 00:06 00:12 00:17 00:21 00:25 00:31 00:36 00:42 00:45 00:48 00:53 00:58 01:03 01:07 01:12 01:13 01:18 01:23 01:26 01:30 01:35 01:38 01:42 Perhaps the fastest way to become an authority is through the guidance of someone who has already become one. This concept has a long history. Centuries ago if I wanted to become a master blacksmith, I would begin as an apprentice to another blacksmith. Working for years alongside a master, I would gradually move up the ranks to become a journeyman, and ultimately a master blacksmith myself. Today we use the term mentorship. We find a mentor, someone we trust and who has already achieved success. And by following their device and communicating with them regularly, we progress toward ultimately becoming a master like them. You can find a mentor in any of three settings. The first is inside of your company. Let's say that I want to become an authority on programming computer games. If I'm working inside a company that programs those games, then I can identify one person who is highly successful in that and is already an authority within the company. I might approach them and try to develop a professional relationship, getting their permission to ask questions regularly, so that I can learn from them. I might also look for opportunities to work on projects with them. The next place to look for a mentor is outside of the company, but within your network of friends and acquaintances. It's usually a bit easier to get these people to be your mentor because you already have a relationship with them, or you may have a friend who can introduce you to someone who is a master. You'll have to work with this person to create a structure that works with their busy schedule and yours, so that you can meet occasionally and learn from each other. The third setting for finding a mentor is what I call long-distance mentorship, in this situation you find a master to mentor you from afar. Using my earlier example, I might identify the world's leading authority in video game creation and look for them online. The good news is the nature of an authority is that they share their information with other people. So it may be fairly simple to gather curriculum for learning from this expert. I might connect with them on online social networks. If they have a blog, I would subscribe to it. If they have a podcast, I would listen to it, and certainly if they're writing books, or delivering seminars, I would want to participate in those. Any opportunity you can get access to and learn from their expertise. As you're following a mentor from afar try to discover how they rose to an authority position, what path they followed, and try to build a history to
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authority position, what path they followed, and try to build a history to understand that path. While you might not be able to walk that same path, their steps may provide helpful hints to finding your own way. The truth is there are no shortcuts to becoming a master in your field. Becoming an authority will take you some time, but finding another master to learn from and consistently scheduling time to learn from them will make the process easier to rise from apprenticeship to a master yourself.

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2. Building Authority within a Company Becoming a systems expert 00:00 00:05 00:09 00:14 00:19 When it comes to building your authority inside of the company, the simplest and fastest way to begin is by becoming a systems expert. A systems expert is a bit like a mountain guide. If you want to climb a mountain you've never climbed before, hiring a mountain guide is essential. Why? Well, because they've been up and down the path many times and have helped other people walk that path as well. A systems expert is someone in a company who best understands certain processes and procedures within the business. They may have documented those systems. Just like the mountain guide in our example, they are someone who knows the path and can teach it to others. Consider an example for a moment. Let's say a company uses a unique software program to work with and track all of their projects; perhaps it's a specialized program for their industry and their unique needs. Whenever a new employee joins the company they need to be trained on how to use that software. The systems expert is recognized as the authority in using that software, and because of that they are very valuable to the company. As a systems expert, they may have already documented some of the most critical processes that someone else needs to learn. Documenting those processes does not make them replaceable; in fact the opposite is true, because they are the expert who can best teach it with authority to other people. This is the very heart of why systems experts are so valuable. Documentation alone is not enough. In order for people to be truly successful in a position, they must learn from someone else. A systems expert within the company is the authority, the master, the mountain guide who can teach it to others. Many CEOs and business owners have told me through the years that one of the things that makes an employee invaluable is that they know a system so well that they can teach it to others.

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This is the result that we'll be working toward in the coming videos.

