September 11, 2007

How I Chose 18 Thought Leaders to Follow (and Their Links)

published this at 12:14 pm

Business, Blogs, Living

Outside the Box logo

Yesterday, I talked about

How to Play Follow the Leader to Kick Start Your Brain


Today I thought I might take that further and tell how to choose who to follow.

How I Chose 18 Thought Leaders to Follow

Great leaders don’t have the answers. They have the questions. They seek the answers. They look at who came before them. They talk, but listen more. They write, but not as much as they read. Great leaders are a curious lot.

They encourage us to do our own thinking. Here’s the criteria used to choose 18 Thought Leaders and links to their blogs and blog posts to demonstrate what I’m saying.

Follow the folks who like ideas and learning.

Follow the folks who are curious and curious about you.

Follow the folks who are positive.

Follow the folks who are jazzed about what they do.

Follow the folks who know where they are going.

Follow the folks who’ve made it and are still there.

Need I say more?

The number of leaders on our doorstep is unimaginable. We could be inspired every minute.

Think of the leaders you recommend. What qualities do you use to choose who you follow?

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!

I Have an Idea — I Have Lots of Them!
Don’t Hunt IDEAS — Be an Idea Magnet

Filed under Community, Outside the Box, Successful Blog | 30 Comments »

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30 Comments to “How I Chose 18 Thought Leaders to Follow (and Their Links)”

  1. September 11th, 2007 at 12:46 pm
    @Stephen said

    Wow, great links. I have been a Seth Godin fan for a long time now. He even left a note on my lens at Squidoo/gtdsystem!

  2. September 11th, 2007 at 12:59 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Stephen!
    I’m a Seth fan too, obviously. If you ever get a chance to see him talk — go! He’s fabulous!

  3. September 11th, 2007 at 1:28 pm
    Wendy Piersall said

    Thanks for making me one of your 18 Liz. 😀 HUGS!

  4. September 11th, 2007 at 1:49 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Wendy!
    I have to tell the truth, now don’t I? :)

  5. September 11th, 2007 at 2:05 pm
    Valeria Maltoni said


    What great company here. Thank you. Curious about you and in between ideas and learning (my sweet spot) and being positive (my aspiration). Now that makes me want to be jazzed about it all!

  6. September 11th, 2007 at 2:07 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Oh Valeria!
    You always were good at conversation!! :)

  7. September 11th, 2007 at 2:58 pm
    Kirsten Harrellk, Psy.D. said

    Hi Liz,
    Wow! How cool! Thanks so much for including the PTD site in your list! I am so very honored.

  8. September 11th, 2007 at 4:45 pm
    Rosa Say for Joyful Jubilant Learning said

    Wow, what a compliment Liz, thank you on behalf of the 19 authors now actively contributing to JJL. I try to be humble about this, but I am immensely proud of how Joyful Jubilant Learning is evolving thanks to the generosity and talent of the authors there, and the support of those in the Ho’ohana Community (which includes you and many of your readers!) and so I love talking about it, for they ARE thought leaders who earn that distinction because of how open minded and curious they are in their learning. You give us a HUGE gift with your acknowledgment, and we promise to keep working hard at providing a forum in which we can all learn joyously together: collaboration and inclusiveness in learning remain our core values (and of course, aloha :)

    I am also anxious to take your other links here Liz! I love your sub-headings, for they really cause us to self-reflect on where we are actively choosing to award our attentions, thereby rewarding those who continue to be positive voices online.
    Mahalo nui loa Liz.

  9. September 11th, 2007 at 5:24 pm
    Steve Sherlock said

    Liz, thanks for including the Joyful Jubilant Learning blog in your listing. The group has been fun to contribute to, learn from, and learn with!

  10. September 11th, 2007 at 5:29 pm
    Dwayne Melancon said

    Wow – thank you, Liz! By the way – I’m always quite inspired by your Tuesday Open Mic nights. You’re awesome.

  11. September 11th, 2007 at 7:05 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Kirsten!
    Postive Thinking is as important as air!

  12. September 11th, 2007 at 7:07 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Rosa!
    I love your pride in what you do, Rosa! I hear the joy. I hear the positive things happening there. I hear the generosity of spirit. It fills me up just to hear!
    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you again.

  13. September 11th, 2007 at 7:09 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Steve!
    Thank you for seeing what I see too! All of you work so hard. I only wish I would be a part. I yearn to be with you. :)

  14. September 11th, 2007 at 7:11 pm
    ME Strauss said

    What fun it is to have you visit my blog. Thank you for coming by. As one curiosity maven to another. I think you’re really cool.

