Home Newsmakers Leaders Thought Leadership in Optometry Is Evolving

Thought Leadership in Optometry Is Evolving

Are you ready to be a thought leader?

By Maria Sampalis, OD

Thought leaders actively engage in promoting ideas and share their knowledge with others. They are the change-makers or thought-provoking individual,s and their aim is to influence and inspire others. They have a vision of what optometry is supposed to be, not what is dictated by others in the industry.

In order to become a thought leader, it is not enough to simply be an expert in your field. You must also be proactive in sharing your ideas and engaging with others. Thought leaders may write articles or blogs, give talks or presentations or use social media. The rise of social media has changed the perception. Thought leaders are not necessarily the owners of the largest or most successful practices. Different voices are being amplified. Thought leaders aren’t selected by optometry magazines, pharma boards, companies or conferences anymore. Thought leaders are created from changing the norm and utilizing the different platforms they have to provide a different perspective. Corporate ODs have been underrepresented in the past. Now is the time to seek opportunity to amplify their voice in the industry. Different voices help our industry grow.

However, becoming a thought leader is not without its challenges. It takes time, effort, and dedication. And, once you have established yourself as a thought leader, there is a certain amount of responsibility that comes with it.

Are you up for the challenge? Here are some ways ODs have become thought leaders over the last 10 years.

DEVELOP YOUR EXPERTISE

To become a thought leader, you need to have in-depth knowledge and expertise in your field. This means staying up-to-date on the latest research, trends, and technologies in optometry. Attend conferences, seminars, and webinars. Read industry publications like Vision Monday and network with other professionals in the field; whether in person or on Facebook groups.

CREATE A PLATFORM

Establish a platform for yourself where you can share your ideas and thoughts. This can be in the form of a blog, a podcast, or social media. Create content that is informative, engaging, and provides value to your audience. Don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box and talking about things that others don’t.

NETWORK

Networking is a crucial part of becoming a thought leader. Attend events, conferences, and seminars to connect with other professionals in the field. Meeting people face to face has a lot of meaning. You have to attend all the major conferences and add value to those conferences, whether it be cocktail hours, dinners, panel discussions, Facebook live events and podium time. Connect with others online through social media, LinkedIn groups, and forums.

ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE

Respond to comments, questions, and feedback. Start a conversation and get people talking about your ideas. Encourage debate and be open to different opinions and perspectives. Thought leaders interact with other industry professionals throughout the year, not just at conferences. When you have other ODs asking you your thoughts on topics in optometry and breaking news, you have become a Key Opinion Leader.

Read Dr. Sampalis’ final three strategies for becoming a thought leader here.

Listen to a new podcast with Dr. Sampalis on expanding your influence here.

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