Collapse this transcript Getting company buy-in 00:00 00:04 00:07 00:13 00:17 00:21 00:27 00:31 00:37 00:42 00:45 00:49 00:54 00:56 Before we discuss how you can become a systems expert, it's important to consider the need for getting company buy-in. This process varies depending on the type of company or organization that you're in. First let's consider the small or high-growth business. These businesses depend on people being flexible and doing whatever it takes to get results; because of that training is usually done verbally without systems documentation and likely has been this way for quite a while. Business owners and CEOs in these businesses usually recognize the need to document systems, but have been so busy and caught up in the day to day that they've been unable to work on this. In a small business if you can approach the business owner or senior manager and offer to document systems on behalf of the company, this will usually be viewed favorably. Just to make sure that you get permission and buy-in from someone before you begin. Now let's talk about the larger more established companies; the ones that have been running for many years, have many levels of management hierarchy, and probably have all of the systems documented to a degree. In these businesses, you'll need to dig a little deeper to become a systems expert. You may not be the one who is documenting a system, but instead be mastering critical systems and even offering suggestions to refine them further. For example, if I'm a sales executive within an established business like this, I first want to learn everything I possibly can about the company's recommended sales processes, and then use them in the field. I test every aspect of those sales processes and make recommendations for improvement to my manager. I may also write documentation to support the systems, such as helpful tips to keep in mind or top 10 customer objections. The more invested I get in the existing company systems and the more refinements I suggest to them, the more I will become recognized as an authority in that particular area. Of course, company cultural norms apply. Be careful in how you suggest these ideas. Follow the guidelines that have been established within your company. It may take some time to build your authority and be recognized within a larger business. But if you consistently make an effort over time in mastering these systems, your opportunity to be recognized as a systems expert will come. Whether you're in a small and growing company or a larger established one, there are plenty of opportunities for you to become a systems expert.

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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

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02:49 Collapse this transcript Documenting the "what" in systems 00:00 00:05 00:08 00:13 Let's begin the process of helping you become a systems expert by showing you how to document a system. I've provided you with the template called the single page system template. The idea is to get as much information as you can about a system onto a single page. If we try to document a system in too much detail, it loses its value because people are less likely to read and use it. We want an outline, a sketch of what someone should do when using the system that leaves room for you as a systems expert to teach them all of the fine details. We'll cover this process in two videos. We've provided an example systems template called the Washing clothes systems example. This everyday example will help us illustrate how easy it is to document a company system. First, I'll explain how to complete the left side of the template, what I call the foundation. The foundation begins with the upper left -hand corner of the template, the what. The What section is designed to create a picture in someone else's mind of the end result of the system. This is a brief phrase, one or two sentences, that begins with "This system will." In the example, the what is to ensure that our clothes are clean, fresh smelling, without shrinkage or color bleeding and are ready to put in the dryer. That's all we need. Now the Why section; this is the logic or motivation behind following a system. We want to convince in a few words someone else as to why following the system benefits them. In our example, the why says having fresh, clean clothes will help you look more attractive and socially acceptable. Next, the Who section. Here we simply list the positions responsible for following this system. You might list positions such as sales manager or assembly line worker, depending on the system. In the example we've provided, I'll just say me. The statement the "Results are reported to" refers to the manager for that person, such as the sales manager or production manager. Again, for my example, I'll just write my wife. She'll let me know if I didn't do a good job. Next, the when. This refers to any standards that we want to measure in terms of time, timing, or length. It can also include scheduled times when the system should be followed. In our example, we put clothes should be washed every Monday, the average light cycle is 30 minutes, and the average heavy cycle is 45
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02:27 02:33 02:35 02:40 02:45

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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

10/26/12 10:09 PM

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the average light cycle is 30 minutes, and the average heavy cycle is 45 minutes, and do not allow wet clothes to sit in the washer for more than 1 hour. Next, the How much section. Here we list anything numerical or quantifiable, such as performance standards, results, numbers, or statistics. In our example, we should use 1/2 cup of detergent and the washer should be at most 3/4 full. Finally, the With what section. Here you list any resources the system requires. In our example, we've listed dirty clothes, the clothes washer, detergent, laundry booster, and bleach. Now it's your turn. Choose one company system that you want to work on and begin filling out the left side or foundation section of the single page system template. You can refer to the documented example we've provided if you need help. After you've done that, you'll be ready to move on to the right side of the template, which is the how-to.

