Leadership is vital in project success. Leadership, especially today, can be a hard concept to grasp. We have many “leaders” and they can be found in all sorts of discipline. Project management requires leadership also, to have that clear vision, clarity in reason, pragmatism in scheduling, for rallying the team, and many other essential traits. With the rise of the Internet, leadership can now be also found online through social media. According to a business school report, people are more likely to trust a company whose CEO engages in social media. Also, a majority of professionals, about 78 percent, prefer working for organizations whose leadership is active in social media.
Top 16 Thought Leaders in Project Management
The most effective leaders use social media such as Twitter for various reasons. Primarily, they use it to share information, like tweeting about a new project. They also utilize it for wisdom sharing, such as sharing a famous quote, or for relationship building, when letting their followers know a bit more about the person. Other main uses are for cheering and for recognizing results. Here is our recommended list of the top 15 influencers for project management, in order of Twitter followers.
1. Michael A. Kaplan
Twitter @mkaplanPMP (272K)
Michael Kaplan is a Project Management Professional who is a major influencer in the industry. He is an expert program and project manager who has over a decade of experience in handling large-scale international project implementations. He is also a Scrum Master and ITIL-certified. Among his many accomplishments and contributions to the PM industry are a PMBOK Guide-aligned methodology for managing projects in the cloud, writing for the PMI, Project Management Times, and LinkedIn, and sharing leadership and management bits on social media. Aside from serving the PM field, Michael also served the country as a USMC veteran.
2. Jason Fried
Twitter @jasonfried (215K)
Jason Fried is the co-founder and CEO of project management software Basecamp. His web-based PM app is one of the earliest tools that inspired many other similar applications. Aside from being a software entrepreneur, Jason is an advocate of simplicity in productivity. He has been invited to TED talks for his ideas about leadership, management, productivity, and many others. He has authored/co-authored several bestselling books, which include REWORK, and his latest, It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work, which is getting great reviews.
3. Sam Silverstein
Twitter @SamSilverstein (214K)
Sam Silverstein is an accountability solutions expert. He is an advocate of looking at accountability as a competitive advantage. Sam received his MBA at Washington University. He is an entrepreneur and President of Sam Silverstein Enterprises. He is also a Certified Speaking Professional. He provides keynote speeches, author of No More Excuses, and a passionate blogger. He shares his wisdom on social media, as well as gratitude for people who share great results from his help and ideas.
4. Steve Gutzler
Twitter @SteveGutzler (144K)
Steve Gutzler is passionate about leadership. He has been included by media organizations such as the Huffington Post as among inspirational leaders active in social media. Steve is the founder and President of Leadership Quest, a leadership development company based in Seattle, WA. He is also an executive coach and trainer, providing coaching programs, training workshops, and one-on-one personalized executive coaching. He has been invited to speak on many occasions, with the topic of emotional intelligence in leadership as among the most requested keynote presentation.
5. Thomas Kennedy, PMP
Twitter @ThePMCoach (41.7K)
Thomas Kennedy is a veteran project management professional who has served in various senior management roles. He has helped companies and organizations of all sizes, including migrating thousands of Lotus Notes users from several countries to the Office 365 Mail platform. He has been included as among the top management experts on Twitter, has shared countless articles on his PM Coach site, and has helped readers learn not only about the hard skills but also about the importance of communication.
6. Bob Sutton
Twitter @work_matters (38.6K)
Professor Robert Sutton teaches management science and engineering, and organizational behavior at Stanford University. He received his Ph. D. in organizational psychology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Sutton also co-founded executive programs and a design school, as well as an entrepreneurship program to help technology ventures. He is a bestselling author of several books, including the No Asshole Rule, and The Asshole Survival Guide, among others. He is currently working on a project about organizational friction, has been recognized as a LinkedIn Influencer, and active on Twitter.
7. Barry Moltz
Twitter @barrymoltz (17.4K)
Barry Moltz is a small business expert and consultant. He received his MBA in finance and marketing. He has worked with many enterprise companies, such as IBM, as well as being CEO of a software distribution company. Barry has worked with many small businesses, especially at those times when the economy was cloudy. He provides training to help them get unstuck, and also give keynote speeches and workshops. He has written several business books, has a YouTube channel, a radio show, and writes for several media organizations, including his own blog.
