Geeknack™ World's 10 Greatest Leaders

Running a business can be tough, and it’s not for the faint-hearted. The ability to overcome challenges and learn from mistakes is often what separates thriving companies from those that fail, as well as inspiring entrepreneurs from the ‘average Joe’.

Despite what most people might think, not every lesson has to be learned through first-hand experience.

Sometimes, all it takes to successfully navigate the world of business is to analyze great leaders and their way of dealing with customers, employees, and investors. And to help you with that, I’ve compiled a list of some of the most inspiring leaders of the modern world, as well as the key takeaways from their illustrious careers.

Who are your own examples of the most influential in the business world today? I look forward to hearing your additions and feedback to my selection!



Elon Musk Leadership In The Spotlight cover

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s leadership style is about constantly learning, breaking through barriers, and developing new ways to solve problems. He also has the emotional intelligence to bring the best out of his team, and we can attribute all this to his vast success.

Elon Musk, dubbed the world’s most remarkable living entrepreneur, has created several billion-dollar companies based on his ideas, like Tesla or SpaceX.

Elon Musk joins the ranks of Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos for many when considering the 21st century’s most influential CEOs, and like the respective founders of Apple and Amazon, is often cited as having a transformational leadership style. Some managers hire people to complete boring tasks. Transformational leaders surround themselves with people who want to change the world.

There’s no denying that Elon Musk deserves a spot at the top of our list.

With such a long list of businesses and achievements under his belt, it’s no wonder that Elon Musk’s leadership style has become an area of interest and fascination. He has a reputation as being equal parts genius and workaholic, and employees are quick to admit that working for him is simultaneously challenging and rewarding.

Like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk is a visionary and a genius, but his most outstanding qualities are his belief in his own vision, his persistence, refusing to accept obstacles in his path!


Jeff Bezos - Leadership Style Principles cover

Jeff Bezos

According to Jeff Bezos, as a leader, having the ability to see multiple viewpoints and understand the bigger picture, rather than being too confined to your own beliefs, increases your chances of being right.

Transformational leaders like Jeff Bezos challenge the status quo and help people expand the way they think.

Amazon quickly expanded from being a book retailer to offering more than fifteen million product options today. One would be hard-pressed to come up with any organization in modern history that has transformed the face of business more than Amazon. But behind Amazon’s success, we find the vision of one man, Jeff Bezos.

Some critics may not appreciate the way Amazon is run, but the results of its owner cannot be called into question.

If you are a shareholder, you would want Jeff Bezos at the helm. If you are an employee who wants to succeed and climb the corporate ladder, Jeff Bezos is someone you would want as your boss. If you are a consumer, you appreciate and desire to buy from a company owned by Jeff Bezos.

Whatever you think of Jeff Bezos, he should be able to teach YOU a thing or five about leadership!


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Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg is considered a leader with intellectual ability because he has build one of the largest and successful global social networks by being a college dropout. He has outstanding leadership characteristics which have allowed him to make Facebook into a multi-billion dollar company and one of the world’s successful social network of the 21st Century.

His transformational leadership style continues to move Facebook to a promising future.

Mark Zuckerberg has created an open communication culture where employees share their ideas and are allowed to speak their minds and they are also passionate about what they do. Facebook has always been committed to its product and innovation to further its goal which is to connect people.

Mark Zuckerberg has learned from his mistakes, takes risks, and has grown his company as a visionary leader.

His transformational leadership style can be described as aggressive, demanding, innovative, and encouraging. As a leader who appreciates friendly debates, he grants his employees opportunities to offer product improvements and suggestions for Facebook. He understands and admits that he has made many mistakes within his company, but as a transformational leader, he strives to turn those mistakes into growth opportunities.

Life skills are crucial to your success at work. Here’s why Mark Zuckerberg has mastered both!


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Bill Gates

Bill Gates envisioned the scale of personal computer usage across the world. He expected computing power to become cheap. Ultimately he was right and he built a software industry to support this growth. His efforts resulted in him being one of the richest people on the planet.

His leadership style is one that would be included in the description of a transformational leader.

Bill Gates focused on transformational leadership because that style came naturally to him. He could adapt to other types of leadership when the need arose, but for the most part, his time at Microsoft was dominated by this leadership style. In this leadership style, the leader inspires his or her followers with a goal and then encourages them to achieve it. The leader acts as a role model for the goal.

Bill Gates is one of the biggest names in the world when it comes to leadership.

