Businesses, like civilizations, rise and fall with the times. Similarly, some leaders stay at the top for decades, while others fade away in a few years. However, the route to success is not effortless for great leaders, nor are they blessed with a silver spoon and a large business inheritance. The sheer persistence and passion of business leaders pave the way for new opportunities and greater ventures.

There are numerous traits that make a great business leader, such as being able to encourage others and having a clear vision that others can believe in. Long-term success can only be achieved via excellent leadership. The most significant business leaders in the world today, who you should be following in 2024, are listed below:

1. Tim Cook

Cook is the CEO of Apple, the most valuable firm in the world. After the death of Apple's founder, Steve Jobs, in 2011, he became CEO of the business. Cook has been instrumental in transforming Apple after the death of Steve Jobs, as well as creating new and innovative products and establishing Apple retail locations in China. 

2. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg has been Facebook's COO since 2008. As a nod to the title of her best-selling publication, she established the organization Lean In. She was an outspoken supporter of women in the workplace throughout her career. She has made an excellent adjustment since leaving the government and joining Google and Facebook.

3. Bob Iger

Iger serves as the Disney Corporation's Executive Chairman and is the company's former CEO. During his leadership, Pixar, Marvel, and most notably Lucas Films were all bought by Disney. The growth of Disney's attractions into Hong Kong and Shanghai has also been a result of his leadership.

4. Reed Hastings

Founder and CEO of Netflix, Hastings, is a well-known figure. What began as a subscription model with no late penalties and no due dates rapidly evolved into streaming services, which rocked the basic foundations of online entertainment to their core. Additionally, Hastings utilizes his position of power to advocate for reformation at the California State Board of Education and via the establishment of charter schools.

5. Mary Barra

Barra is the chief executive officer and chairman of General Motors. Before joining GM, she was the company's Executive Vice President of Worldwide Business Development, Procurement, and Supply Chain from 2014 to 2016. She is now competing for a position in the electric vehicle industry. Earlier this year, she introduced the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has a battery that outperforms the one used by the Tesla Model 3. With Robert Iger's strong admiration for Barra, she was appointed to the Disney board of directors in 2017.

6. Huateng “Pony” Ma

Tencent Inc. was founded and is led by Huateng Ma, who is also recognized as Pony Ma. Chinese digital giant Tencent is among the world's most valuable corporations. Time magazine's list of the world's most influential people has included him on two occasions (2007 and 2014). In spite of his secrecy, Ma has significant authority both locally and internationally, particularly in the realm of international business.

7. Reshma Saujani

In 2011, Saujani founded the non-profit Girls Who Code, which encourages young women to pursue technical education (particularly coding). The American lawyer and activist have a number of accomplishments to her credit. Over 10,000 girls have participated in camps organized by her firm, Girls Who Code, which has locations in 42 states.

8. Jack Ma

Ma was the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to be featured on the front cover of Forbes magazine. Aside from that, he is the creator of the Alibaba Group, which is a collection of internet-related businesses. Ma was rejected from three different universities before being admitted to Hangzhou Teacher's Institute. 

When he graduated, he applied for 30 different jobs but was rejected for each one. While on a brief visit to the United States, he became acquainted with the internet, and upon returning home, he set up a modest website devoted to his homeland and Chinese items. That was his first move toward establishing a corporation that would go on to set the record for the biggest IPO in history.

9. Jan Koum

At the age of 16, Koum left his native Ukraine for the United States, where he has been ever since. Later, he realized that he had a flair for programming and decided to attend San José State University. In 2010, Koum founded WhatsApp as a student at SJSU and security tester at Yahoo. Instant messaging application WhatsApp swiftly rose to become one of the most popular and widely used applications in the world, with over a billion users worldwide. In 2014, Koum traded WhatsApp to Facebook for a reported 19.3 billion dollars.