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Collapse this transcript Documenting the "how" in systems 00:00 00:05 00:09 00:13 00:18 00:23 00:25 00:30 00:32 00:36 00:42 00:47 00:50 00:56 01:00 01:05 01:07 01:11 01:17 01:20 01:25 01:27 Once we've established the foundation of a system on the left side, we're ready to move onto the main part of the system, which is the how-to section. This is where we list all of the system steps. We don't need to provide every little detail regarding the how. We just want to create an outline, a sketch of the general steps that someone should follow to complete this system. Keep in mind that this system is designed to be a training tool for use in teaching the system to another person. The fine details can be covered in the teaching process. Let's begin continuing with the washing clothes system example we provided. Step one of the how section is unique as it's not what you do but instead the event that triggers the need for a system. In this system, step one is "Monday morning, laundry day, arrives." Step two is where we begin the step-by-step how-to of the system. If you need help in coming up with this list, ask yourself this question: What is the next step? Write down that step, and then again, what's the next step? In our example, you'll see "Sort clothes into white, light, and dark piles." Then ask what is the next step? Step three is "Place a load of laundry, all of one kind, in the washer." What's the next step? Step four is "Measure out the appropriate amount of detergent and add to the washer." What's the next step? Well, the next is optional, but we can add a laundry booster for tough stains or bleach in the bleach dispenser.
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What's the next step? Step six tells us to set the washer to the appropriate temperature settings. Notice again the use of bullet points to quickly call out different ideas, and then the rest of the system unfolds step by step. From here just keep asking that question what's the next step and so on until you arrive at the end result of the system. You may wonder what if I have many steps that are going to make this document spill on to more than one page? My first recommendation is to ask if the system can or should be broken down into smaller systems. For instance, in this example, trying to cram both washing and drying into a single page system is unreasonable. So I've broken the two apart and at the end of the washing system, you'll see the reference to begin the dry clothes system. Create a simple outline that fits onto one page without making the text size any smaller than is comfortable for reading. As you experiment with documenting systems, you'll start to get more familiar with how much material you can comfortably fit onto one page. And now it's your turn, complete the How section for the system you chose to work on. After you've documented your first system, you're ready to move on to the next video where we'll discuss what to do with it.

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Collapse this transcript Formalizing systems 00:00 00:05 00:10 00:14 00:18 00:23 00:26 After you've completed the documentation of your first system, now what? Next you will submit the document to someone for review and approval. This is usually your manager, or if you happen to be at the top of the organization chart, you might want to submit it to a proofreader. We want a second set of eyes to look at the system and make sure that what you've written is actually what takes place. Perhaps, more importantly, we want to ensure that it's written in the voice of the company. When I say the voice, I mean that it is conveying things in the manner in which the company wants to represent itself. For instance, lynda.com has a particular voice that they use. A particular tone of conversation that they use and a particular feeling they want people to have, which is friendly, helpful, encouraging and simple. So they make sure that their training matches that voice, and I hope I'm doing a good job with that. So have someone else review your system, and make sure that it's accurate and consistent. Then after they make their edits to the document, you will want to incorporate those changes paying close attention to the edits that they made.

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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

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Instead of just making the edits, try to learn from them. Find out what they added or what they removed and ask yourself: Why did they make this change? What can I do to write more in this voice in the future? After you make the changes, you will resubmit it back to the reviewer for final inclusion into a company operations manual, or what many of my clients use, which is a company wiki. The idea is once you've created the system and once it's been approved, we now want to make it available for everyone else to use and learn from. Once it's finalized, you can begin using it to teach other people. In a one-to-one or group training, you'll have the opportunity to fill in the small details. For an extended explanation on how to best teach and train other people, see my videos on preparing and presenting development in the Effective Meetings course here on lynda.com. By reviewing, editing, and then formalizing systems you create, you will begin to improve your skills as a systems expert within the company.

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3. Building Authority in the Public Finding your path to authority 00:00 00:04 00:07 00:12 00:14 00:19 00:21 00:24 In the last chapter, we covered the process of how you can build your authority within the company that you're currently in. If you complete that process, you'll already have a significant advantage over many people in the market. However, you can take your career to the next level by building authority in the general public. Allow me to give a little perspective by sharing my background. I began business coaching many years ago prior to even completing my degree in business. Although, I did eventually complete my degree, I first became certified by a training company as a small business consultant. After using their material for several years to coach small businesses, I later went independent. I began creating my own library of training materials, including worksheets and articles. I also had a mentor who was a successful business coach, and he coached me for many years about how to build my practice. About 10 years into this process I decided that I wanted to enhance my value in the market, so I wrote my first book The Myth of Multitasking. That book led me to the opportunity to be featured in Time magazine, The BBC News, the Washington Post and many other national and international press outlets.