Bill Gates is known for using the most effective and efficient leadership style. Whenever quick decisions are to be made, this leadership comes in handy. It saves times. It keeps things under the CEO’s direct control at all times. A lot of Bill Gates’ success can be linked to his quick decision-making tendencies and the result is in front of us.

Who he is today, that’s making him such an effective and a good leader!


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Tim Cook

If Apple leadership has taught the business world one thing it’s that executives can be as synonymous with a brand as the products they produce. As Apple’s CEO, the late Steve Jobs became the face of Apple as well as its innovations, cultivating a fiercely loyal customer base in the process.

Tim Cook follows in Steve Jobs’ footsteps in numerous respects but deviates just enough to craft his own leadership style.

While Steve Jobs was also known for innovations, leadership, and perfectionism, Cook’s leadership at Apple has been defined by transparency, teamwork, and a calm demeanor. Steve Jobs was full-force, dominant, and fast-moving, while Cook tends to take his time and invite others into the conversation.

Great leaders articulate compelling visions that set their company’s mission in the context of the wider world.

Tim Cook sees Apple not as a tech company, but as one whose primary business is actually advancing humanity. Your vision doesn’t necessarily need to be as altruistic as Tim Cook’s but it must be deeply felt — and communicated to the organization in such a way that employees are inspired to share the journey.

Tim Cook’s form of leadership is one that has helped build Apple into the tech empire it is today!

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Jack Ma - Leadership Style & Principles cover

Jack Ma

Jack Ma used to be an autocratic leader. However, he found that this type of management will limit employees’ freedom and ideas. Thus, he allows his employees to take part in decision-making because he believes that the best decisions come when everything is agreed upon by the majority.

 Jack Ma is one of the most influential people in this decade.

Jack Ma is a successful businessman, with a great leading and perspective. Since he was young, he has had many experiences, which mostly were failure and rejection. However, he has positive thinking, leading him to be a fighter. He believes that bad experiences in life are the chances you need.

Jack Ma’s transformational and visionary leadership style is very powerful.

For transformational leadership style, he is a man that has high motivation power. His employees are willing to work without force, which can bring out the ability of the individual at the same time. Likewise, with his visionary leadership style, Jack Ma is very visionary. He can see the possible way to start the business earlier than others.

Crazy Jack has never been concerned with being an orthodox leader!


Sheryl Sandberg Leadership Style & Principles cover

Sheryl Sandberg

Companies need different kinds of leadership at different stages. And there’s a very specific kind of leadership needed in an organization that’s changing fast — so fast that the office you leave at night is different from the one you walk into the next morning.

Sheryl Sandberg is one of those gifted leaders who’s made daring decisions at every level of scale. She can run a team of 4 or 40,000.

Sheryl understands the combination of foresight and flexibility it takes to succeed at scale — the necessity of both making and breaking plans. Employees may disagree passionately about a dramatic change of plans. What matters is how you have the debate and what happens afterwards.

Sheryl Sandberg has spent most of her career facing stereotypes about women in leadership roles.

Many years from now, she will likely be seen a woman who led the drive for extreme change in the number of women in leadership roles. Her “Big Idea” is that we all need to “Lean In” to contribute to a more equitable society. Lean In is intended for professional women to help them achieve their career goals.

She displays human kindness in all of her interactions and is therefore seen as a caring, yet strong leader!


Oprah Winfrey Leadership Style and Principles cover

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is someone who has much integrity, which is practiced in her business dealings wherein because of her tough childhood and background, she remains true to her humble roots despite being one of the richest women in the world. 

Determined, generous, outgoing, and kind hearted are some of the few words that can be used to describe Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah’s net worth of around US$3 billion isn’t something she simply happened upon. Hailing from a rural town in Mississippi, she scored her first paid hosting gig at a Nashville radio station as a teen. Since her debut on the airways, she’s pivoted and expanded into a multi-skilled professional, racking up credits as an actress, producer, publisher and author.

Oprah’s got many a notch on her belt, including being credited as the key figure who popularized the intimate style of talk shows.

Oprah’s leadership qualities are exemplified in the way that she communicates and relates to people from all walks of life, empathizes with those in need, and the ability to look at issues from various perspectives. Oprah’s gift to communicate has fans viewing her show in 100+ countries which includes approx. 50 million viewers in the U.S.

Hard work does pay off, and if you’ve hit the ceiling at your company, perhaps it is time to move on!

To be continued...