There are a few places to go when you’re needing inspiration in the workplace. Some of us scroll through Instagram, some peruse Pinterest, and some head on over to their bookmarks to skim through their favorite blogs. But would you believe us if we told you that LinkedIn was actually one of the better places to gain inspiration from thought leaders in your industry?
Despite what you may think, LinkedIn is no longer just a place for corporate players to share thinly veiled sales pitches, show off their use of the word “leverage,” or repost the occasional, “You can do it, dreamer,” poster. If you’re following the right people, LinkedIn becomes a place where you keep a finger on the pulse of your industry, find your fire, and get inspired. That’s why today we’re talking about our The Top Ten LinkedIn Influencers Worth Following Right Now.
Founder at Virgin Group
Since his early days, Richard Branson has been known for shaking things up. His early Virgin Mobile ads were anything if not attention-getters. At 68 years old, his life still carries a sort of live-wire buzz that is contagious. His LinkedIn profile is pure fun, from informing readers on his mind-boggling Galactic space-tourism ventures, to the six best lessons he learned from his mom. Readers can get inspired by his philanthropy, his constant praise for his team, and his overall management style. With over 16 million connections, there’s obviously something to be gained from following this profile.
Best Selling Author and Emotional Intelligence Coach
As the author behind the booming success, “Emotional Intelligence,” Goleman’s LinkedIn profile is rife with great information. Just about all of us have had a manager who, at one point or another, seemed out of touch with what was going on with their people. In fact, a whopping 58% of managers say they received no management training upon being promoted.
Most managers get their leadership positions for being good at their job, and not necessarily good at managing people. Goleman’s profile is like a gold mine of information for those looking to lead with emotional intelligence. From advice on active listening to managing burnout, giving constructive feedback, what humble leadership looks like and more, Daniel Goleman is one you’ll want to be checking up on constantly.
CEO and Co-Founder of Ellevest
Scrolling through Sallie Krawcheck’s feed is almost more fun than scrolling your Instagram, even with all its pretty lifestyle photos. Her profile is branded beautifully, witty, relatable, and informative—not too bad for the CEO of a company dealing with finance. Her focus on investing for women is a delicately balanced display of rational empowerment through the spread of knowledge.
She embodies so well what her brand preaches—reachable-ness. Just as she presents finances for women, Krawcheck is extremely accessible. Whether she’s rattling off answers via her cell phone on an impromptu live Q and A, or addressing common concerns in her “Ask Sally” segment, Krawcheck brings financial simplicity to her reader, one common-sense post at a time.
Author and CEO at Simon Sinek Inc.
We think it’s not hyperbole to say that Simon Sinek is one of the most interesting and influential players in the marketing world this decade. His infamous Ted Talk on the importance of “Starting with Why” changed marketing forever and is the reason the phrase, “We believe…” is smattered across a million About Us pages across the internet.
Sinek’s LinkedIn profile delivers a handful of useful bits from the books he’s written on storytelling and leadership. But the main reason we love Sinek’s page is his knack for reposting other awesome content from like-minded peers in his industry. His attitude, as well as his information, is sure to leave you feeling inspired.
Founder of Herjavec Group
You may recognize this guy as one of Shark Tank's star investors and one of the pioneers of Cybersecurity. What’s most endearing about Herjavec’s profile is his constant celebration of company successes that he is always attributing to his people. His feed is one long hurrah for those around him, from those he partners with on Shark Tank, to his employees, to his peers. He also shares some hard truths he’s learned that will change your life and business world if you adhere to them. Which you probably should, seeing as we think this guy knows what he’s talking about. You won’t find any icky sales pitches here, just pure content Herjavec believes in.
Founder and CEO of Spanx
Before she ever even thought about creating Spanx, Sara Blakely was failing (she’ll be the first to tell you). Now the self-made billionaire of an undies empire, she is constantly sharing what it takes to succeed and encouraging others to give it a go. Her LinkedIn is a place of lessons and the transparent history behind them. From bombing the LSAT twice to selling fax machines door-to-door for seven years, Blakely’s career path is peppered with wisdom learned the hard way, which she is quick to share with her readers.
As a firm believer that everyone has a multimillion-dollar idea inside them, Blakely is quick to encourage, often responding to her commenters with actual business advice, words of affirmation, and some serious pep talks. For inspiration on never quitting as well as how to give back to your entrepreneurial community, give her a follow.
Best Selling Author and Angel Investor
We’d think it’s safe the say Tim might have a knack for spying potentially successful ideas. As an angel investor, he’s put his money into some companies who have had more than a little success. Maybe you’ve heard of them—Facebook, Twitter, Uber, and Alibaba just to name a few.
The best-selling author brings loads of good information to success-oriented folks—from snippets of his interviews with guests like Lebron James to common-sense blog posts that stem from his own successful experiences. No topic is off-limits with this one. For an even more in-depth experience with Ferris, check out his podcast, which he will often share via his LinkedIn.
Editor in Chief of Wired
If you assumed that the Editor in Chief of WIRED Magazine would have his finger on the pulse of fascinating information, you’d be right. An there’s no surprise here—it’s all things tech. It seems there’s no subject Thompson isn’t intrigued by, which is lucky for us. Chinese genetic manipulations, the moon landing, big tech, the free press, cyberstalking, and the disappearance of flight MH 370 are just a few of the topics that make the cut. If you’re looking for the latest news (you often won’t believe) with a take from a tech-minded influencer, Thompson is your guy.
Best Selling Author and Research Professor
Much like everything she touches, Brené Brown’s LinkedIn profile is dripping with a kind of magical inspiration. Follow along with her for wisdom on the correlation between vulnerability and creativity, the necessity of tolerating failure for innovation, the lies we tell ourselves in the workspace, how to have hard conversations, and all-around leadership advice.
Her content ranges from video to quotes, to in-depth articles on her areas of expertise. If you’re looking for the feeling side of business that is mandatory for success, you’ve just found it in one of the most interesting people in the game. You will also find her engaged with her followers. With a dedicated following of people who interact with a ton of the inspiration she puts out, she is frequently in dialogue through the comments section on her posts. Nothing like a digital high-five from Brené Brown, that would be a highlight to anyone's week.
Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, and Performance Coach
If yyou’re following along with Whitney Johnson on her LinkedIn, you can toss your daily inspiration calendars out the door. As someone who prides herself on disruption and innovation, Johnson is constantly calling our attention to truths about work ethic, where to focus attention, constructive feedback, how to spot talent, burnout, and more.
Even more impressive is Johnson’s dedication to interacting with her followers. But be ready—commenters are often asked questions by the CEO when they engage with her posts! We think it’s safe to say there’s no shortage of engagement or chewable information to be found on her profile.