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This also led to my second book Invaluable and an increased online following and my ability to command a better retainer fee as a business coach. I give you this brief background because the journey that I took is to a large degree a pattern that almost anyone can follow. It's not that you're going to walk the exact path that I walked, but it shows you a path that many people have followed in their unique ways successfully. In this chapter, I want to give you ideas you can use to slowly increase your authority in the public over time. This will help you earn even greater respect and wages in the marketplace. We'll begin this process in the next video where I show you how to begin to climb the authority ladder.

Collapse this transcript Climbing the authority ladder 00:00 00:04 00:09 00:14 00:17 00:23 00:29 00:33 00:36 00:41 00:45 00:47 00:51 00:55 00:57 01:02 01:07 01:09 01:14 01:19 01:23 01:27 01:31 01:37 01:39 01:43 01:48 01:52 01:57 Let's look at some ways you can build authority in the general public. To help you do that I've provided you with the authority ladder worksheet. Think of building your authority like climbing a ladder, one step at a time. This worksheet shows you rungs in that ladder. Bear in mind that this process may take years and that you may not follow this exact path, but it gives you a general idea of how to improve your authority, starting with the easiest and moving one rung at a time. So let's start at the bottom of the authority ladder. First is writing helpful reviews of products and services. I recommend that you focus these reviews in the area in which you've chosen to become an authority. Next you can actively comment on others blogs. You want to participate regularly so that you become recognized on those blogs as an expert. Next you can also create your own blog or a podcast. In a matter of minutes, anyone can create a new blog and begin writing about something that they're passionate about. The trick is in creating a schedule to write on a regular basis. Next on the authority ladder is higher education or certification. The titles these provide communicate to people that you have a high level of expertise and therefore your words are credible. Next you can build your own specialized social network. This involves going onto a popular social network, and creating a page or a group that follows a specific topic. For instance if I am talented in grooming dogs, then I'd create the Dog Groomers Society Online and invite other dog groomers to participate. By doing this, I'd become the person leading the discussion. Moving up the ladder you can create and consistently send a newsletter. This is something that starts gradually and grows with your subscriber list.
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01:57 02:02 02:08 02:10 02:15 02:19 02:24 02:26 02:30 02:34 02:40 02:44 02:48

This is something that starts gradually and grows with your subscriber list. Next you can build an offline networking group, a real-world group of people that get together to discuss their interests. Included in this would be creating your own association. You can also become a guest expert on other blogs and networks. Having a third party tell others that you're an expert will very quickly build your authority. Self-publishing a book or a video course is another option. While it's certainly more credible to have a book or course that's published and distributed by a major publisher, it's fairly simple for anyone to self-publish. Next you can even become a talk and news radio guest. This is actually much simpler than it seems as many of these shows are continually looking for experts to interview and to share knowledge with their audience. Next you could also have someone else publish and distribute your book or video course. And then possibly become a columnist for a publication such as a newspaper or a magazine.

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And continuing up to the top of the ladder is national or international press coverage. The authority ladder that I've provided is designed to be a starting point for you. You may have your own innovations to build authority. There is a space for you at the bottom to list those ideas. Find where you are right now on the ladder and consider what next steps you could take to build your authority. As you take that step, you'll continue your journey up the ladder.

