Celebrating America’s Greatest Active Entrepreneurs

Gary Hoover, who is arguably America’s foremost student of business history and entrepreneurship (he has 57,000 books in his personal library!), asked this fascinating question:

“Who is the greatest active American entrepreneur?”


Spoiler alert.

Gary selected someone who still runs the company he founded 46 years ago. This company has revenues of $50 billion, has 335,000 employees, and is listed on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work.

You should read Gary’s article on Hooversworld.com to see all the reasons why he chose Fred Smith, CEO of FedEx, founded in 1971.

I’m glad Gary’s criteria included things besides “market capitalization” because there’s much more to being a great entrepreneur than the bottom line, and how rich he or she becomes.

Other great entrepreneurs (but no longer alive or running the company they founded) that Gary mentions include Henry Ford, Walt Disney, George EastmanSteve Jobs, Sam Walton, and Bill Gates.

Up and comers include Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Page.

With the rise of more socially conscious entrepreneurs, the recent comments of Pope Francis, and given my years at Gallup where we studied employee engagement, well-being, and human development worldwide, I’d like to pose a slightly different question:

Of all active entrepreneurs and business leaders in the US
who do you think cares most about and invests the most in developing their employees?

I’m eager to compile a list of “good business leaders” who care more about people than anything else.

I wonder what makes them tick. I’m curious how they choose to invest in their people. What does all of that look like?

Please put your nominations in the comments below.

I will do research on all of the nominees, and write future blog posts about “good business leaders.”

I’m really excited to get started.

If you can’t think of any business leaders who deeply care about and generously invest in their employees–instead of exploiting them–then we’re kind of in trouble. 😉

Please try to think of at least one nominee, national, or local.

One thought on “Celebrating America’s Greatest Active Entrepreneurs

Leave a Reply


More Posts

Soar.com Logo Design

Some of you know that my partners and I are launching a new company that aims to help a billion or more people soar with

Cold Showers Can Benefit Your Health

I hated what I read in the Harvard Business Review last Friday: Cold showers have health benefits. I’ve always ignored people who advocate taking cold

People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You” Someday I’ll write a book about Ancestry.com. I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung

The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

To listen to this podcast, click HERE. Announcer: Welcome to the Team Coaching Zone podcast. Join your host Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s leading organizational

My Favorite Artist

Artists, poets, and prophets can help us make sense of the craziness that we experience in the world. My favorite artist is Regina Spektor. When

The Coach You Need

When you need a helping hand in life or at work you might decide to hire a coach. There are many amazing executive, career, leadership,

Beware of Taking Advice

Next Friday I get to deliver a keynote at Phoenix’s biggest startup event. But beware of taking advice from me–or anyone else. Startup events are

An Entrepreneurial Superpower

One of my entrepreneurial superpowers is asking questions at scale. Before I started Ancestry I went to libraries and conferences and asked questions. I learned

Paul hopes to bring the strengths message to all 50 states and to 50 countries by 2025.
Contact him so he can help you spark a strengths movement in your area, company, or industry.