The Water Cooler: Bill Gates a Role Model for Marketing Leaders

December 21, 2020

LinkedIn Water Cooler Series

There are now more than 722 million LinkedIn members, and every month on the platform these professionals engage with and discuss content that’s important to them — inside and outside the office.

In this edition of the Water Cooler, we’re taking a deeper dive into the articles that are receiving the most engagement — comments, shares, and likes — from marketing leaders on LinkedIn. In November, marketing professionals looked to our platform to influencers who are able to provide leadership around current business challenges, as well as lessons on what they’ve learned from past missteps.

Once again, Bill Gates dominated on our list this month, grabbing five of the top ten spots. In the No. 1 post on the list, Gates takes a look back at the technology predictions he made in his first book, The Road Ahead, published 25 years ago. One of the biggest lessons he says he learned is that we tend to overestimate short-term change, while underestimating change in the long-term. “That is certainly my experience with the book itself. I was too optimistic about some things, but other things happened even faster or more dramatically than I imagined,” he writes.

Gates’ new podcast, “Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions,” also drove a lot of engagement on our platform. The blog, which recently premiered and tackles some of the biggest questions facing society today, covers a wide range of weighty topics, from humanity’s relationship with the truth to what it’ll take to build a more equal society.

Here are the top 10 articles marketing professionals were engaged with on LinkedIn last month.

Top 10 Most Engaging Articles on LinkedIn in November

  1. The Road Ahead after 25 years By Bill Gates | GatesNotes
  2. Why do we believe lies? By Bill Gates | Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions (Podcast)
  3. 5 good books for a lousy year By Bill Gates | GatesNotes
  4. He Asked His Team How to Avoid Layoffs. Their Response Thrilled Him. By Stephanie Schomer | Entrepreneur
  5. Is inequality inevitable? By Bill Gates | Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions (Podcast)
  6. "The Queen's Gambit": Put Respect On Her Name By Kit Troyer | Thrive Global
  7. Strive Challenge 2020: Complete By Richard Branson | Richard’s Blog on Virgin
  8. ‘France has a part of Africa in it. Our destinies are linked.’” Interview of President Emmanuel Macron with Jeune Afrique (‘La France a une part d'Afrique en elle. Nos destins sont liés.’ Entretien du Président Emmanuel Macron avec Jeune Afrique) By Benjamin Roger and Marwane Ben Yahmed for Jeune Afrique | Elysée
  9. Data could hold the key to stopping Alzheimer's By Bill Gates | GatesNotes
  10. The psychedelic drug industry is 'the new cannabis' for investors By Alexis Christoforous| Yahoo Finance

The list of top topics discussed on LinkedIn ranges from Technology to Finance and Economy, and Society and Culture. As the reality of a COVID vaccine drew nearer, topics such as Health, Medicine, and Medical Sciences gained traction on our list this month.

Top 10 Topics Discussed on LinkedIn in November

  1. Technology
  2. Politics and Law
  3. Business and Management
  4. Finance and Economy
  5. Health
  6. Science and Environment
  7. Medicine
  8. Society and Culture
  9. Medical Sciences
  10. Careers and Employment

The list of top hashtags reflects some of the fastest-growing conversations on LinkedIn. This month, the addition of #linkedintopvoices illustrate marketing leaders look to LinkedIn for influencers driving dynamic conversations around top business issues.

Top 10 Hashtags on LinkedIn in November

  1. #linkedintopvoices
  2. #hiringmanagers
  3. #pharmaindustry
  4. #video
  5. #gadgets
  6. #handicap
  7. #wastemanagement
  8. #filmmakers
  9. #jobsearchtips
  10. #blacklivesmatter

Lessons for Marketers

Bill Gates has never been afraid of addressing the difficult societal challenges we face every day. From climate change to inequity to COVID-19, Gates has always offered up a technology-based solution to our most pressing problems. He exemplifies the notion that the business world has a big part to play in making all of our lives better.

Businesspeople on our platform want to know what leaders like Bill Gates think – and what they are going to do next – so that we can learn from them. Networks like LinkedIn can connect us to professionals and visionary leaders who are experiencing similar transitions, providing a chance to collaborate in times of change.

If you want to take a deeper dive into the posts that are attracting the readership of professionals on LinkedIn, previous Water Cooler articles can be found here. And to keep pace with the latest thinking in marketing, subscribe to the LinkedIn Marketing Blog today.