Collapse this transcript Building a library 00:00 In the previous video, I discussed the authority ladder and how you can climb your way up. Let's talk about the elements of that ladder that deal with building your own library. When I say your library, I don't mean books that you plan to read but instead the materials that you will have built for other people to use. By building your library of materials that you can send or perhaps even sell to other people, you'll establish tangible evidence of your expertise. There are three general ways in which you can build your own library. They are articles, books, and videos. Articles are short essays that you've created about a particular topic. For simplicity, I'd include a short audio recordings and blog entries in this as well. The best way to begin building your own library and helping other people make decisions is by regularly writing an article. You'll want to create a schedule and set aside some time at least twice a month to create a new article. Now some of you may think, "Dave, I'm not very good at sitting down and writing,
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Now some of you may think, "Dave, I'm not very good at sitting down and writing, or it's very painful to me; it's not one of my talents." The good news is there are easy ways to create articles for those of you who are more verbal. For instance, I can use a good quality audio recorder and dictate my thoughts on an item and have someone else transcribe them or use dictation software instead. Whichever way you choose, be sure to edit the transcription after it's complete. By writing a string of short articles, you actually make it easier to create your next item in the library, which is a book. The more you get comfortable with writing and creating short articles, the easier it will be for you to create a book. The book can be an assembly of all the things that you've created up to this point, or it can be something that delves more deeply into a popular topic. Let's say I'm talented in creating cartoon characters. I may start by writing articles; sharing some of the cartoon characters that I'm making. Then I might compile all of those writings into a comprehensive book about how to create cartoon characters. As long as you have a good amount of material that can be packaged as a book, you're ready to be an author. There's no hard rule about how long a book needs to be or even what format it should be delivered in. You're only limited by your creativity. And that leads us to the third item that you can include in your library, which is video. Video is becoming more widely accepted as a medium for teaching people, and it's becoming more affordable for anyone to get started. There are many resources here on lynda.com that can teach you how to create videos of professional quality, even with limited resources. You don't necessarily need to be in front of a camera like I am now to create videos. Using the example of our cartoon expert, you could have videos that shoot over your shoulder as you draw pictures, or perhaps even capture the screen if you're using digital illustration. If you can bring your expertise to life in a video, people will hear your voice and see your work in action, and they will become more familiar with your expertise. In summary, every public authority in some way has built their own library; you can begin building yours today. All it takes is your first article.

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Collapse this transcript Building an online network 00:00 00:04 00:08 00:10 00:16 Now let's talk about how you can build an online network. In becoming an authority, it's certainly nice to be invited by other people to speak as a guest expert. Imagine though if you were the one inviting experts to speak to the group you lead. That's exactly what I'm talking about when I suggest that you create your
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That's exactly what I'm talking about when I suggest that you create your own online network. Before I go through some of the concepts behind this, here is a caution. If you're working for a company you want to be very careful not to violate any company policy. When I talk about building a social network, I am referring to building your perceived authority by becoming the leader of other leaders. Let's say that I'm an expert in organic gardening, or least I want to become an expert. I can go onto a social networking site such as Facebook and create a group for organic gardening enthusiasts. I might even get more specific, such as creating a group for organic gardening in Phoenix, which would focus it geographically, or organic gardening on the patio, which would focus on a target market. The more focused you can get your message the easier it will be to build your authority. I can then invite other people who are already perceived experts in this topic to join the group. I can invite them to share their articles and their blog posts on the site. By doing this, I become the curator of information and a gatekeeper of sorts, because I'm the one inviting people, and I'm the one commenting on their posts, I immediately build my authority because I'm associating with other experts. This is a very quick and simple way to position yourself as a decision leader. This technique of creating a topical group online is usually much more effective than creating a group about you. Unless you've already had a lot of publicity and attention, most people don't know you well enough to seek or follow a group about you. Yet that's not to say that you don't have valuable things to offer; it just means you haven't built enough authority yet to have a following. Create a group about a topic that already has a following and get people to follow that group. Then you put yourself as the leader of that group and begin sharing items from your library with the group over time. The beautiful thing about this is that thanks to improvements in social media, it's simple for anyone to do. So take a moment right now to decide what kind of group you want to create, then set aside time in your calendar to begin the process.

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Collapse this transcript Building an offline network 00:00 00:04 00:09 00:14 In my course on building professional connections, I talked about how valuable networking groups and associations can be in helping you become invaluable. These groups can be especially helpful in building your authority, particularly if you're the person who creates and leads those groups.
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Invaluable: Becoming a Leading Authority | Video Tutorial Transcript from lynda.com

