The Authority Advantage: Building Thought Leadership Focused on Impact, Not Ego

Endorsed by retired Ford & Boeing CEO, Alan Mulally, Forbes Chairman Steve Forbes, bestselling author Sally Hogshead and EO founder Verne Harnish, The Authority Advantage challenges assumptions from leaders about personal branding & thought leadership, showing them how to build authentic visibility focused on impact, not ego to build trust in an increasingly skeptical environment – and have a lot of fun along the way.


Are You a Thought Leader With Something to Teach or an Operator With Something to Sell?

Leaders are operating in an increasingly skeptical world, a new reality backed up by a 2022 Gallup study which shows trust in institutions & businesses is at an all-time low. 

Unfortunately, far too many leaders rely on their corporate brand to connect with their target audience, an outdated approach that no longer works with trust in institutions at an all-time low. 

The good news is that although your target audience may hesitate to connect with your corporate brand, they are actively looking to connect with you—if you can create an Authority Advantage by positioning yourself as a mission-driven thought leader with something to teach, rather than a professional with something to sell.  

The Authority Advantage gives you the step-by-step blueprint to build thought leadership focused on impact, not ego, to accelerate trust within an increasingly skeptical market. 

Within these pages, you’ll discover the proven tactics for establishing a strong leadership brand before you meet a potential team member or prospect; how to create leverage via “Authority by Association” to accelerate trust; learn how to create compelling content in all formats; how to use books, speaking engagements, and publicity as tools for impact, prestige and profitability; and most importantly, how to create your own MAP (Master Authority Plan) to put all these elements into a top-to-bottom strategy that builds authentic connections. You’ll also hear from recognized  thought leaders who reveal what methodologies helped them write their own success stories.

The Authority Advantage breaks through outdated concepts and superficial personal branding tips to provide an actionable blueprint for real leaders who want to build meaningful thought leadership in today’s landscape. In short, it’s a book you can’t afford not to read. 

To serve is to live. The Authority Advantage provides a simple and effective framework for modern day leaders to follow when communicating and sharing their message with others. This book is a must read for CEOs that believe in servant leadership.

Alan Mulally
Retired CEO of Ford Motor Company and Boeing Commercial Airlines

I was honored to write the foreword for Adam and Rusty’s previous book, Authority Marketing. They’ve done it again with The Authority Advantage. This book is required reading for any leader who wants to make a lasting mark in his or her field.

Steve Forbes
Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes

Having an important message means nothing, if nobody notices or cares. It’s not enough to be the best, if no one trusts your authority. Yet once you achieve authority, you win. You win bigger budgets, better relationships, and greater admiration. You build stronger loyalty, broader networks, higher prices, and (ding! ding! ding!) you earn TRUST. For over a decade, Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton have been my trusted advisors in creating authoritative messages that change the world.

Sally Hogshead
Bestselling author of Different is Better than Better

I’ve always told CEOs they must ‘own the ink’ in their industry. Being THE thought leader and expert that your clients and prospects turn to is essential. The Authority Advantage provides a modern-day blueprint CEOs must follow to build mind-share and market-share for their business.

Verne Harnish
Founder of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and bestselling author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)

Employees, customers, and communities look to CEOs and leaders for guidance. Trust me, I know! The Authority Advantage is a refreshing new book that will inspire executives to leverage their leadership position to create more good for all stakeholders.

Greg Brenneman
former CEO of Burger King and Quizno’s Subs, former President & COO of Continental Airlines, author of Right Away & All At Once

As the author of 100 books, you can imagine I get lots of inquiries from leaders asking how they too can share their stories, passion, and knowledge with the world. My first piece of advice is always “Call Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton.” My second piece of advice will now be “read The Authority Advantage!

Pat Williams
NBA Hall-of-Famer, Co-Founder of Orlando Magic, author of Who Coached the Coaches

When I first met Adam Witty in 2011 I was a successful professional speaker with more bookings than I could handle. Adam convinced me that Forbes Books would easily create and publish a Best Seller, which happened exactly with Hyper Sales Growth. The rest is history! Three more Best Sellers and innumerable referrals later, The Authority Advantage puts all I’ve learned from Adam and Rusty into an easy-to-read playbook all CEO’s and entrepreneurs should follow.

Jack Daly
Bestselling author of Hyper Sales Growth

Nothing is more significant for a leader than the ability to make an impact on others. In The Authority Advantage, Rusty and Adam will show you how to make an impact on others at scale and – special bonus – have a lot of fun along the way.

Claire Shipman
Journalist & New York Times Bestselling Author

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Are you positioned as a mission-driven thought leader in your space? Take my Authority Assessment to find out.

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