New Book from Denise Brosseau, Renowned Advisor to Silicon Valley Executives: "Ready to Be a Thought Leader?"

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Brosseau shows how these already successful people achieved outsize impact by going beyond conventional career advice (“keep your head down, work hard”) and made the transition from leader to thought leader.

"Ready to Be a Thought Leader? is a likable, practical book for seasoned executives who have achieved financial success but now want greater influence.” - Harvard Business Review

“Denise Brosseau has done a great service by making thought leadership accessible to all of us. I'm going to recommend this book to my start-up CEO friends, as it will help them to get their ideas heard in an increasingly noisy market.” - Aneel Bhusri, cofounder and co-CEO, Workday

How did Robin Chase, CEO of Zipcar, make the transition from running a successful car sharing service to become an advocate for a green economy? How did Nina Nashif, CEO of Healthbox, go from being a healthcare consultant to founder of a nationwide accelerator for healthcare startup entrepreneurs and a champion for healthcare innovation? And what impelled Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, to make the leap from successful hotel CEO to an evangelist for a more meaningful way of doing business?

In Ready to Be a Thought Leader? (foreword by Guy Kawasaki; Jossey-Bass; January 20, 2014), Denise Brosseau, renowned advisor to Silicon Valley executives and cofounder of Springboard Enterprises, a startup accelerator that has helped women entrepreneurs raise over $6 billion for their companies, shows how these already successful people achieved outsize impact by going beyond conventional career advice (“keep your head down, work hard”) and made the transition from leader to thought leader.

Based on her research and numerous interviews, Brosseau makes the case that real thought leaders—unlike mere self-promoters—“galvanize others to think new thoughts, modify the way they have always done things, and embark on new behaviors, new paths, and new actions to transform the world.” At a personal level, she shows readers how thought leadership “unlocks a whole new level of professional achievement as well as personal satisfaction.”

Using her own remarkable journey as a guide—from launching her first company at the age of 26 to co-founding several women’s leadership companies and organizations, and becoming an advisor to executives and CEOs—Denise Brosseau distills the lessons she has learned along the way. She describes a seven-step leadership path that is key to reinventing yourself as a thought leader, including how to identify your unique niche, telling a bigger story about yourself that really engages others, and codifying the lessons you've learned so others can amplify your impact and carry forward your ideas.

Brosseau shares inspiring stories of leaders, who have used these ideas to transform companies and even whole industries from within, successfully lobbying for their ideas, and creating momentum for revolutionary change. Among the stories profiled in the book are:

  • How Van Ton-Quinlivan, then chief of staff at PG&E, channeled her passion for education and equal opportunity to build a more diverse workforce development program that transformed the company’s hiring culture, building programs to recruit and prepare members of underserved communities, including veterans, for the company’s well-paying positions. The program was successful not just in her own company but across her industry because Van was able to garner support from workforce organizations, community colleges, and veterans groups. It also allowed her to make a bigger transition to managing workforce development for California’s community college system. She is now a national authority on career technical education.
  • When Avinash Kaushik, a digital marketing expert at Intuit, decided to write a blog, he just wanted to share his expertise in a how-to guide for fellow marketers who were looking to navigate the new world of web analytics and search engine optimization. The blog soon became the platform that allowed him to build a huge global following, land a new position as the Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google, write books and become a philanthropist—all while building a highly successful career.
  • Zoe Dunning, a reservist in the US Navy, was finishing up her MBA at Stanford when she chose to be among the first to speak out about her experience as a gay woman in the military. This led to a long court battle for her dismissal, but when she prevailed, Dunning became the first and only openly gay person allowed to remain on active duty in the military prior to the end of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. For 17 years, she used her unique status to advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians in the military by speaking at rallies, talking to the press, lobbying members of Congress and cofounding a legal defense network. She was instrumental in repealing the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and stood with President Obama when he signed the repeal bill.

Filled with these and other remarkable stories, resources and insights, Ready to Be a Thought Leader? will empower readers to think big and spark movements around their ideas rather than settling for incremental change.

About the Author:

Denise Brosseau is a well-known leadership expert and serial entrepreneur. She is the founder of Thought Leadership Lab, Inc., an executive talent agency based in Silicon Valley, which specializes in building the visibility, credibility and thought leadership of executives and CEOs. Her clients include executives at Fortune 500 companies, like KPMG, Apple, Genentech, Agilent; technology startups, like IntersectENT and Fluential, and nonprofits, like WestEd.

A longstanding advocate of women entrepreneurs and leaders, Brosseau co-founded and served as the first CEO of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (now Watermark), growing it into the country's leading organization for women-led start-ups with offices across the US and Europe. Denise also co-founded and continues to serve on the board of Springboard Enterprises, the prestigious women's start-up launch pad that has led to over $6 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs.

In 2012, she was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change.” She has an MBA from Stanford. Her work has been covered in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine and featured on NPR, among others.

She lives in Redwood Shores, California.

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