Several weeks ago, I wanted to know who are the most interesting management & leadership writers (worldwide, in the English language). Which authors should I follow? Which blogs should I read? What books do I add to my backlog? Which writers have a great reputation? Of course, a not unreasonable secondary objective was to learn how does my work compare to the others? As I always say, how do you know you’re making progress when you don’t measure?
Names and Numbers
And so, I started digging for names and numbers. (If you’re interested in the method, see the bottom of the Inc. article.) The result was a huge list of about 800 names from 36 different sources, which I narrowed down and sorted in a way that was as fair as I could possibly make it (see method described in Inc. article). I was happy to find plenty of names of people I had not encountered before. My list of blog feeds and my backlog of books almost tripled in size! Furthermore, to my big surprise, the measurements put me at #40. Sweet!
Instead of publishing the results on my own blog, I decided to offer the results to Jeff Haden, a journalist at Inc. Fortunately, he judged the effort both thorough and fair enough, and after publishing the results, the article has generated a huge amount of traffic. A number of issues are worth pointing out:
The Inc. article refers to “Experts” but actually the list merely shows popular writers. As Chris Brogan pointed out, one can doubt if all writers are really experts.
The Inc. article cut the list to 50 people, which seems like a disservice to many great writers. At the bottom of this post I offer you a Top 200.
Some people tweeted about the lack of women on the list. I understand that. But I’d like to point out it also has very few Europeans, colored people, etc.
The list was a HUGE amount of work, though I’m sure an endeavour like this can still be improved in many ways. I am not available for discussions about that. I suggest someone else makes the next version. 🙂
I am already reading books I would otherwise never have discovered, and I’m in contact with new fascinating people I might never have encountered. Obviously, the list is great personal marketing as well. I won’t deny that I’m making good use of that. It’s what everyone does. If you’ve check the Twitter stream you can see that most of the writers are looking very pleased indeed. And who can blame them? It’s not easy writing yourself to the top.