business leaders

Happiness? Optimism? Tranquility? None of that! For WD Wetherell, author of On Admiration: Heroes, Heroines, Role Models, and Mentors, the best feeling we mere humans can have is one of wonder.

Yes, that’s right. According to Wetherell, those people we really admire — whether in film, music, marketing or politics — make us believe in what he calls a “sense of possibility,” that anything can work out.

And then, with that in mind, it’s no wonder that so many business leaders are admired these days, after all, many of them manage to bring a new view on how to solve problems (not just for companies), but still make big money out of it.

But who, nowadays, could we classify as a great company leader? That guy who really makes a difference to your business and the environment? Well, we have some names around here.

Do you want to know what they are and still be inspired by what they did best? So check it out!

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  1. Great business leaders we choose!

Great business leaders we choose!

Mark Zuckerberg

Yes, we know it’s quite cliché to put Zuckerberg’s name on a list of great business leaders, but there’s no way he really knows what to do to keep Facebook where it is.

And the reason is quite simple: at just 32 years old, the New Yorker not only owns one of the biggest and most influential brands in the world, but he also never tires of investing in other companies that can show a new path for the world, such as This is the case of Oculus, responsible for creating the best virtual reality technology at the moment — and that is not counting its position in favor of important social causes, such as same-sex marriage.

Marissa Mayer

Responsible for running Yahoo, this former Google caught the attention of the international media when she took over at the company. Still pregnant, she said that not only would she give up part of her maternity leave, but also ended the home office system for most employees. All to try and get Yahoo back on track.

Gina Gotthilf

Imagine an English course with over 120 million students worldwide. A course is so innovative that even President Barack Obama would be interested in it.

He exists. This course is called Duolingo.

Present on the cell phones of millions of users around the world, this language application is now considered the largest language course in the world. And then you know who says what his future is? Where do you need to go or not? Gina Gotthilf, a Brazilian-born American, is responsible for the Vice President of Communications and International Development for the brand.

Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that it was she and the show’s creator, Luis von Ahn, who “sold” the idea for the app to Obama himself at the White House.

Reed Hastings

Do you like House of Cards? Orange Is the New Black? Got angry with that story of internet operators trying to boycott Netflix? Well, know that all this passion for the brand is Reed Hastings’ fault.

This is the guy who created the company a few years ago and, little by little, turned his service into one of the most influential on the market. All thanks to an excellent market vision and a great understanding of your audience’s needs.

JJ Abrams

Idolized by most nerds and movie buffs in the world, director JJ Abrams is not only responsible for directing blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and even the series Lost. He is also the CEO of Bad Robot Productions, a multi-million dollar production company responsible for handling all of his movies — including this latest Star Wars, which grossed more than 2 billion at the box office.

In other words: Abrams is not just a guy who only understands cinema, he is a guy who understands (a lot) about business.

Heloisa Helena Assis

We know that being a woman in the entrepreneurship market is not easy, isn’t it? And in Brazil then, even less. And being black, things only get worse. And then, knowing all this, it’s even easier to understand why the former maid, Heloisa Helena Assis, has her place guaranteed here on the list.

CEO of Instituto Beleza Natural, she began her business in 1993, after selling her Beetle, opening a beauty salon that after a few years became this company that now earns millions of reais and is the largest Brazilian chain specializing in products for women with frizzy, wavy hair. In other words: an audience that, until then, nobody looked at around here in the country.

Jeff Bezos

Another figure in the list of entrepreneurs, Jeff Bezos, also doesn’t appear here for anything.

CEO of giant Amazon, the guy not only understood that his business would not be just e-commerce — today Amazon sells everything, including technology (such as servers, artificial intelligence systems and big data) — but also tried to make the mark bigger each year while still handling the digital business of the acclaimed New York Times, which profited (a lot!) from Bezos’s move there.

Flavio Augusto

Founder of the WiseUp language network, Flávio Augusto, from Rio de Janeiro, had his name stamped in several newspaper headlines when, a few years ago, he sold his company for an amount estimated at almost 1 billion reais. An amount that helped the businessman to open the Orlando City Soccer Club, one of the biggest football teams in the United States.

But it doesn’t stop there: in addition to taking care of these two companies, Flávio is also an investor in the Administradores portal and co-founder of Meu, two well-known names in the business world in Brazil.

Jason Fried

Founder of 37 Signals, the company responsible for Basecamp — a super management software used by thousands of companies around the world — Jason Fried is also one of today’s most innovative business leaders.

Much thanks to his way of thinking present in the book Rework: Reinvent your Company, a kind of bible for modern entrepreneurs, which shows how some “old” habits (such as excessive meetings and mandatory face-to-face work) can disrupt the progress and profits of a business.


To close this list, we can’t fail to talk again about Beyoncé, the queen of pop and marketing.

“But wait, the list wasn’t just business leaders”? Yeah, but who said she’s not a business leader?

CEO of Parkwood Entertainment — producer responsible for all of her albums and music videos since 2011 — and responsible for the commercial direction of streaming service Tidal — from her husband Jay Z — this pop queen not only runs a few companies but has a huge strategic vision of the market. So much so that now in 2016 she fired her then manager to put former banker Steve Pamon in charge of her career in search of finding new contracts.

In other words: in addition to selling records like lemonade, filling presentations, and raising various social banners, Beyoncé also knows how to command a great brand: her name.

See how there is no shortage of business leaders for you to admire and be inspired by? So, now that you already know several of them, how about studying their trajectories and trying to do the same for your career or your company?

Did you like the post? So take the opportunity to also enjoy the one we did about Design thinking: revolutionize your company. We guarantee you will learn a lot from it too.

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