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The same principles in building an online network apply offline, in the real world. Once you've decided on your area of expertise and you've created the online network that you want to build, then you can create an offline group. I recommend building the group locally as that's the easiest to get people to attend. Begin small. Don't feel like you need to have 50, 100, or even 10 people to begin. If you start with just three or four interested people, you have the nucleus to form a group. Think of it like an association, regardless of what you want to call it. Any association you've seen, such as the Association of Accountants or Homebuilders, all began with just a few people getting together to discuss common interests. For instance, suppose I create an association of ski instructors in my area. I would invite all the ski instructors in the state to join the association to get together to discuss how to become better ski instructors or how to grow our businesses. I might even take those relationships that I'm building offline and connect them to my online association. If it's not possible to meet together physically, you can meet through telephone conferencing or even web conference. As you get people talking with each other to build connections, it also serves you in building your authority because you can be the president. Even if someone else becomes the president later, you'll always be the founder, which is one more feather in your authority cap. It's very possible that the type of group that you want to form already exists. In this case, you have a couple of options. First, you can try to create a more targeted version of that group. For instance, I might try to create a group that focuses in a suburb of larger city or that specializes in a more narrow topic. So using my example I might focus on high-altitude ski instructors in Aspen. The other option is to join the existing association and commit to becoming a part of its leadership. You'll do this by regularly being involved in volunteering time to help them grow, with the intention that over time you'll earn a leadership position within the association. There is no right or wrong way to do this. The goal is to build your credibility and your authority by either creating or actively participating in groups that are related to your area of expertise. It's another important step on the authority ladder.

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Collapse this transcript Gaining personal publicity 00:00 00:05 00:09 Recognition and coverage in the press can be very helpful when building your reputation as an authority and a decision leader, not only will it give you exposure to people who are interested in your expertise but it becomes a resume builder.

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In this video, I'll discuss just two ways you can begin getting publicity. Let's talk about becoming a guest expert on other blogs and networks. This involves finding people who are already discussing issues related to your expertise or who are speaking to your market. For instance, if I'm an expert in parenting techniques that nurture children, becoming a guest expert on blogs for parents is a great outlet for me. You start by approaching these bloggers and asking them if they ever interview experts or have guest posts on their blog. This also works with company or association newsletters. You can be a guest author for an article on your area of expertise. I've found from experience that these sources are much more likely to bring you on as an expert if you've already been actively participating with them for some time. If they can see that you're already a supporter and participating, they are going to be much more likely to want to help you than someone who has not been involved at all. If you have something from your authority library that you can send them, they'll also be more likely to invite you as a guest because they'll see that you already have a body of work. Moving up the ladder, being a talk or news radio guest is an option especially locally. I can tell you from having grown up around the radio industry, the talk and news stations have a lot of time that they need to fill in their schedule and they are actively looking for good guests. The key is having a message that is relevant and interesting to their audience. These shows are not interested in promoting you, although they're often very willing to do so if you provide a meaningful interview. What they do want is to entertain, educate, and inspire their audience. A great place to begin is to research online who a particular show's producer is and then approach that producer on what you have to offer. You'll do this with what's called a hook. A hook is something that's controversial or exciting to a potential radio listener. If I'm an expert in parenting techniques that nurture, my hook might be the top five mistakes parents make or how to handle temper tantrums. These are just two ways that almost anyone can begin to get some publicity. By being creative, you'll find many other outlets for presenting your message to groups of people, who will be interested in learning from you. Just keep this rule in mind, publications, blogs, radio shows, or any kind of publicity source exists to serve their audience. If you can show them how you can make their job easier and serve their audience, they'll be interested in you. Then they can become a partner in helping you build your authority and becoming invaluable.

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Conclusion Final thoughts 00:00 00:05 00:07 00:12 00:17 Thank you for investing your time in this course on making yourself invaluable by becoming a leading authority. Remember your goal is not to become a celebrity, but instead to build your value by becoming a recognized leader in your area of expertise. Also keep in mind that authority is perhaps the greatest multiplier of your market value. Although the process may take years if you can commit to it, it will pay big dividends to your career in the long run. This is a marathon, not a sprint. The easiest place to start is within the company that you are working for right now. As you build your authority there, you can began reaching out to the general public and increasing your market value by becoming perceived as a decision leader. No matter where you are in the process there's likely to be one step higher that you can take up the authority ladder. Take that step and you can see significant progress toward becoming invaluable.

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Suggested courses to watch next:
Invaluable: Unlocking Your Abilities (57m 27s) Dave Crenshaw Invaluable: Developing Your Business Savvy (53m 59s) Dave Crenshaw

Invaluable: Building Professional Connections (51m 44s) Dave Crenshaw

Invaluable: Making Yourself Irreplaceable (47m 33s) Dave Crenshaw

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