Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs | New Media


Serve to Lead is all about the new world of 21st century leadership.

There are a number of blogs that I admire and learn from. My take on the best is presented below, updated for Summer 2014.

The list that follows includes entries focused on specific applications and competencies, as well as general leadership-related blogs.

Blogging is an evolving phenomenon. It enables individuals and teams and organizations and an array of stakeholders to interact and create value in untold ways.

Increasingly, individuals’ social media ecosystems are broadening. Writing and engagement are occurring simultaneously across a range of platforms.

In recognition of that, the list below extends from blogging to social media and new media generally.

Please send me your ideas for additional or alternative selections or categories. As is customary in the 21st century, this is offered as a living document, a work in progress.

Thank you for your service.


General Leadership

Tom Peters.  No significance is intended in the order of the list that follows–other than in listing Tom Peters first. If you’re in search of excellence, his blog is a great place to start. And don’t miss him on Twitter. He uses the two in a complementary manner, making memorable use of the 140-character medium in rapid-fire engagements.

Bill George.  Former Medtronic CEO Bill George is an analytic and wide-ranging thinker with a keen vision for 21st century leadership. His global perspective and focus on increasing American competitiveness are invaluable.  Twitter.

Mike Myatt.  Whether you’re a CEO or would like to be one, or simply want to improve your leadership skills, Mike Myatt consistently demonstrates why he’s known as “America’s CEO Coach.”  Twitter.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter.  Business people are often skeptical of academics offering guidance–with good reason. Kanter is an exception. Her writing gets big things right (such as the trend toward corporations playing roles recently viewed as governmental) and she maintains her attention firmly on workaday challenges (such as how to “have it all”).  Twitter.

John Baldoni.  At once prolific and practical, with a jeweller’s eye discerning commonalities in all sectors and across time, internationally recognized author and speaker John Baldoni invariably adds value for anyone concerned with 21st century leadership. He’s now part of the N2Growth team with Mike Myatt.  Twitter.

Jesse Lyn Stoner.  Business executive, author and consultant, Jesse Lyn Stoner’s insights are wide-reaching. Her command of business history yields value and perspective in a time of accelerating change. Twitter.

LeadershipNow.  Michael McKinney is indefatigable. He’s created a go-to resource for leadership in all aspects, in all fields. Whether you want intellectual stimulation, apt quotations, book reviews or inspiring products, LeadershipNow has them all. Twitter.

Tanveer Naseer.  A notably well-designed blog with wonderful content for anyone in business aspiring to or offering leadership. Twitter.

Switch and Shift.  Ted Coine and Shawn Murphy have created a terrific blog focused directly on 21st century leadership. Their niche is the ever-expanding space where business and humanity intersect.

Strategic Leadership Institute.  Manie Bosman offers smart thinking in thought pieces that often meet the standards of articles, yet with the accessibility of posts. He’s particularly active on Twitter.

Dan Murphy.  Daniel Murphy has dedicated more than three decades to learning and communicating success and leadership principles. His blog is exceptionally wide-ranging and practical. If you’re serious about uniting all aspects of your life into your leadership goals, this site will be in your wheelhouse. Twitter.

Just Coach It.  Irene Becker is a force of nature, a hurricane of inspiration and ideas, free association and constructive creativity. Her varied background and experiences are harnessed to a prodigious work ethic. Twitter.

Where Knowledge is Wealth.  Professor M.S. Rao brings a literary sensibility to the arts of leadership. He is noted for an infectious love of learning, and a dedication to ideals of service. He is based in New Delhi. Twitter.

Doug Conant. The acclaimed former CEO of Campbell Soup Co. is now a bestselling author as well. His insights are invariably valuable. His blogging is occasional; his tweeting is active and engaged. Twitter.

Servant Leadership

John Maxwell.  His name is synonymous with servant leadership, with character-based leadership, with applying Christian ideals in work and life. If some of his work sounds familiar to you at times, it’s because his influence is so pervasive. His combination of teaching with putting his principles into action is nothing short of remarkable.  Twitter.

Lead Change Group.  Mike Henry Sr. has established a living resource for advancing character-based leadership. He has assembled a talented and dedicated team of global participants.  Twitter.

Great Leaders Serve.  Author and Chick-fil-A executive Mark Miller communicates servant leadership through lived words. His message is aligned closely with that of Serve to Lead. Twitter.

