Leading the Way

Teams, corporations, and organizations of every kind, demand and require leadership. Yet the nature of that leadership and how we understand the role of the leader is constantly being reappraised. Which thinkers shed powerful and original new light onto this perennial and still vital subject? Thinkers50 chooses eight to follow, literally:

1. Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to  advance the science and practice of character development. Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two attributes distinct from IQ. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (Simon & Schuster, 2016) was a New York Times bestseller.

2.  Sydney Finkelstein

The Steven Roth Professor of Management and Faculty Director at the Tuck Center for Leadership, Syd Finkelstein is the author of several best-selling books including Why Smart Executives Fail and What You Can Learn from Their Mistakes (Portfolio, 2003). His latest book, the result of a ten-year research project, is Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent (Penguin Portfolio, 2016).

3.  Heidi K. Gardner

Author of Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos, (HBR Press, 2017), Gardner’s work focuses on leadership and collaboration in professional service firms. She is a distinguished fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession and faculty chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program.

4.  Hal Gregersen

Executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT’s Sloan School, Gregersen is the author of 10 books including The Innovator’s DNA (HBR Press, 2011), co-authored with Jeff Dyer and Clayton Christensen. His question-centric research project to surface insights into how leaders can build better questions to unlock new solutions helped defined what Gregersen calls his Catalytic Questioning methodology.

5.  John Mattone

John Mattone is one of America’s leading executive coaches, with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of leadership and human capital management. He champions the 4As of leadership: Altruism, Affiliation, Achievement, and Abundance. He is the author of Talent Leadership (Amacom, 2012) and Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full Potential (Amacom, 2013). His latest book, co-authored with Nick Vaidya, is Cultural Transformations: Lessons of Leadership and Corporate Reinvention (Wiley, 2016).

6.  Margarita Mayo

Margarita Mayo is professor of leadership and organizational behaviour at IE Business School in Madrid. A Fulbright Alumni of Harvard University, and research award winner at the Center for Creative Leadership, her latest book Yours Truly: How to Stay True to Your Authentic Self (Bloomsbury, 2018) explores what it means to be an authentic leader.

7.  Karl Moore

An expert in CEO and C-Suite leadership, Karl Moore is an associate professor at the Desautels Faculty of Management McGill University and an associate fellow at Green Templeton College. His current research looks at introvert/ambivert/extrovert leaders in the C-Suite and the issues faced in leading millennials. His book Effectively Working with Millennials will be published later in 2017.

8.  Simon Sinek

Born in the UK and now based in the US, Simon Sinek is a marketing consultant and lecturer at Columbia University. He is the author of four books including the 2009 best seller Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Penguin, 2009) and Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Some Don’t (Penguin, 2015). His latest book is Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team (Portfolio, 2017).

View All 2017 Shortlists

Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest ideas in business, management, and thought leadership.

*mandatory field

Thinkers50 will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide news, updates, and marketing. Please confirm that you agree to have us contact you by clicking below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at . We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Thinkers50 Awards Gala 2023

Join us in celebration of the best in business and management thinking.