A friend of mine is obsessed with online games. While bemusedly watching him shoot an alien in the face on a distant planet-scape, we got to chatting about people around the world who make unthinkable incomes from playing these games professionally. 

I observed that my friend was clearly very competent (as another alien took it in the cabeza), yet still had to work a day-job, so I asked the logical question: ‘What's the difference between someone who’s merely good at video games, versus someone who buys a yacht on their proceeds?’

What's your best guess? Did you go straight to some form of extraordinary talent? Unusual levels of knowledge or insight? 

He unhesitatingly answered: ‘Charisma.’ The people who attract sponsorship deals that would leave a digital muggle's jaw agape, he explained, are doing so on the strength of their personality. People love these experts' online presence, follow them in order to enjoy their witty and unusual way of looking at the world, and become members of their enormous cult followings. 

My formula for expert-positioning has long been the interaction of three qualities: Knowledge; Personality; Publicity. Personality is the one that most aspiring experts miss. 

This week, ask yourself a difficult question: How charismatic is your current industry presence? Are you a figure to be aspired to? Someone whom everyone knows as the big name/face/voice? 

Like every other aspect of your professional career, this is something that must be managed and grown by design. Insert charisma here, and you can become a significant face and voice in the industry consciousness. 


Douglas Kruger is a professional keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He specialises in disruptive innovation and expert-positioning, helping brands to become more memorable than their competitors’. See him in action, or sign up for his motivational newsletter, at www.douglaskruger.co.za. Book him to present for your leadership team: email info@douglaskrugerspeaker.com