Why Should Thought Leaders Stay in Their Lane? An Interview with Jo Miller.

This interview is part of an on-going series of articles I am doing about how people make the journey from leader to thought leader. See my previous interviews with Priya Huskins of Woodruff and Sawyer and Holly Hamann of Tap Influence. This time, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jo Miller, CEO of Be Leaderly, one of my favorite thought leaders and speakers in the world of women’s leadership. Over the last few years, Jo has built a significant following in her niche and I wanted to understand how she went about this. Below are some excerpts from the first part of our interview. The second part of the interview is coming soon. 

Find your niche, stay in your lane

Denise: Great to talk with you today, Jo. Thank you for agreeing to discuss your path from leader to thought leader. Let’s start by talking about your niche. You created a pretty specific niche working with up and coming women leaders. How did that come about? And how difficult is it to ‘stay in your lane’?

Jo: You know what? Staying in your lane is absolutely critical, and I think it is the number one thing that I see other speakers and coaches and all different thought leaders really struggle with. But right from the get-go, I had this intuitive sense that that was really critical.

Many, many years ago, I was working with my own coach, and I was doing life coaching and business coaching and ‘all of the above’ coaching, and I knew I needed to narrow my focus. I said to my coach, “We need to find my niche.” She took me through a process of brainstorming 100 different things. We narrowed it down to 10, then the top three, and I still didn’t know.

She finally just said, “Jo, when you talk about women in leadership as a focus for coaching, you sound 10 times more excited than anything else.” That was like ‘BAM’. That just hit me. I thought, “Oh, my gosh. She’s right.”

Read Part I of the interview at ThoughtLeadershipLab.com

Denise Brosseau

Denise Brosseau is a thought leadership strategist, speaker and the author of Ready to Be a Thought Leader?. She is the co-founder of Springboard, the women’s startup launch pad that has led to over $6.9 billion in funding for women entrepreneurs. She has her MBA from Stanford and was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change. You can find her at www.thoughtleadershiplab.com, on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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