10. Bill Gates

Gates established Microsoft, the world's biggest personal computer software firm, and he routinely ranks at the top of Forbes' list of the world's richest individuals year after year. Gates has gradually shifted his focus away from Microsoft and toward charity endeavours throughout the course of his career. In addition to other things, his organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, works to give clean water and sanitation facilities to third-world nations, among several other things. Gates, like Warren Buffett, has said that he intends to give the great bulk of his money to charitable organizations.

11. Elon Musk

The South African-born businessman and inventor Elon Musk is also an investor. Musk's most well-known accomplishments include the development of PayPal and SpaceX and his significant participation with Tesla Motors. His imagination and drive to expand the frontiers of technology and market integration have increased public awareness of solar energy, high-speed mobility, and artificial intelligence, among other technologies.

12. Warren Buffett

Buffett is famous as one of the world's greatest investors. Some have described him as the "Wizard of Omaha'' owing to his hometown in Nebraska. He has constantly been listed as one of the world's richest individuals. In addition, he has vowed to donate roughly 99 percent of his collected riches to charitable organizations after his death.

13. Jeff Weiner

Weiner is not only the founder but also the CEO of LinkedIn. Despite the fact that LinkedIn was created in 2002, it's under Weiner's supervision that the company completed its initial public offering and became one of the most widely utilized social networking sites in the world. Weiner is also very involved in non-profit organizations, serving on the board members of Malaria No More and, among others.

14. Jeff Bezos

He is the one who started the e-commerce mammoth Amazon in 1994 out of his garage in Seattle. However, he stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman in July 2021. He currently has somewhat 10% of the business.

Apart from Amazon, Bezos owns both the Washington Post and Blue Origin, a rocket-development business in the aerospace industry. The man bought The Washington Post and affiliated publications for $250 million in 2013.

Jeff Bezos became a part of the list of the world’s wealthiest people 25 years after the establishment of Amazon. However, for 4 years, from 2017-2021, he was the wealthiest across the world. In 2021, he became the world’s richest person; according to Forbes, his net worth was more than $189 billion at the time.

Bezos still remains one of the most affluent people worldwide, with a net worth of $120 billion as of February 2024.

15. John Zimmer

John Zimmer co-founded a ride-sharing program, Lyft, in partnership with Logan Green in the year 2012. This was a subsidiary of Zimride, a business they both worked on.

In 2007, Zimmer and Green started developing Zimride, a service for collegiate carpooling. In 2012, Lyft was released as an application so they sold Zimride.

Since unveiling the product in June 2012, Lyft quickly became one of the fastest-growing tech companies, raising more than $80 million from leading investors Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund. It has also been featured in The Economist and many more.

In 2022, Lyft's worth was over $13 billion.

The path to being a successful business leader is not effortless. However, you can gain robust leadership skills from several business programs available online.

Become a Leader Today

Researchers have been attempting to determine whether a brilliant leader is born with intrinsic leadership qualities or if an individual can be moulded into a leader via training and development. According to recent scientific research, leadership is 30 percent genetic, and 70 per cent learnt. According to these results, leaders are trained rather than born. 

In order to successfully connect with their workers, teammates, and clients, the best leaders need a robust set of leadership skills, and there are several programmes available that may help you become a visionary leader. 

It goes without saying that the deeper a programme is, the greater the level of instruction you will obtain. Enrol in our Executive Certificate Program in General Management, offered in collaboration with IIM Indore, to delve into strategic management, finance, marketing, and leadership, gaining a holistic understanding of business dynamics.

Our Business And Leadership Courses Duration And Fees

Business And Leadership Courses typically range from a few weeks to several months, with fees varying based on program and institution.

Program NameDurationFees
Post Graduate Program in Business Analysis

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Product Management Professional Program

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8 Months$ 5,000
Caltech - UI UX Bootcamp

Cohort Starts: 13 Jun, 2024

5 Months$ 4,500
Business Analyst11 Months$ 1,449

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