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American Management Association Cites 30 Most Influential Leaders

NEW YORK 2/20/2015

Thirty individuals have been identified as the top leaders who influenced business in 2014, according to a poll conducted by American Management Association (AMA). Heading the list of management thought leaders are authors John Maxwell, Malcolm Gladwell, and Daniel Pink. American Management Association (AMA) is a world leader in talent development.

AMA received 200 nominations via its high-traffic blog, Playbook.amanet.org, and received thousands of votes. The list of nominees was vetted by committee to focus the list solely on thought leaders in business. The nominees were then assessed by how frequently their works were cited during the past year and on the scale of their social media following on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  

Following are the top 30 leaders who most influenced business in 2014, according to AMA:

  1. John C. Maxwell: Author, John Maxwell Company
  2. Malcolm Gladwell: Author of bestsellers The Tipping Point and David and Goliath
  3. Daniel Pink: Author of bestsellers Free Agent Nation, Drive, and A Whole New Mind
  4. Seth Godin: Author of bestsellers Linchpin, Tribes, and Purple Cow
  5. Sheryl Sandberg: Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Author of Lean In
  6. Daniel Goleman: Author of bestsellers Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership
  7. Marcus Buckingham Author, Founder of The Marcus Buckingham Company
  8. Ken Blanchard: Author, Founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of the Ken Blanchard Companies
  9. David Allen: Author of bestsellers Getting Things Done and Ready for Anything
  10. Bob Sutton: Professor, Stanford University, and Author of bestseller Good Boss, Bad Boss
  11. Colin Powell: Former United States Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  12. Gary Vaynerchuk: Cofounder and CEO, VaynerMedia and Wine Library TV
  13. Jack Welch: Founder, Jack Welch Management Institute, former CEO of General Electric
  14. Michael Hyatt: Author of bestseller Intentional Leadership
  15. Richard Branson: Founder, Virgin Group, owner group of Virgin Mobile and Virgin Atlantic
  16. Simon Sinek: Author, creator of “golden circle” and “start with why” business concepts
  17. Tony Hsieh: CEO of Zappos.com
  18. Adam Grant: Author, Professor, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
  19. Elon Musk: CEO, Cofounder, Tesla Motors and SpaceX
  20. Carol Dweck: Professor, Stanford University, developer of implicit theories of intelligence
  21. Howard Gardner: Professor, Harvard University, developer of multiple intelligences theory
  22. Michael Lewis: Author of bestsellers Moneyball and The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
  23. Robert Scoble: Futurist, Rackspace, former proprietor of the blog Scobleizer
  24. Bob Burg: Author of bestsellers Endless Referrals and The Go-Giver
  25. Gary Hamel: Author of bestsellers Competing for the Future and The Future of Management
  26. Harvey MacKay: Author of bestseller Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive
  27. Jonah Berger: Author, Professor, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
  28. Steve Blank: Author, Entrepreneur, and Founder of “customer development” methodology
  29. Dan Rockwell: Blogger, Owner of the Leadership Freak blog
  30. Jim Collins: Consultant, Author of bestsellers Good to Great and Built to Last


Find more on the winners and their contributions to business thought leadership here. (link to come)

“These thought leaders, whether from industry, government, or academia, have made significant contributions to individual and organizational productivity as well as employee engagement,” said Jeremey Donovan, Chief Marketing Officer for AMA. “It is inspiring to see a new generation of thinkers standing alongside the giants of talent transformation.”

The ranking of the top 30 thought leaders is the first of its kind for AMA, and is expected to be replicated on an annual basis.

About the Poll
AMA ran the poll from November 26, 2014 to January 15, 2015. Nominees were tracked by the number of followers on social media channels, normalized, and then ranked, which determined their social media influencer score. Then AMA looked at how many citations were received on the leaders’ written works (books and articles). This data was also normalized, ranked, and then scored based on their rank within that list to determine their publication influencer score. AMA then added both of these scores with the votes they received to determine the final ranking. The poll was run on AMA’s blog Playbook.amanet.org.

About American Management Association International (www.amanet.org)

For over 90 years, American Management Association International (AMA) has been a world leader in professional development. AMA supports the goals of individuals, organizations, and government agencies with a complete range of corporate talent transformation solutions, including public open-enrollment seminars and onsite group training, with both live and online learning capabilities. In addition, an extensive variety of resources are available through AMA, including webcasts, webinars, podcasts, business books, and industry research. Organizations worldwide, including 90% of the Fortune 500, turn to AMA as their trusted partner.

Media Contact:  Phil Ryan, 845-339-7858, [email protected].

AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.