Some say great leaders are born; others say great leaders are made. Either way, some business leaders are worth looking at for inspiration. Keep your eyes on some of these top business leaders out there right now that have made and continue to make an impact.
While Elizabeth Holmes was attending college, she decided she could break out on her own instead of joining a pre-existing business. Holmes introduced a new blood test — one requiring less blood and less expense —with her company Theranos. With just one drop of blood, numerous blood tests can be run, including tests to help women overcome infertility. Holmes is currently working with Walgreens to bring a low-cost blood testing option to communities across the country. Her efforts landed her on the Business Insider list “40 under 40: People to Watch in 2015.”
Phebe Novakovic, CEO of General Dynamics, an aerospace and defense company, has been rated as one of the most powerful women in business by giants such as Forbes and Fortune. Novakovic has been taking the business world and General Dynamic’s world by storm. Since 2013, she has set to work on slashing the budget at General Dynamics and her efforts have paid off. Not only has the company seen an increase in profits, and a growth in margins and dividends, but the company is also enjoying its highest earnings in its history. Novakovic continues to monitor and manage the company’s budget closely so the business can continue to increase its profits.
As the first CEO of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson paved the way for the world’s largest defense contractor to reach record profits even though revenues were on the decline. In the two years that she has been CEO, Hewson has been busy diversifying the company and cutting costs. Her ways have helped the stock price to double, reaching over $200 per share for the first time ever.
Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson is the CEO of Virgin Airlines, but that is not his only venture. Worth billions of dollars, Branson is the proud owner of over 400 companies. In addition to his business savvy, Branson is also known for his personal branding, which helps other business owners recognize and identify what has helped him to take all of his business efforts to successful levels. All of these efforts and more landed Branson on the Forbes list highlighting the top ten greatest living business leaders today back in 2012. A title he continues to live up to three years later.
Adam Braun is paving the way for future generations. He’s building schools in impoverished countries around the world with his organization Pencils of Promise. So far, Braun’s organization has built 250 schools, helping more than 30,000 students receive an education that they wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to obtain. Not only do the children have an opportunity for an education, but it’s a high quality one. Students from the Pencils of Promise schools score three times higher on their language literacy tests than their peers.
These five accomplished CEOs clearly know something about leadership and innovation. Business owners and executives can learn something valuable from each one of them.