The 4 pillars of being a thought leader

We see it being thrown around left, right and centre – the concept of becoming a ‘thought leader’. But what is a thought leader and how do we become one? Atlassian’s Ashley Faus breaks down the four pillars to becoming an influential and impactful thought leader. Kavita Singh reports.

Before diving in, it’s critical to note that these four pillars work together in tandem. You can’t just be outstanding on one pillar and neglect the others. Chances are you’re lacking in at least one of these.


The first pillar revolves around credibility. This is when you need to ask yourself:

  • Do you trust what you’re saying?
  • Do other people believe what you’re saying?
  • Do they think you know what you’re talking about?

From a tactical point of view, there are several ways to establish authority and boost your credibility. This means you have other colleagues coming to you for advice and expertise, and, when you give them information, they simply don’t question its validity. That is a form of trust that is earned over time.

Credibility can be cultivated in many forms of authority. It can come in the form of a positional job title, experience, formal education credentials, licensing or certifications. However, it can also come from putting your company name behind yours. It can build the reputation of your company, as well as your own.

Some useful tactics include sharing your point of view on ongoing projects and research, being the spokesperson on behalf of your company, and testing out new tactics and strategies for teams to adopt.