30 People To Follow For Inspiration

by / ⠀Entrepreneurship / March 5, 2014

Information always changes situations. The right insights, advice, and encouragement has the power to propel you into a different place. LinkedIn, as the world’s largest professional network, has found a way to harness some of that inspiration, and give it away for free. There is no other place in the world where entrepreneurs, CEOs, world leaders, and celebrities come together to share their expertise. They write so you can learn.

Here are 30 people who will inspire you to new heights in your career, business and life.Some you may know, some you may not. Regardless, they can and will help you get better.

1. Koka Sexton | Sales Guru, Social Selling Expert

If the term “sales” is anywhere in your job description, than Koka will show you how to do it better than you ever thought possible. His name is also awesome.

2. Nancy Duarte | Master Storyteller

As the mastermind behind An Inconvenient Truth, Nancy Duarte knows a thing or two about creating compelling narratives that move people and actually change culture. Check her out.

3. Jim Kim |Anthropologist & Physician, President of The World Bank

Jim Kim has had a career intersects between education and healthcare, and has excelled at both. He brings an incredible wealth of knowledge on international development.

4. Penelope Trunk | Serial Entrepreneur

Penelope Trunk says whatever she feels. She has had incredible  entrepreneurial successes, but retains the authenticity to tell you exactly what sucks and what doesn’t.

5. Richard Branson | CEO, Virgin

One of the earliest and most popular Influencers, Branson talks about everything from productivity to running a billion dollar business.

6. Adam Grant | Wharton Professor & Author

Adam Grant believes giving is the key to getting ahead. He’s definitely right.

7. Marcus Samuelsson | Master Chef & Author

One of the youngest and most successful chef’s to date, Samuelsson has a track record of  making exception cuisine with deep cultural influences. He is also super cool.

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8. Jason Fried | Co-founder & CEO, Basecamp

Jason is a gem when it comes to talk about design, business, and how to build things that people use and want to talk about.

9. Beth Kanter | Non-Profit Educator

One of the most popular writers on LinkedIn, Beth Kanter consistently gives insight advice about building your brand, and making an impact.

10. Jeff Haden | Ghostwriter, Inc. Columnist

Haden has spent the better part of his career being a wordsmith for important people, and has great stories and anecdotes that will help you as you navigate your own journey.

11. Pete Cashmore | CEO, Mashable

Few people know more about the intersection of publishing, digital media, and the future of publishing than Mr. Cashmore. He runs one of the world’s most popular sites and he is always dropping knowledge. Get some.

12. Ban Ki-moon | Secretary-General, United Nations

With so many things happening globally, it pays to stay informed and up to date. Mr. Ki-moon has big picture ideas from a vantage point that aims to impact the world for good. Check out his perspective.

13. Jacky Carter | Community Manager, Professional Women’s Network

Aside from managing a community of over 250,000 talented and ambitious women from around the world, she creates content that is informative, inspirational, and meaningful for women and the future of business.

14. John Hope Bryant | Chairman & CEO, Operation HOPE

Mr. Bryant believes that we can all do more and be more, if we stopped letting fear rule our lives and careers. He might just change how you see the world.

15.  Mark Cuban | Billionaire & Owner, Dallas Maverick

Brash, unapologetic, and wildly successful. He plays by his own rules, which make them even more interesting to learn about.

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16. Brad Smith | CEO & President, Intuit

Intuit is in the business of making life easier (taxes, finances, accounting, etc.) Brad Smith is in teh business of making that business run smoothly, and he peels back the curtain on how to do consistently and compassionately.

17. Heather Hiles | CEO, Pathbrite

Heather Hiles is on a mission to change education and how we engage with it as a society.If her life  and work are  an example, she is well on her way.

18. Judith Sherven |  Executive Coach

If you need a new way to think about motivation, growing your influence, or building your management skills Judith will get you there.

19. Michelle Rhee | Founder & CEO, StudentsFirst

Michelle Rhee wants every child to have the access to great schools and great teachers.The former chancellor of the Washington D.C. school district, she knows a thing or two about education.

20. J.T. O’Donnell | Career Expert & Founder, CAREEREALISM

JT is one of the most consistent Influencers, giving you new content every week about how to elevate your career, find a new job, or navigate the nuances in the world of work. She is the real deal.

21. Jim Sniechowski | Executive Coach

Jim actually works with Judith, and gives a different but much needed perspective on how to operate and lead at an executive level and punch fear in the face.

22. Jennifer Dulski | President & COO, Change.org

If you want to make a difference, it starts with making a decision. Jennifer Dulski empowers people to do that everyday. She is also incredible cool, so that helps.

23. Arianna Huffington | Founder & Editor-in-Chief,  Huffington Post Media Group

Arianna Huffington runs one of the most powerful media outlets in the world, and looks great while doing it. She knows a thing or two about how the written word can change things.

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24. Deep Nishar | SVP of Product, LinkedIn

Deep builds the things that make LinkedIn run. He also has some of the best insights on design, user experience, and life in general.

25. Vivek Wadhwa | Scholar, Author, & Innovative Tech Guru

Vivek always has a pulse on what’s next when it comes to entrepreneurship, technology, and the ways both interact with society.

26. Nancy Lublin | CEO, DoSomething.org

Nancy Lubin started the world’s largest organizations for teens to get involved in social change. She believes in us, and the power of the millenial voice.

27. Sallie Krawcheck | Wall Street Vet, Owner of 85 Broads

Sallie is a boss. After a storied career on Wall Street, she went to work connecting high achieving women across the globe. She has an incredible story and impactful tips. Get to reading.

28. Jeff Weiner | CEO, LinkedIn

When he isn’t leading the world’s largest professional network, Jeff Weiner takes time to give his big picture view on management and how to lead and grow a business with purpose.

29. Conan O’Brien  | Resident Funny Guy, Talk Show Host

After a public decision to conquer LinkedIn, Conan has made an immediate impact on the site. Aside from being unbelievably witty, he also has some interesting thoughts, that are also hilarious.

30. John Maeda | Designer, Educator, Computer Scientist, Cool Guy

Esquire named him one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st century. But what makes John unbelievably awesome, is how he combines design with the future, and the endless possibilities that can arise.

Jonathan Jackson is a writer, thinker, and digital media enthusiast. He just finished a resource guide for millenials called Push: An Insider Guide to Building Your Brand, Managing Your Wallet, & Starting Your Career.  

Image Credit: ashevilleblog.com 

About The Author

Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is Co-Founder of Under30Experiences, a travel company for young people ages 21-35. He is the original Co-founder of Under30CEO (Acquired 2016). Matt is the Host of the Live Different Podcast and has 50+ Five Star iTunes Ratings on Health, Fitness, Business and Travel. He brings a unique, uncensored approach to his interviews and writing. His work is published on Under30CEO.com, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, Huffington Post, Reuters, and many others. Matt hosts yoga and fitness retreats in his free time and buys all his food from an organic farm in the jungle of Costa Rica where he lives. He is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers.


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