Leaders are people who inspire others to make the world a better place. Leaders are authentic, follow their gut, and aren’t just benefiting from the hard work of their team—they are in the trenches doing the hard work, too. They make tough choices and are accountable. They have a growth mindset which means they don’t see failure—they see an opportunity to try again. True leaders inspire us to challenge the status quo and show us glimpses of a new way to think, to live, to be.
1. Eckhart Tolle, Spiritual Leader and Author
Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher and author who bravely followed his inner voice to a profound transformation and radical life change. His simple yet powerful teachings on being present have had him named “the most popular spiritual author in The United States,” according to the New York Times, and Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit listed him as “the most spiritually influential person in the world.”
Eckhart’s purpose might be described as reminding the world of “the joy of being” by freeing them from ego identification, intensifying presence, and dissolving pain.
“What a liberation to realize that ‘the voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘Who am I, then?’ The one who sees that.”
2. Marie Forleo, Marketing Leader
Marie Forleo is a life coach, motivational speaker, author, and web television host who has created a unique platform to teach and inspire entrepreneurial spirits to “make money and change the world.” Named as a “thought leader for the next generation” by Oprah Winfrey, Marie believes that “marketing is THE greatest money-making and world-changing skill on the planet. And everyone—from entrepreneurs to artists, corporate creatives to non-profit professionals—needs to learn it.”
Marie’s purpose is to add more value to your world than you ever dreamed possible by giving you tools that you can immediately use to improve your business and life. She interviews game-changers and dreamers who make big change by boldly following their visions.
“Never start a business just to ‘make money.’ Start a business to make a difference.”
3. Elizabeth Gilbert, Author and Creator
Elizabeth (Liz) Gilbert is best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. However, her recent release, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, as well as the podcast that she hosted prior to its release, show that the real spirit of Liz is her understanding that humans are creators and the process of just sitting and creatively writing each day is what makes her a writer, not the subsequent bestselling book.
Liz highlights the soul’s need to create as our purpose and reminds us that we are all creative beings at our core.
“Creativity itself doesn't care at all about results—the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.“
4. Malala Yousafzai, Educator
Malala Yousafzaiis a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She was flung into the public eye when she was shot by a Taliban gunman in 2012.
With a growing public platform, Malala continued to speak out about her right, and the right of all women, to an education. Her activism resulted in a nomination for the International Children's Peace Prize in 2011. She is now 18 years old and is an inspiration to girls around the world.
“Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, one teacher can change the world.”
5. David Suzuki, Environmentalist
David Suzuki has spent his life teaching about environmental issues and helping mankind to understand that we are all interconnected and interdependent with nature. From water usage, to pipeline installation, from conservation to reforestation, David has always taken a strong stance to save our planet.
David’s mission is to protect the diversity of nature and our quality of life—now and for the future—by protecting climate, transforming the economy to maintainable limits, encouraging reconnection with nature, and building community.
“Change is never easy, and it often creates discord, but when people come together for the good of humanity and the Earth, we can accomplish great things.”