Modern Servant Leader.  Ben Lichtenwalner does an amazing job, bringing together the range of servant leadership resources for the use of anyone anywhere.  Twitter.

Dr. Steve Broe. Executive coach Steve Broe offers insights at the intersection of theory and practice. Twitter.


Lucy Kellaway.  The Financial Times columnist’s article, marked by insight and humor, are collected here. Though not a blog, it merits inclusion in any actionable list of this nature. Twitter.

Hot Mommas Project.  Across the world, women are emerging as a great human resource story of the new century. Founder Kathy Korman Frey spearheads this dynamic group, identifying and fostering new leaders, focusing on real-time management challenges and opportunities. Twitter.

Ken Blanchard LeaderChat.  Dr. Ken Blanchard and his team offer an excellent forum to link the theory of leadership into the practice of management. Twitter.

Margaret Heffernan.  Author and speaker Heffernan contributes with a signature mix of big-picture thinking and down-to-earth shrewdness. Twitter.

Work Matters | Bob Sutton.  Prolific author (The No Asshole Rule) and Stanford professor offers insights across disciplines. His brio draws people into topics that might otherwise be daunting. A great contribution and a delight to read. Twitter.

Kathy Kolbe.  Kathy Kolbe’s laser focus on improving mental performance through “The Conative Connection” is seen in her provocative blog. If your goal is to stretch your individual and organizational talent, don’t miss her work. Twitter.

Edge Perspectives with John Hagel.  Deloitte consultant and author Hagel presents serious posts, more like articles in their scope and rigor. Their common theme is how management can effectively drive innovation that is at once customer-focused and able to stir and sustain employee passion. Twitter.

Cali & Jody Blog | ROWE.  Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson are the creators of the Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE). Their blog is well-designed, easy to read, and filled with insights. Twitter.

Brain Leaders & Learners.  Dr. Ellen Weber brings psychological research into the workplace in ways that are easy to understand and capable of implementation. Twitter.

Robert Morris.  Bob Morris is a prolific reviewer of business books, a member of the Hall of Fame. His “Blogging About Business” site is a powerful resource for anyone seeking leadership and excellence in business. Twitter.

Let’s Grow Leaders.  Practical, up-to-date management street smarts from Karin Hurt, an experienced executive in a Fortune 15 company. Twitter.

Julie Winkle Giulioni.  Actionable insights on management from an experienced corporate executive and trainer.  Twitter.


Duarte Blog.  Nancy Duarte rocks. Just go to her site. Now. Twitter.

Presentation Zen.  Garr Reynolds does not post routinely. When he does, it’s invariably worth waiting for. Excellent thinking and examples of effective presentations in our digital age. Twitter.

Branding, Marketing & Sales

TrendSight. Marti Barletta is justly known as the world’s foremost expert on marketing to women. Her observations are of great value to anyone in any industry. Twitter

Seth Godin.  Everyone is selling something–and everyone can learn from Seth Godin.

Web Ink Now.  David Meerman Scott offers exceptional insights into branding and marketing, with a special focus on the rise of social media. A must-read. Twitter.

Debbie Laskey.  Debbie Laskey owns the intersection of marketing, management and leadership. She is a gifted writer offering a wealth of insights with erudition and practicality. Twitter.

Frank Sonnenberg Online.  Regarded as one of America’s top marketing and brand strategists, Frank Sonnenberg makes the expertise and experience of global corporations available to small businesses everywhere. Twitter.

We First.  What is the meaning of branding in the 21st century? What’s changed, what’s the same? Simon Manwaring is a creative who creates real-world value. Twitter.

Customer Service

Nuts about Southwest.  When it comes to customer service, nobody does it better. Twitter.

Blogs  Evocative glimpse into the culture of a company with a renowned customer-centric culture. Tony Hsieh on Twitter.


Moving from Me to We.  Author, speaker, consultant Kare Anderson stands apart when it comes to collaboration. She offers insights from a range of experiences, with relevance in all sectors. Twitter.

Social Media, New Media

Michael Hyatt.  Michael Hyatt is the go-to guy on building a platform. His blogs about the details of creating an effective social media presence are invariably useful. He is effective as a teacher, because he’s effective as a practitioner. His generosity in passing along tips about such things as WordPress apps and themes makes his site invaluable. Twitter.

