If you want to be a writer, write.
Such sage advice! And luckily, it applies to anything.
Anything at all.
Do you hope to be considered an industry expert “someday”?
Why wait for someone to use that word to describe you? Why not behave the way all industry experts behave, by expressing opinions on their observations? Go ahead and share in a LinkedIn article your thoughts about the trends you’re observing in your industry.
Would you like to be on the speaker circuit “in the future”? Why wait for someone out there to magically read your very informed mind and invite you to speak? If you have a laptop, a quiet place, and a neutral background, you can record your presentation topic, circulate it, and offer to deliver the same compelling message in person at their next event.
Are you interested in managing bigger teams for increasingly important projects? Are you waiting for someone to just “give you the chance” to show you can perform at that level? Why not treat your current colleagues as valuable, key contributors and treat your current projects as critical to the success of the organization? Lead with empathy and insight. Encourage brainstorming, discussion and debate. Pay particular attention to team members’ strengths, and acknowledge them. Out loud. In front of others.
Don’t wait for someone to give you permission.
Don’t wait for an authority to bestow the “industry expert” title upon you before you start engaging others in exactly the way you hope to engage.
You can interact with others in an authentic, meaningful way – a way in which true leaders with those titles effectively behave.
You don’t have to wait until an authority grants you an opportunity before doing something you feel needs to be done. This is most true for performing in a way that would be a huge benefit to your team, your organization, your industry.
I’m not talking about stepping on someone else’s toes. This isn’t about duties and responsibilities in a job description. And it is certainly not about formal job titles. In contrast, this is about how you behave, how you show up, what value you bring to the table.
If you want to be an industry expert, go ahead behave the way that expert would. Then you might look up one day and find that you are doing exactly what you had once hoped, being the thing you had wanted to be for so long.
And it doesn’t take anything more complicated than showing up exactly the way you needed to from the very beginning.