SHERYL SANDBERG

COO of Facebook and Founder of leanin.org

Where Sheryl Sandberg goes, I will follow. Maybe it's because she's one of the few women billionaires. Maybe it's because she is humble enough to work for a guy who's 15 years her junior and very publicly tell the world why. Actually, no. It's because in 2015, she went through anyone's worst nightmare and lost the man who always leaned in with her. She has continued to honor him, while handling this tragedy with grace and complete human realness. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, I beg you to read this). She's teaching us how to lean into work and life with the good and the bad. 

 

TONY SCHWARTZ

Founder of The Energy Project and Author of The Way We're Working Isn't Working 

This is the boss you want.  He tells you to take a break every 90 minutes in order to get more done in the long run.  Get your 8 hours because you'll be more productive. Is it possible to follow all of his helpful advice? Probably not, unless you're the unicorn combination of self-employed and organized perfection. However, he shares many helpful, practical, easy-to-implement tips - you can pick and choose the right ones for you to sustain energy, razor-sharp focus, and do better work.

 

REBECCA PACHECO

Author of Do Your Om Thing and Founder of Omgal.com

Rebecca is an inspiration, teacher, and I'm lucky enough to call her a friend. Although she technically left the corporate world several years ago, her current roles of author, yoga teacher to the toughest Boston corporate warriors, and wife of this sporty entrepreneur, position her to heavily influence those of us who are in the more traditional business world.  If you've ever been lucky enough to attend one of her classes or hear her speak, you know that she is full of wisdom to be applied far beyond the four corners of a yoga mat.

 

ELSIE LARSON & EMMA CHAPMAN

Founders of abeautifulmess.com and Authors of 2 Books

Besides the fact that I find it exceptionally inspirational when people take their personal passions and turn them into livelihoods, Elsie and Emma apply such acute business acumen to expanding their arts + crafts empire. Along with their too-cool-for-school creative homemaking ideas, they're also incredibly generous business people.  They recognize that along with hard work, they've gotten to where they are with the help of others, so they pay it forward - whether by buying and renovating a house for Habitat for Humanity or doling out business tips to help others follow their dreams.

 

MINDY KALING

Actor, Writer, Producer, and Director

Confession: I was a little late to the Mindy Kaling party.  Considering that in 2015 I "discovered" the Office and am just now Netflix-bingeing my way through, I am what you call a "lagger." But even more recently than that, I fell madly in love with Mindy Kaling when my friend loaned me her book.  Holy moly.  This woman makes you LOL while you're alone, is as real as real gets (I love it when people make obvious observations out loud that we're not "supposed" to make out loud), and has a brilliant business mind because she's been through a lot of professional ups and downs herself. 

 

GAIL BLANKE

Founder of Lifedesigns, LLC and Author of In My Wildest Dreams, Throw Out 50 Things, and other books

I have yellow-paged, highlighted-the-heck-out-of Gail's books, as she was a very early influence in my career.  I clung to her advice to both keep a tidy apartment and learn how to take risks at a young age. One of the most poignant exercises she preaches is: when you're scared of a risk, imagine the worst possible thing that can happen. Then, accept that it's a reality. Then, you can acknowledge the downside, which allows you to clearly evaluate if it's worth it.  Voila!  Now, isn't that just practical?