Five Great Leaders of Our Time and What We Can Learn from Them

by David Bohl, Personal Coach and Lifestyle Designer

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a leader as “a person who has commanding authority or influence.” Though this definition leaves room for leaders who influence their followers in a negative manner, such as Adolf Hitler, there are many leaders who have changed the world for good. In taking a page from the book of these modern-day leaders for positive change, you can improve upon your own life.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah’s rags-to-riches rise to fame is a well-known story, especially since she has been noted as the most influential woman in the world. However, despite the fact that she can afford the best of the best, Oprah has remained true to her humble roots. Being at the head of a media empire as large as hers has subjected her to criticism and mocking, whether aimed at her weight, her romantic life, or her choice of reading material, but Oprah has found a way to succeed in spite of the naysayers. Through all of her ups and downs in the public eye, Oprah has upheld her own values and done things the way she believed was right. Take a tip from Oprah and follow your gut. It doesn’t mean you will be without hardships or criticisms, but when you do achieve something great, you’ll know it was because you stayed true to yourself.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is one of the most quoted and most recognized speeches in all of history. At the time in American history when Martin Luther King Jr. spoke his famous words, the climate was tense and racially charged. Yet somehow, Dr. King remained a dreamer. He did not give up hope that one day his mission would be accomplished. Though his life met a tragic and early end, Dr. King should inspire you to dare to dream. When you allow yourself to have hope for the future, you never know when your dreams will come true.


It may be trendy to go by a one-word name, but Bono has done much more for the world than just following in the footsteps of Cher or Madonna. He is known as one of the world’s most prominent philanthropists and is often seen singing at benefit shows or acting as a spokesperson for charitable organizations. The lesson to learn from Bono is an obvious one – remember those less fortunate than you. Whether you have been blessed with unfathomable riches or you barely earn more than minimum wage, everyone can find something to give back to the global community. You’ll find that not only are you changing the lives of others when you give your time or money, but you’re also bettering yourself.

Al Gore

Al Gore has come a long way since losing the 2000 presidential election by a narrow margin. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian, you have to acknowledge that for someone to spend the amount of time as is required to run for President of the United States and then lose in such a closely contended race as Mr. Gore, the result must be devastating. However, in the year 2008, the tides have turned. Al Gore is now a Nobel Prize winner and a well-known advocate for the fight against global warming. After his loss in the presidential race, he regrouped and found a way to follow his passion. In the same way, when you experience a disappointment in life, don’t give up. Use your setback to reevaluate your goals and find opportunities for future successes.

Bill Gates

A lot can be said about Bill Gates’ accomplishments as a businessman and a philanthropist. He is the richest American and one of the most well-known entrepreneurs ever. However, as much as Mr. Gates’ fame and fortune have brought him, he chose to step down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in 2000. You’d think it would be easy to become a workaholic when your company is as successful as his, but Bill Gates chose to pass on his obligations as a full-time Microsoft leader and pursue other opportunities. Similarly, even if you don’t have the luxury to retire early, make sure to maintain a balance between your work life and your personal life. No matter how successful you are in your career, you won’t be able to keep up “all work and no play” forever.

New leaders emerge each and every day in the world. They come from different walks of life and can teach you different lessons about how to succeed. The leaders in this article have been successful in their endeavors to change the world. By learning from the way they live their lives, you too can become a mover and a shaker.

Find Your True Calling and Be Happy.

David Bohl is offering The Happiness Trilogy as an alternative to personal coaching. Three self-improvement guides, packaged together at one low price. Includes “Your Life in Balance,” “The Goal Book,” and “Your Personal Mission Statement.” Learn more and order today!

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