Top 10 inspirational Leaders
Some of the most charismatic and inspiring role models in the world come from humble beginnings. We look up to them because they show us that we can do better, and even against adversity, we can accomplish what we set our minds to. When it comes to the most notable among them, we tend to idolize them for all they have accomplished, and we attempt to emulate them in any way possible. Here are 10 of the most accomplished and noteworthy Leaders in the world, living or dead, that have revolutionized the way we see the world.
1. Nelson Mandela
Perhaps the one person who will inevitably take the top spot on anyone’s list of inspirational people, the late father of South Africa, affectionately known as ‘Tata Madiba’, is known across the globe as one of the most steadfast figures who, right up to the time of his passing, embodied the ideals of reconciliation, peace and love. The first democratically elected President of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Nelson Mandela, has helped millions of people keep their dreams alive going forward into the 21st century.
2. Jeff Bezos
While not many people unfamiliar with the tech and online retail industries will know his name, Bezos is undoubtedly one of the most innovative and successful entrepreneurs and businessmen in the world. In 2013 he bought The Washington Post, one of the world’s leading newspapers, for $250 million, and his company Amazon (best known as being the leading Online retail marketplace in the world) is innovating in more ways than one, with new tests underway that would allow the use of unmanned drones to deliver packages within as little as 30 minutes.
3. Barrack Obama
A man who needs no real introduction, now having served two terms as the 44th President of the United States of America (and as a result, taking his place in history as the leader of the free world), Barrack Obama rose from humble upbringings, being raised by a single mother. He became a Harvard educated lawyer, and has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the War in Iraq after his election as President.
4. Larry Page and Sergey Brin
The two men behind what is now one of the most widely used and daily recognized companies in the world (we’ve literally called the act of searching for information online ‘Googling’), and have managed to continue to innovate and maintain their place atop the ever changing tech landscape, despite being a relatively old company. The company that brought us the most trusted search engine in the world, as well as one of the most widely used mobile operating systems is even expanding its product range into high speed Internet access and its crazy sounding ‘Project Loon’, which would launch Internet connected balloons into areas with low connectivity to bring Internet access to those without advanced infrastructure.
5. Sonia Sotomayor
The United States Supreme Court is one of the highest honors any judge could aspire to, and Sotomayor has managed to break down countless barriers in her journey that lead her to become only the third ever female Judge to serve on the Supreme Court bench, and astoundingly the first ever Hispanic on the bench to boot. Sotomayor was raised in the Bronx in New York City, a notoriously rough neighborhood, by her widowed mother and has helped turn the scales of justice to a more fair and equal system
6. Elon Musk
Today, Elon Musk is one of the biggest names in innovation associated with the tech industry, and many people do not know that he came from humble beginnings as a South African boy who immigrated to the USA at the tender age of 17. Musk became a billionaire once the company he co-founded, became a global phenomenon which is to this day accepted as one of the most efficient and secure online payment systems in the world. That company is PayPal. Musk later invested his money in Tesla Motors, a company looking to reinvent the wheel and introduce affordable and efficient electric cars to the world. In 2014 it was announced that Tesla’s plans would be made available to any company that wishes to use them to build electric vehicles. He also made headlines by introducing plans to build the Hyperloop, a futuristic magnetic levitation transportation system that would allow passengers to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco in only 35 minutes. Musk is also heavily invested in SpaceX, a company currently leading the frontier of private space travel.
7. Bill Gates
A name that hardly needs any introduction. Bill Gates is widely considered to be the wealthiest man in the world, and is also a massive contributor to countless charitable causes around the world. His story is familiar to us all, having started Microsoft in his garage after borrowing money from a friend to buy a crucial part for his first computer, he has gone on to be the CEO of Microsoft, the world’s leading PC software company, with countless innovations under his belt that would take a good chunk of time to even list.
8. Reed Hastings
To anyone unfamiliar with Netflix, an online video streaming service that started as a humble video rental and delivery company, it has taken the world by storm, and even though it is currently only available in a select few countries, its services are so popular that in 2013 alone, its share price rose by a whopping 260%. Netflix has also introduced some original content in the last five years, including shows that have garnered a total of 14 Emmy nominations. Not bad for an independent company whose flagship show, House of Cards, is regarded as one of the best series in the last decade. Hastings and his company are also well known for their opposition to the move by telecommunication giants ComCast’s plans to create tiers of Internet connectivity which would effectively widen the Digital Divide at an unprecedented rate.
9. Sir Richard Branson
Branson’s name is known worldwide as being synonymous with global reach and as being the franchise that is instantly recognizable anywhere you go. The Virgin Group now consists of over 400 companies, including gyms, record labels, airline and even the brand new Virgin Galactic, set to launch within the next five years, the company plans on making space slight possible for ordinary people in the near future.
10. Bas Lansdorp
Lansdorp never really made waves until recently, though he has been involved heavily in innovation for quite some time. The Dutch entrepreneur and successful mechanical engineer helped develop technology aimed at creating efficient, self-sustaining wind-energy. He then sold his shares in the business, Ampyx Power, and invested it in a project called ‘Mars One’, a venture that aims to establish the first ever permanent human colony on Mars in the next 20 years. Plans for the Mars One project are already underway, with applications being sorted through and brave should being chosen to take their places in history as the first colonists of the Red Planet. This is all due to a vision Lansdorp had as a student at the University of Twente in the Netherlands where he graduated with a Masters degree.
Written by Wesley Geyer