Chis Brogan.  Chris Brogan is an avatar of social media. In common with Michael Hyatt, he creates value by sharing his personal experiences building his brand, his website, his business. Brogan candidly conveys what he’s learned about what works–and, at least as important, what doesn’t, and why. Twitter.

ProBlogger.  Darren Rouse was present at the creation of blogging as a foundational aspect of social media. He’s still creating and sharing. His blog touches on issues great and small. It’s enlivened by participation of a dynamic group of contributors and commenters. Like Hyatt and Brogan, he’s visibly successful by putting service to others first, time after time. Twitter.

CopyBlogger.  Are you part of the ever-growing WordPress ecosystem? Brian Clark has built an indispensable set of services based on an all-encompassing insight: social media effectiveness is ultimately built on good content. Day-by-day, CopyBlogger shares tools, inspiration and examples. Twitter.

Straight Talk.  Ted Rubin is a top social media thinker and strategist. Writes with deft hand, sharp wit. Twitter.

Matt Cutts.  Google is the way the world finds its way to your door. 21st century leaders are likely to blog; blogging must be created and crafted with an eye toward one’s audience. Longtime Google executive Cutts is a master interpreter, translating the mysteries of Google’s constant evolution to those who strive for effectiveness in search. Not to be missed. A fine writer and video speaker. Twitter.

Moz.  Compelling curation of the best thinking in search engine optimization. Twitter.

Quick Sprout. Neil Patel offers actionable information on social media and content management. Twitter.


Big Think. As much as anything, 21st century leadership is about learning, learning, learning. Big Think brings together top thinkers in various fields, communicating in various media. Twitter.

GigaOmReal-time, front-line observer and participant in 21st century technology disruption breaking through all parts of our lives and work. Terrific posts and dialogue daily. Twitter.

Character as Competitive Advantage

Daily Good.  “News that Inspires” is their apt byline. Delightful site that aggregates good news from around the world, showcasing effective service in all sectors. Twitter.

Lolly Daskal. “Lead from Within” is the mantra of Lolly Daskal, who helps leaders achieve and prosper by service. Twitter.

Melding of Public, Private, NGO Service

Stanford Social Innovation Network.  Compelling bulletins from the ever-shifting borders between private and not-for-profit sectors. Twitter.

Ethical Corporation.  Excellent blog and weekly compilation of articles, research. Good sense of the evolution and prospects of Corporate Social Responsibility. Twitter.

Work, Life as Art

Steven Pressfield Online.  Author of The War of Art shares observations and techniques for personal inspiration and evolution. Twitter.

The Altucher Confidential.  James Altucher brilliantly examines his own life and work with an honesty that uncovers universal aspirations and fears and potential. Twitter.

Rebelle Society. Taking as its credo, Creativity is the greatest form of rebellion, Rebelle Society is “an online hub reporting ideas and acts of creative rebellion and celebrating the Art of Being Alive.” Twitter.

Justine Musk.  Her subtitle conveys it all: Because You’re a Creative Badass. If creativity is a state of rebellion, Justine Musk is a determined, fearless revolutionary of art and work and life. Twitter.

Penelope Trunk.  Whether she’s creating a book, a business, or a family, Penelope Trunk is fearless in her explorations. Twitter.

Art of Manliness.  As the name robustly declares, this blog is not for the faint of heart. As it implies, it’s useful for everyone; not only men, but others who must live and work with them. Brett McKay performs a real service. Twitter.

Brain Pickings.  Because language is a living organism and creativity the sum total of our life experience. Maria Popova presents a spectacular panorama of intellectual and literary food for thought. No boundaries, No rules. No telling where she might take you next. Twitter.

Questions for Living. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life. Serve to Lead is a system for living and working built on questions, so perhaps it’s inevitable that this list would end with Questions for Living. Byron Woodman III has conceived and implemented a wonderful series, filled with wisdom about uniting your life and work to create your masterpiece of serviceTwitter.

Marc and Angel Hack Life.  They deliver “practical tips for productive living.” Twitter.

Mind Body Green.  Life and work is built on a foundation of health and wellness. Lots of actionable thoughts here. Twitter.


Best 21st Century Leadership Blogs | New Media