Key Opinion Leaders (KO’s) – The most sought after and respected figures in management and political communications circles. Their unique combination of charisma, persuasiveness and knowledge makes them sought after by business leaders and policy makers all over the world. And what makes their talents so sought after? It’s simple, they understand the needs of people and their businesses and because of this they are able to bring that understanding directly back to the individual working within their influence.
The Key Opinion Leader needs to have a clear perception of how people and organizations operate in order to be effective. However, one of the most difficult traits to possess if you plan on being a successful Key Opinion Leader is being able to predict the future. No one wants to be around someone who has no idea what the day ahead holds for them, and if they’re not predictable it’s very difficult to get anything done.
However, predicting the future is part of the job of a Key Opinion Leader. In order to lead a team or an organization effectively, you must have a keen sense of what’s going on both inside your company or in the marketplace. This can be tricky though. For instance, how many business managers can accurately predict the price of oil? Many of us would guess that fewer than ten percent of us could do so correctly. And so, if you’re going to lead a business or an organization you need to be able to forecast the price of oil, how it will affect the market and if there will be any negative effects from this.
One way to become a key opinion leader is to be able to predict the way others perceive a given situation. This is called being key opinion. For instance, if your boss is mad at you for something that happened during the week then your opinion may be that you don’t care about the issues and the person thinks that you’re indifferent to the matter. Your key opinion may be that you’re annoyed at this person and that you need to vent your unhappiness on someone else. You may also argue that the issue is not big enough to warrant your attention and that it won’t get worse before it gets better.
When you get right down to it however, these are all just opinions and your perspective on the matter may change dramatically in the next few minutes. If you were to take a poll of the people who work for you or for the company that you work for right now, half of them would probably say that they thought that you didn’t care, another half would say that you did care but that the situation was blown out of proportion and the other half wouldn’t really care. So, if you’re the key opinion leader then you have to be able to determine the truth based on real time information. It’s no good sitting around and guessing what’s going on because you’ll get it wrong in the next five minutes or so.
When you’re a key opinion leader, you have to know when to get up and when to sit back down. If you let yourself become defensive and start getting aggressive, you will lose any support you had. You also have to learn to listen to what others have to say even if you don’t agree with them. Most of the time when we disagree with someone, we come off as irrational and that immediately puts the other person on the defense. With the right approach, you can actually foster better communication within the team if you’re the key opinion leader.
The key to being the key opinion leader is knowing when to stand up and when to sit down. If you are prone to saying things like “You’re wrong,” “Your strategy sucks,” and “This is ridiculous,” you’re not going to get much support from your peers. However, if you take a step back and look at the situation objectively, you will see that what you’re saying is based on real world knowledge and your expertise.
The best way to become a key opinion leader is to have the respect of your peers and to understand how to bring clarity to complicated issues or beliefs. You must be willing to step out of your comfort zone and actually do some consulting with people if it is needed. If you do all these things, you will soon find yourself in the role of a trusted advisor and master persuader.