8. Elizabeth Harrin
Twitter @girlsguidetopm (14.2K)
Read more about Elizabeth Harrin
Elizabeth Harrin is an author, project management expert and business writer from London. She has worked for over 10 years in various industries such as healthcare and financial services. Elizabeth has several credentials attached to her name, including MA, MBCS, and FAPM. She also holds certifications such as MSP, PRINCE2, P3O Practitioner, and a PMI member. She is known for her articles on her blog A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, as well as in The OTOBOS Group, her books, and her regular articles on various online project management journals.
9. Lindsay Scott
Twitter @projectmgmt (12.3K)
Lindsay Scott is another project management expert from the UK. Her interest in the project management office started when she was working at HP to recruit for the project office. She encountered challenges that led her to start her own business of finding the exact match between hiring organizations and project professionals looking for work. She is an advocate of the PMO, which includes the PMO Flashmob and the PMO Conference to help professionals across the UK. She organizes meetups, workshops, conferences, and also started PMO Training to help them learn more about their career.
10. Johanna Rothman
Twitter @johannarothman (11.8K)
Johanna Rothman is a project management expert and coach. She is the founder of a business management consulting group specializing in software projects. Johanna received her MS in Systems Engineering from Boston University. As a management coach, she offers project portfolio coaching, helps an organization to move to agile, and other PM mentoring and executive coaching. She has written 14 books, is an active blogger, and shares them with her followers on social media.
11. Susanne Madsen
Twitter @SusanneMadsen (9.5K)
Susanne Madsen is a project leadership coach, trainer, and consultant from London. She was one of our first PM People we interviewed when we were starting. Susanne has decades of experience in managing projects and rolling out large-scale programs. She specializes in helping project managers improve their leadership skills. She has authored books including The Project Management Coaching Workbook, and The Power of Project Leadership. Susanne tweets about her articles, videos, and podcasts on the topics of project leadership and work management.
12. Peter B. Taylor
Twitter @thelazypm (8.4K)
Peter is a PMO specialist, project management speaker and author from the UK. He is the author of the bestselling The Lazy Project Manager, as well as The Lazy Winner. He also co-authored Strategies for Project Sponsorship. As a coach, trainer, and keynote speaker, he provides workshops all over the world, especially in project management congress throughout the years. He posts on social media to inform his followers of his latest activities and workshops, as well as sharing information and wisdom.
13. Ron Rosenhead
Twitter @ronrosenhead (5.9K)
Ron Rosenhead is the founder and CEO of Project Agency, a project management training company. He has been providing training for professionals since 1995. He is an international PM consultant and speaker and co-wrote Strategies for Project Sponsorship with Peter Taylor. He has written/co-written several other books and e-books. Over the years, Ron has trained thousands of professionals on practical and effective project management. He uses Twitter to share information, wisdom, and send appreciation.
14. Pawel Brodzinski
Twitter @pawelbrodzinski (4.8K)
Pawel Brodzinski is an entrepreneur, lean and agile coach, and project team leader from Poland. He is the CEO of a web development company. He is also an advocate of lean and Kanban, a co-organizer of TEDx in Poland, and has given keynote speeches on lean principles, Kanban method, team building, change leadership, and many more. He actively blogs on his website, sharing information on how to promote an exceptional work environment. He also describes himself as a persistent experimenter.
15. Kevin Ciccotti
Twitter @Coach_KevinC (1.8K)
Kevin Ciccotti is a design and business management, expert. He is also a project management trainer who has trained individuals, teams and organizations to build better relationships and improved leadership skills. Kevin is a Professional Certified Coach. He provides coaching services for executives, project managers, and teams. His Human Factor in Project Management is a signature presentation that enables project managers to improve their leadership and interpersonal skills. He shares content in social media about topics on leadership, productivity, and success.
16. Pavel Ilyusenko
Pavel is a head of PMO who is a software and lead developer in the IT industry. Having worked in the industry for more than two decades now, he is currently the head of research and development at ScienceSoft. He started to work for the company in 2005 as the lead .NET developer. He became the leader of ScienceSoft’s PMO in 2019 to further innovate the practices of the company’s project management. Pavel has managed a large multi-industry corporation in McKinney for a high-value project pipeline. That project included DevOps implementation, CRM implementation and customization, data analytics implementation, and development of a tailor-made solution based in Magento.
Leadership in project management is needed in every phase and stage. Fortunately, social media is another way for people to learn from industry and education leaders. Of course, there are many other inspirational people we can follow, some in the PM field, and some outside. Learning is all about accepting our limitations and having the curiosity and courage to step out of our comfort zone.