Unless you truly think you're The Expert in your field, you have a role model or two that you look up to — people who inspire you to become better and whose practices you wish to replicate. And there's never a time when any of us stops and says to ourselves, "I'm perfect. I don't need to learn anymore."
There’s no shortage of hardworking and visionary CEOs we turn to for inspiration. Here are 24 of them:
The guy runs two tech unicorns at the same time. Need we say more?
2. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
King of the world’s most popular social network, Zuck’s already pledged to give away most of his fortune.
3. Mary T. Barra, General Motors
The first female CEO of a major automaker, Barra excels in a realm long dominated by men.
Just when you think the guy can’t possibly do any more, he becomes to cochairman of OpenAI.
5. Pete Cashmore, Mashable
At age 19, he founded the now-popular media site Mashable. Most of us were barely functioning as adults at that age.
6. Tony Hsieh, Zappos
Zappos is incredible to work for, and despite billion-dollar revenues, Hsieh’s content to live in a trailer.
7. Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker
The man disrupted an industry, making it easier than ever to choose the right pair of glasses.
8. Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos
After dropping out of college, Holmes became a self-made billionaire by the time she turned 30 while attempting to transform the medical diagnostic space.
9. Stewart Butterfield, Slack
Stewart and copmany made communicating with coworkers more fun than ever before.
10. Howard Schultz, Starbucks
Not only does the guy source great coffees, but he also cares about his employees and the communities they work in.
11. John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
Thanks to Mackey, it’s easier than ever to get healthy food — some of which is even reasonably priced!
12. Larry Page, Alphabet
After a while, the search engine was not enough. Now, Alphabet dips its toes into everything from venture capital to self-driving cars to life extension.
13. Tim Cook, Apple
Steve Jobs’ shoes weren’t easy to fill, but Cook slipped into them seamlessly.
14. Barbara Bush, Global Health Corps
No, we’re not talking about the former First Lady. But close: it’s her granddaughter. Bush, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, spends her time focusing on improving health and nutrition across the world.
15. Aaron Levie, Box
It’s now easier than ever to share large files online. Pretty useful, eh?
16. Reed Hastings, Netflix
Talk about completely changing the way we consume movies and other content.
17. Craig Jelinek, Costco
Not only does the guy’s company make buying in bulk affordable, but Costco also receives regular attention for the great way it treats its employees.
18. Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen
Someone involved in venture capital on the list? Well, Novogratz’s Acumen is a different. The nonprofit takes an entrepreneurial approach to ending world poverty.
19. Logan Green, Lyft
Early in his career, he claimed, "Public transportation is broken. We're trying to create the next form that works."
20. Kyle Parsons, Indosole
Anyone who can figure out how to convert old tires into comfortable and stylish footwear is good in our book.
21. Dan Bane, Trader Joe’s
Another company known for giving its employees great benefits and selling good food at reasonable prices — what’s not to like?
22. Rachel Chong, Catchafire
Chong built a platform that matches professionals with nonprofits for programs that make positive social impacts. Enough said.
23. Indra Nooyi, Pepsi
Since Nooyi became Pepsi’s CFO in 2001, the company’s profits have more than doubled. She was named the soft drink juggernaut’s CEO in 2009.
24. Martin Shkreli, Turing Pharmaceuticals (formerly)
The bad boy of pharma provides a great example of how not to act.