  15. September 11th, 2007 at 7:42 pm
    Rosa Say for Joyful Jubilant Learning said

    Liz, just read your response to Steve, and ANYTIME YOU LIKE! We would love to have you jump in whenever you can fit it in – do consider the invitation always open to you AND all your readers. Lots of joy to go around :)

  16. September 11th, 2007 at 7:49 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Aw Rosa!
    You have always been so generous. Man, I can’t wait for a chance to meet you in person. We have to get to you to SOBXon this year. :)

  17. September 12th, 2007 at 3:55 am
    Joanna Young said

    Hi Liz, thanks for a great set of links – but more than that the thinking behind them. It’s easy to click, read, follow without thinking about the reason why. Good to stop and think about what we’re getting from who we read and how it’s influencing us.

    Thanks also for highlighting JJL – I’ve just joined them as a contributing author and as Steve said it is an amazing place (and set of people) to contribute to, learn from and learn with.

    By the way, even if you don’t always have time to join us your words do inspire at least one contributing author there – as you are high up on my list of thought leaders, in case you didn’t know :-)


  18. September 12th, 2007 at 4:12 am
    ME Strauss said

    Hi Joanna!
    I do spend a lot of time thinking about the sort of people I follow. Maybe that’s because I only had big brothers who were so much bigger and they were so different from each other — it made them interesting to watch. Watching the folks around me is one of the deepest wells of my learning. Sometimes so deep that I drown in it.

    Is there any individual at JJL who doesn’t belong on this list in his or her own right? I don’t think so. Every writer past or present that I’ve ever seen there has been most excellent in every way.

    About that contributing author there . . . should I send over some medication? :)

  19. September 12th, 2007 at 8:05 am
    ann michael said

    Here I am – late to the party again – sometimes work is so inconvenient!

    Thanks for including me. I can’t wait to check out all of these other links!!!

  20. September 12th, 2007 at 1:13 pm
    EM Sky said

    ME Strauss wrote: “Is there any individual at JJL who doesn’t belong on this list in his or her own right? I don’t think so.”

    I second that! Thanks so much for including us!

  21. September 12th, 2007 at 2:02 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hey Ann Michael!
    You’re not late . . . the doors were still open. :)

    A leader’s work is never done. :)

  22. September 12th, 2007 at 2:05 pm
    ME Strauss said

    Hi EM Sky,
    Welcome! Great to see you here!
    I couldn’t agree more!

  23. September 13th, 2007 at 10:27 am
    g said


    Just browsing and I have a Q…

    What is this you said? details?

    “More than 320 positive news stories published everyday.”



  24. November 26th, 2007 at 1:12 pm
    isabella mori said

    i’m straggling in here but better late than never!

    you are SOOOO right. questions are so much more important than answers. and even answers – they need to be open, tentative. everyone’s experience is different, and circumstances change so rapidly, there is rarely a situation where we can have THE answer.

    thanks, as always, for your insight. great links, too!

  25. November 26th, 2007 at 2:02 pm
    Alphablogs - Blogging services: Research, Editorial, Multimedia » Being social said

    […] who I think really know how to have blog conversations are Liz Strauss (check here for a list of thought leaders she follows), Lifecruiser, who has turned her blog into a cruise, and Netchick (check her mid-week socializing […]

  26. November 26th, 2007 at 2:06 pm
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Hi Isabella!
    Our experience often brings us back to the same questions to find new and deeper answers . . . at least that’s been my experience.

    You’re never late. I always enjoy your insights. :)

  27. May 8th, 2008 at 11:25 am
    The Ultimate Guide to a Wildly Sticky, Successful and Outstanding Blog - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once. said

    […] Follow the lead of those who’ve been there and succeeded before you. How I Chose 18 Thought Leaders to Follow (and Their Links) […]

  28. April 22nd, 2009 at 8:40 pm
    krissy knox said

    1. I follow those with a “can do attitude.” They know their goals, and will not give up until they accomplish what they set out to do. They are, however, flexible, and know when to change a goal. The point is, they work until they get the things done that need to be done, never quitting — never giving up.
    2. I follow those with positive attitudes.
    3. I follow those with wisdom.
    4. I follow those with intelligence.
    5. I follow leaders.
    6. I follow those with entrepreneurial spirits, and self starters.
    7. I follow those who are very spiritual — especially Catholic Christians.
    8. I follow those who are serious, yet like to have lots of fun. They work hard and play hard!
    9. I follow those who are creative and innovative.
    10. I follow those who help others — who are into philanthropy and fundraising and helping the unfortunate.
    11. I follow those who are interested in trying new things, and learning new things.
    12. I follow heroes and those with courage, the unafraid, those who work for justice and fight for the rights of others.
    13. I follow the average person, because I look for the light in every person!

    krissy knox
    follow me on twitter:

  29. February 2nd, 2011 at 11:05 am
    Rossella said

    Great suggestions. Some of them are already my Thought Leaders. It’s really useful the way you present them.

  30. February 2nd, 2011 at 11:10 am
    Rossella said

    About the quality of a leader to which I look they are:
    – to be sincere
    – to be direct
    – to be real
    – not loose time in phylosophical discussion
    – to be connected with my idea of life, work and personal life together
    – to give freedom to their readers

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