The Top 25 Social Business Leaders That Influence Me

The Top 25 Social Business Leaders That Influence Me

This isn’t link bait and it wasn’t created using Klout or any other influence measure. I wanted to share this list because these are really smart people, many of whom I know personally, that influence my thinking, writing and inspiration to learn. There is a certain level of humility and trust with each person on this list and they are paving the way for social business thought leadership in their own unique ways. I highly recommend following each one if you want to fully understand the definition of social business and how you can use the principles to change your organization. I also created a Twitter list in case you are interested.

(1) Rawn Shah – Social Business Strategist at IBM and Forbes Blogger

(2) Dion Hinchcliffe – Executive Vice President at Dachis Group

(3) Sameer Patel – Partner @ Sovos. Enterprise Social & Collaborative Strategy and Technology.

(4) Chelsi Nakano – Writer, CMSWire

(5) Mark Yolton – SVP, SAP Community Network

(6) Sandy Carter, VP Social Business Evangelism at IBM

(7) Olivier Blanchard – Author, Social Media ROI

(8) Haydn Shaughnessy – Writer for Forbes

(9) Matt Ridings – Co Founder & CEO of SideraWorks

(10) Maria Ogneva – Head of Community At Yammer

(11) Jeremiah Owyang – Analyst at Altimeter Group

(12) Chris Perry – Head of Digital, Weber Shandwick

(13) Esteban Kolsky – Analyst & Social CRM Expert

(14) David Armano -EVP, Global Innovation & Integration at Edelman

(15) Marcia Conner – Blogger, Author

(16) Rachel Happe – Founder, Community Round Table

(17) John Bell – Head of Ogilvy, 360 Digital Influence

(18) David Christopher – Social Business Leader for Oracle EMEA

(19) Matt Dickman – EVP, Social Business Innovation at Weber Shandwick

(20) Mark Fidelman
A Social Business GM at Writer for Business Insider

(21) Dave Gray – Author and Partner at Dachis Group

(22) Brian Vellmure – Blogger and Social Business Consultant

(23) Amber Naslund – Co-Founder, SideraWorks

(24) Chris Carfi – Social Business Consultant at Ants Eye View

(25) David F. Carr – Editor of Information Week’s ‘The BrainYard’ Community

About Michael Brito

Michael Brito has been making things happen online since 1996 with a legit hustle. He gets mad when the 49ers lose, really mad. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

  • Adi

    Thanks for putting this list together Michael.  Some good thinkers on there and some I’m not so familiar with. Have subscribed to the Twitter list though so look forward to following their thoughts.

  • Michael Brito

    The list could have certainly been longer but it was getting late. ; (

  • Sebastian Thielke

    Thx alot for the list. Much appriciated!

  • Michael Brito

    No problem at all

  • Nick Kellet

    Thanks so much, I’d know some of these folk, but you filled in a few gaps.

  • Michael Brito

    Glad I can help! Super smart folks .. Many of them specialize in change management, social CRM, technology and the list goes on…

  • John McElhenney

    Dang! Gunning for next year’s list. :-(

  • Brian Vellmure

    Michael, honored to be on your list.  Privileged to be considered amongst such smart minds. Thank you.

  • Michael Brito

    John .. Haha, you are a good friend sir. Will I see you at SXSW?

  • christopher carfi

    Michael, thank you so much for the kind words. It’s mutual.

  • Michael Brito

    Brian – thanks for the comment. The list is definitely golden. I learn from all you guys .. Yes, even the SCRM posse…

  • Michael Brito

    Thanks Chris. Hope you are well. I am sure I will be seeing you at SXSW.

  • Sandy

    I am very honored to be on your list.  There are so many great thinkers on the list…..Michael thank you and I hope to continue to add value in 2012!!

  • Michael Brito

    Thank you Sandy! I am a huge fan!

  • Rachel Happe

    You know how you feel when someone you respect goes out of their way to thoughtfully recommend you. That. Thank you Michael. Honored.

  • Michael Brito

    Thanks Rachel. I have been reading your blog since my early days at Intel, back in 2008. You have certainly shaped the industry .. As well as my thinking.

  • Sameer Patel

    Extremely kind, Michael. 

    I’ve never loved the term but I’ve always believed (and lived by) this about the world of “influence”: The more you give away, the more you have. And you’ve demonstrated that here …Thanks again. 

  • Mark Fidelman

    Thanks Michael. Highly honored!  I can’t wait to collaborate on the projects we discussed. 

  • Michael Brito

    Thank you Sameer!! Appreciate the kind words.

  • Mark Yolton

    Lots of people thrilled to be on your radar, let alone your list. Me included. Thanks Michael.

  • Chelsi Nakano


  • Jeremiah Owyang

    What an honor to be listed here.  Michael thank you.

    I remember the first time I saw you speak, was that at Stanford?  I said “I knew he was going to go only up” and boy did you blow that expectation above and beyond.  I learn a lot from you, and I think you’re credible as you come from practice on brand side before being an industry leader.  Thanks again.  #kabar

  • hardaway

    What a great idea to make a list like this. There are many people here that I didn’t know and can learn from. Thanks! Oh, and how the hell did Jeremiah get on it? (just kidding)

  • Gautam Ghosh

    Great list, Michael ! Good to see enterprise 2.0 people like Dion and Social Learning proponents like Marcia Conner also featured :-)

  • Michael Brito

    LOL #kabar

    Yes, that was definitely the first time. I have been learning from you since your days at Podtech! Wow, such a long time ago.

  • Michael Brito

    Yes indeed. Both are super smart individuals .. And so are you! Now, where’s your next post?

  • Rawn Shah

    Thank you again Michael. Truly honored to be alongside this fantastic group of folks.  

  • Michael Brito

    You are welcome Rawn.

  • themaria

    Wow! Thank you for the huge honor! Not sure I quite belong here, but this is an amazing group of people, and I truly respect each one on this list.

  • Michael Brito

    Maria — you belong here. We have know each other for quite some time and I learn a lot from you!

  • themaria

    It goes both ways! You make it easy to be friends with you, because you are one of the nicest people in the industry.

  • Matt Dickman

    Thanks for the honor, Michael. Some new faces for me to get to know and some old friends. 

  • haydn shaughnessy

    Michael, thanks so much for the call out – like Maria I’m not really sure I belong here but I’m pleased/surprised you thought to include me.

  • Becky Carroll

    What a great list, Michael, and many people I here that influence me, too! Good peeps, definitely ones to follow…

  • Susie Erjavec Parker

    Hi Michael, love the list. There a few I really admire and follow from your list. I have to say I was most impressed by who was not the list. The typical, sycophantic “gurus” that everyone else fawns all over. Mad props for the objectivity shown here. :) Great blog!  

  • Michael Brito

    Thank you! Yes, I certainly didn’t want to position this list as an “expert” or “influencer” list. There are enough of them out there already. The folks on this list (there are more too) are people I learn from every day through their tweets, videos, blog posts and real life conversations.
    Thank you so much for stopping by Susie.

  • Christine McLeod

    Thanks for the great list Michael- and once we stop playing phone tag looking forward to connecting on the phone this week! :) C

  • Anonymous

    Great list. Following them all now.  Keep on sharing on!

  • Michael Brito

    Thanks Rob! You won’t regret it.

  • Martz Hobert

    Another list of very nice persons to follow.  Some famous social business leaders are not on the list which makes me think that I can learn more from them.  Can’t wait to see more soon.