Bill Gates. Warren Buffet. Steve Jobs. These are business leaders of the past two decades who have made headlines for the right reasons, creating value and driving innovation for the companies they lead and serve. Leadership at the highest level is not just about conceptualizing and creating great products and services. It is about effective branding, advertising, and product positioning. It is about creating new markets for products that consumers didn’t know they had a need for, but now wait in line anxiously to purchase.

Steve Jobs, whose recent passing saddened many entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-at-heart, exemplified many core leadership qualities. In the late 1970s, he took existing data processing technologies developed by IBM and other corporations and married them with the graphical-user-interface and mouse conceptualized a decade earlier at the Stanford Research Institute. Integrating these items into one user-friendly package, Jobs and the Apple team developed the world’s first PC.

Two decades later, Steve Jobs was back at the forefront of consumer technology, revolutionizing the portable music industry through the iPod. This in turn transformed the sales of music and video, propelling them into the digital sphere. Five years later, the iPhone represented a similar breakthrough for cell phones, creating handheld devices that offered many of the same user-friendly features of laptops and PCs. In creating these and many other products, Steve Jobs identified market opportunities and capitalized through decisive and coordinated execution.

At Leader Report, we focus on the trendsetting entrepreneurs, financial wizards, technological gurus, health care innovators, and other visionary leaders who have exerted a substantial impact on business and society. The leaders we profile on are not necessarily the biggest or the brashest. Often they are those who have quietly gone about their business, improving society in significant and under-recognized ways. Our featured leaders range from social media-driven entrepreneurs to those who have created shareholder value in the board room. Leader Report casts a light on leadership in all of its multifaceted forms, recognizing individuals who have made an impact in the corporate sphere, while bettering our everyday lives.

  • Jim Poss: Modifi Inc CEO

    Jim Poss studied at Duke University from 1992 to 1996 and earned dual bachelors degree in Geology and Environmental Science & Policy.  From 2001 to 2003 he studied at Bobson College – Franklin W. Olin Graduate School of Business.

    In April 2003 he founded BigBelly Solar. Jim brought the company from zero to well-funded and operating with many thousands of machines in the field as of early 2-14, BigBelly Solar had tens, of thousands of machines installed in 50 states and 40 countries.  He was

  • Xavier Helgesen: Off.Grid: Electric Co-Founder & CEO

    Xavier Helgesen studied at the University of Norte Dame from 1997 to 2001, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Management Information Systems. He studied from 2010 to 2011 at the University of

    Oxford-Said Business School and earned an MBA degree as a Skoll Scholar.

    In September 2002, Xavier co-founded and is currently Chairman of the Board at Better World Books.  He grew the company from the back of a community center to one of the top Internet Retailers in the World. Xavier and

  • Lin Jianhua: Chinese Solar Component Tycoon

    Lin Jianhua is a resident of Lin’an, China. Lin worked at a state-owned factory which produced fertilizer, in Lin’an in Zhejiang Province. He worked there from 1983 to 1994. He next took a job in a plastics factory. Lin then worked at an acetate film business owned by his father.

    In 2003, Lin took another career change, this time though he was no longer the employee, he established Hangzhou First PV Material along with his wife Zhong Hong and brother Lin Jianqing.

    In recent years