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  • What is the purpose of the thought-leader writing incubator offered by Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs?
    The thought leader writing incubator aims to help entrepreneurs become effective thought leaders by enhancing their writing skills, story-finding abilities, and thought leadership approaches. It focuses on leveraging journalistic techniques to create impactful and engaging articles that resonate with target audiences and elevate participants' professional profiles.
  • Who is Rhea Wessel, and what role does she play in the incubator program?
    Rhea Wessel is the founder and head of The Institute for Thought Leadership. She is a highly recognized journalist with extensive experience writing for renowned publications like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. She created the writing incubator format to help participants articulate their stories effectively and think on a larger scale about their ideas. She is the author of Write Like a Thought Leader, published in 2020.
  • How does the program help participants find their unique voice and confidence as thought leaders?
    The program provides participants with a supportive environment to explore their passion and purpose. Through the story boot camp and other teaching, participants develop skills to identify their unique story angles and confidently express their ideas in article-length writing. This results in articles that externalize their expertise and help their readers solve important, complex problems.
  • What kind of topics and subjects are suitable for thought-leadership writing?
    Thought-leadership writing spans a wide range of topics and subjects. Participants from diverse backgrounds share expertise in areas such as DEI leadership, personal growth, mental health, workplace issues, technology, business and social policy.
  • What is the curriculum and timeline for the incubator program?
    The incubator program spans several stages, beginning with a meet the-cohort session for networking and understanding each other's journeys. The curriculum includes intensive story boot camps, co-writing sessions, and one-on-one meetings with experienced story coaches. Participants draft three thought-leadership articles during the program.
  • How does the program integrate journalistic skills into thought-leadership writing?
    The program emphasizes the use of journalistic skills, such as finding compelling story angles and writing in a fast-paced and engaging way. This approach ensures that articles are not merely marketing content but are valuable and informative for readers. Story coaches, who are experienced journalists, guide participants in adopting this approach.
  • What types of thought-leadership articles are participants encouraged to write?
    The program covers various types of thought leadership articles, including opinion pieces, problem analysis stories, and best-practice articles. These diverse formats allow participants to explore different ways of presenting their ideas and insights but doing it in a journalistic way, not as outright marketing.
  • How does the program support participants in refining their writing skills and producing articles?
    The co-writing sessions play a vital role in refining writing skills. Participants engage in self-select breakouts, focused writing sessions, and discussions on various writing-related topics. Additionally, in one-on-one meetings with story coaches, participants can experience a live edit of their work or discuss their individual challenges related to thought leadership.
  • Is prior writing experience necessary to participate in the program?
    While some participants may already have writing experience, the program is designed for people at different levels. Both experienced writers and those new to writing can benefit from the structured approach to thought-leadership writing.
  • How does the program foster a sense of community among participants?
    The program encourages networking and interaction among participants through the meet-the- cohort session and the co-writing sessions. Participants share their progress, offer insights, and engage in discussions about various aspects of thought-leadership writing during the program and in our closed community channel.
  • What are the benefits of participating in the thought-leadership writing incubator?
    Participants enhance writing skills, develop a unique thought-leadership style, build confidence in expressing their ideas, network with fellow entrepreneurs, and gain insights from experienced journalists. The program empowers participants to position themselves as trusted experts in their respective niches.
  • How does the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator differentiate from other writing programs?
    The Thought Leadership Writing Incubator for Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs, created by Rhea Wessel, is uniquely designed to blend journalistic rigor with the essence of thought leadership. Unlike standard writing programs, it focuses on elevating participants' ability to influence and lead discussions in their fields. By incorporating journalistic techniques, it ensures the creation of content that not only informs but also engages and challenges readers, setting it apart as a premier program for aspiring thought leaders.
  • In what ways does the incubator address the challenge of idea generation for articles?
    Recognizing that one of the significant hurdles for writers is the generation of compelling ideas, the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator employs a structured approach to idea development. Through the initial story boot camps and ongoing sessions, participants are equipped with tools and strategies for unearthing unique insights from their experiences and expertise. This proactive approach to idea generation is designed to ensure a steady stream of thought-provoking topics for their articles.
  • Can the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator assist participants in achieving wider publication and recognition for their work?
    Yes, one of the core objectives of the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator is to not only hone participants' writing skills but also to guide them in gaining broader visibility for their work. Through strategic advice on content distribution, insights into the publishing landscape, and leveraging Rhea Wessel's extensive network within the journalism industry, participants are positioned to reach wider audiences. This includes short-form guidance on pitching articles to publications and optimizing content for digital platforms.
  • How personalized is the feedback and coaching within the incubator program?
    The Thought Leadership Writing Incubator places a strong emphasis on personalized feedback and coaching. Each participant benefits from a one-on-one session with experienced story coaches, who provide bespoke advice tailored to their writing style, topic choice, and personal thought leadership goals. This individualized approach ensures that all participants, regardless of their writing proficiency level, receive the support they need to refine their skills and articulate their insights effectively.
  • What impact has the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator had on past participants' careers?
    Participants of the Thought Leadership Writing Incubator have reported significant positive impacts on their careers. Many have seen enhanced credibility and authority in their fields, leading to new professional opportunities, increased visibility, and the establishment of a solid thought leadership presence. Some have gained additional funding due to their writing. Alumni of the program often cite the confidence gained in expressing their ideas and the valuable networks formed during the incubator as transformative elements of their professional journeys.
  • How does the incubator ensure that participants' articles stand out in a crowded content landscape?
    The Thought Leadership Writing Incubator employs a multifaceted approach to ensure participants' articles resonate in a saturated market. By emphasizing originality in idea generation, excellence in journalistic writing, and the articulation of unique perspectives, the program helps participants create standout content. Additionally, the incubator focuses on storytelling techniques and engagement strategies that ensure articles not only capture but also retain reader interest.
  • How do you synthesize information into a cohesive narrative?
    A cohesive narrative includes a clear beginning, middle and end. Linear is not necessarily boring or bad. It's also about something that changes, for instance a person or a project. That person or project starts in one state, experiences some sort of transformation and then winds up in a different state. To create a cohesive narrative, consider these "way points" and write about the inciting incidents that led to that change in state.
  • How can you identify brand ambassadors and influencers in your organization?
    Your best ideas and your future influencers are hiding in plain sight within your organization. They're your subject-matter experts who have amazing ideas and experiences to share but lack the communication skills of those who are hogging the microphone. The best way to identify these people is to ask around in your organization about who really knows their stuff and has great ideas. You'll find your experts. Then give them ongoing training in thought leadership and writing so they have more skill and confidence in articulating their best ideas. This is the way to externalize the deep knowledge in your organization - by championing the real experts, not those who are just seeking the limelight.
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