There are few pleasures in life that can top good reading. Through the written word we are informed, educated, entertained, inspired.
In turn, when we read work that affects us this way, it's natural we want to share with others. Here are 10 writers I feel have made me smarter and more emotionally intelligent, and have provided great laughs. I read them every chance I get.
1. Isabelle Roughol
With a professional blogging platform that now boasts over one million users, LinkedIn is quickly changing the publishing world as we know it. Isabelle Roughol, an international editor for LinkedIn, demonstrates one reason why.
Roughol's daily "Must Reads" column is concise, well-sourced, and very well written. She's my go-to in the morning for catching up on the day's most important news, even before The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. A self-proclaimed Millennial, her sharp and humorous style is personable enough to speak to multiple generations.
Find her LinkedIn author page here.
2. Travis Bradberry
As co-author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence and co-founder of Talentsmart, Travis Bradberry is considered a world leader on the topic of emotional IQ.
Some will consider Bradberry's work common sense, and it should be. But his research and writing style take basic topics into more depth, and help me to see them in a different light. And while you may not agree with all of his opinions, you'll find his work a great catalyst for conversation and growth.
Bradberry has been published and covered by multiple channels. Find his Inc. author page here.
3. Adam Grant
You might know Adam Grant from his New York Times bestseller, Give and Take. Recognized as Wharton Business School's top-rated professor, Grant writes frequently on the theme of giving and its professional benefits. In a world full of "takers" and "matchers" (Grant's respective terms for those who take selfishly and give only when they expect to receive), his research supporting the value of a giving mentality is a breath of fresh air.
Grant writes on a variety of other topics as well. His work is always fascinating, well-researched, and fun to read. His LinkedIn author page can be found here.
4. J.T. O'Donnell
As founder and CEO of the company Carrerealism, O'Donnell began writing as a LinkedIn influencer just under three years ago, when she was relatively unknown, with zero followers and fewer than 1,000 connections. She now ranks in the top 25 of all LinkedIn's influencers and has over a million followers.
O'Donnell writes on a wide variety of professional topics, offering advice on how to find greater personal satisfaction through your career. Her take on Gen-Y has been especially well received, with many Millennials feeling that she "gets them."
O'Donnell writes for multiple channels. You can find her Inc.com page here.
5. Sarah McCabe
Sarah McCabe is a little-known writer I discovered about a year ago through a writing group we have in common. I fell in love with Sarah's work because it's real, raw, and powerful--she's not afraid to put it all out there.
McCabe also has an extraordinary ability to get us to feel what she (or others) are feeling. I consider reading her an exercise in empathy.
Find her LinkedIn author page here.
6. Julia Mah
Another gem that I discovered through LinkedIn, Julia Mah is a registered clinical counselor who happens to write a wonderful blog. Reading her articles is like therapy.
Find a collection of her articles here.
7. Victor Cheng
Victor Cheng is a strategy consultant who has authored several business books. A former McKinsey man, he now works independently advising small businesses and Inc. 500-caliber companies.
Cheng openly shares lessons he's learned through decades consulting for both Fortune 500 and smaller businesses. His analyses of current business situations, both in today's headlines and in his own work, are thought-provoking and practical. Reading him will teach you to think like the consultants working for big-money firms, and hopefully help you to better identify and solve the pain points of your business.
8. Erin Meyer
Erin Meyer is a professor at the world-famous Insead business school located near Paris, France. She is also the author of The Culture Map, a guide to understanding cultural differences in everyday interactions.
Meyer is intelligent, insightful, and pragmatic. As the world continues to get smaller and teams become more global, her writing becomes even more valuable.
Meyer has been published by Forbes, The New York Times, and the Harvard Business Review, among others. Find links to her work here.
9. Jeff Haden
Many of you are surely familiar with Jeff Haden's work, whether you know it or not. He's one of Inc.com's top columnists, a top influencer on LinkedIn with over 650,000 followers, and a premier ghost writer who's penned countless articles for some of the most famous leaders in business. So even if you don't know his name, you've probably read his stuff.
Jeff has long inspired me, and has been a brilliant mentor since I began my own writing career. His articles are sometimes funny, other times touching, and always interesting. Millions of readers (including myself) are drawn to his ability to "keep it real."
Find Jeff's author page here. Also stay tuned for his new book, which should be released sometime next year.
10. James Hamblin
I discovered James a year ago through The Atlantic, where he works as a senior editor and hosts the video series If Our Bodies Could Talk. He draws frequent comparisons to Doogie Howser, due to his boyish looks and medical background. But Hamblin doesn't just play a doctor on TV; he's a bona fide MD who worked as a radiologist at UCLA. His light take on medical trends has real-life application to the workplace.
In 2014, Hamblin was named one of the 140 best persons to follow on Twitter by Time magazine. As an introduction, here's one of his hysterical videos, entitled "Single-Tasking Is the New Multitasking" (click this link or watch the video below).
Now it's your turn. I'm always looking for smart, insightful, and funny. Please share your favorites in the comments section below.