Thought leaders are notable experts and trusted sources of guidance and insight. But what sets these trail-blazers apart in the business world especially, is their ability to provide a unique and thought-provoking point of view on matters of professional importance – and their reputation for making a difference to the individuals and organizations they share those views with.
Here are 8 business thought leaders you should be following.
1. Adam Grant
As a bestselling author, TED Talker, and the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business, organizational psychologist Grant has a lot to say about the way people find meaning and motivation. Recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers, Grant hosts the podcast WorkLife, writes about work and psychology for the New York Times, and has more than 3 million followers on social media.
2. Lolly Daskal
Daskal isn’t just one of the most highly regarded thought leaders in business today, she was also dubbed “the most inspiring woman in the world” by The Huffington Post. Specializing in behaviour science, Daskal is the founder of Lead From Within (a proprietary leadership program for leaders looking to catalyze performance), author of the national bestseller The Leadership Gap, and was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine.
3. Ryan Holmes
Canadian internet entrepreneur Holmes is the founder of Vancouver-based Hootsuite, an authority on the social business revolution, and a recognized thought leader and serial entrepreneur who many consider to have redefined the face of social media. As an angel investor, Holmes also mentors startups in Canada and around the world, and is a regular speaker at TEDx.
Known for her work on organizational behaviour, Gratton’s list of accolades is long and noteworthy. She’s a writer, speaker, consultant, Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School, and founder of the global research advisory practice HSM. Not surprisingly, she’s also an award-winning thought leader on the future of work.
You’d be hard-pressed to pull up a list of thought-provoking books for our times without coming across the name Malcolm Gladwell. Canadian journalist and writer Gladwell is the author of five NYT bestsellers and host of the podcast Revisionist History (which “reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood”). In thought leadership terms, he’s been included in the TIME 100 Most Influential People list and was acclaimed as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.
Kanter is both the Ernest L. Arbuckle professor of business at Harvard Business School and the director and chair of the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative. She’s authored more than a dozen books during her prolific career as a renowned innovation expert, including her most recent, Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time.
As a psychologist, author, and science journalist, Goleman speaks regularly to a wide range of professional groups and business audiences. His biggest claim to fame stems from work relating to the practice of emotional intelligence (and a book of the same name) both in the workplace and elsewhere. Tune into Goleman’s podcast – First Person Plural – to find out how you can lead with more mindfulness and resilience.
8. Erica Dhawan
In today’s digital world, Dhawan stands out as a game-changing international speaker and thought leader on 21st century teamwork, collaboration, and innovation. Having authored books on digital body language and the power of “connectional intelligence”, Dhawan also hosts the award-winning podcast Masters of Leadership.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out this comprehensive list of 200 thought leaders who are making a splash in 2021.