Bill Gates, co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, participates in a panel discussion during the Financial Inclusion Forum Dec. 1, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Alex Wong—Getty Images
By Emily Straus
December 18, 2015
Emily Straus is TIME's associate partnerships editor.

As 2015 winds down, now is the perfect time to prepare for your 2016 goals. Who better to get you inspired than successful professionals?

LinkedIn has rounded up of a list of its top influencers who have published to the platform this year. The influencers were ranked based on their audiences’ overall engagement with the authors’ posts. Bill Gates and Richard Branson fill the top two spots.

Find the top 10 influencers below, with inspiring advice to kick you into gear for the new year.

Bill Gates


What will it take to make sure life really does improve faster for the poor? We need advances in technology and we need to deliver them to the people who need them most. We also need to close the gender gap. Countries where girls don’t go to school or women can’t open a business will be left behind.

—From his article, Our Bet For 2030

Bill Gates is a co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Richard Branson


The only way to get through those long hours is to love what you do. You have to be passionate about what you are creating and believe in the impact it will have on the world.

—From his article, Answering Your Questions on Work-Life Balance

Richard Branson is the founder of Virgin Group

Mohamed El-Erian


There is nothing better than personal experiences to make you realize the importance of diversity, and the need to work hard and continuously to advance it. After all, we all — men included — benefit from promoting greater gender equality at home and at work.

—From his article, We Are All Responsible for Countering Damaging Gender Biases

Mohamed El-Erian is the Chief Economic Advisor of Allianz

James Altucher

Natan Dvir—Natan Dvir

Fears of the future are just as useless as the painful thoughts of the past. They have nothing to do with how we can be happy right now. So they deserve to be labeled and put in the mental spam box.

—From his article, How to Increase Your Productivity 500%

James Altucher is an entrepreneur

Bernard Marr


When you’re feeling completely stressed out, try identifying and then taking one positive action. It might be making a list of tasks that you can prioritize, asking for more resources, or even just finding the humor in the situation. If you can find one positive action to take, everything else will seem more doable.

—From his article, Smart Ways Successful People Cope With Stress

Bernard Marr is a business and data expert

Sallie Krawcheck


Before defining your personal brand comes defining your professional mission. This can be the really hard part. What matters to you? What are you trying to accomplish? Why do you do it?

—From her article, Personal Branding 101

Sallie Krawcheck is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevest

Ian Bremmer


To be an entrepreneur, you have to cast as wide a net as possible. Taking lots of risks is just part of the job, and you have to be ready for the reality that most of your ideas won’t pan out. You push on with confidence that, somewhere down the line, one of your ideas will hit big.

—From his article, Why the Difference Between “Entrepreneur” and “Entrepreneurial” is a Big One

Ian Bremmer is President of Eurasia Group

Jill Schlesinger


After a number of data breaches at some of the nation’s top retailers, many are worried about protecting their identities from thieves. Experts say that when shopping in a store, the safest choice is cash at the checkout counter, but that too has risk, because who really wants to shop with wads of cash?

—From her article, Holiday Shopping 2015: Naughty or Nice?

Jill Schlesinger is a business analyst at CBS News

Ryan Holmes

Millennials may be notoriously demanding when it comes to fulfillment on the job, but this isn’t a bad thing. Companies that are able to discover ways to satisfy their curiosity and provide channels for growth—even if this doesn’t always mean direct advancement—will find that employee loyalty does exist.

—From his article, The One Way to Get Promoted—That No One Talks About

Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite

Sramana Mitra


My humble advice to all those who are trying to learn leadership, is to achieve clarity in your own mind, first, on what you want to achieve. Clarity is the highest form of human intelligence.

—From her article, Leadership and Brilliance Are Not the Same

Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million


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