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Where Do LinkedIn's Biggest Influencers Work?

Where Big Ideas Are Born

Tripod | Lifesize | Getty Images

Here's how to come up with your next great idea: Meditate cross-legged, Sip Mai Tais at a beach picnic, cuddle with your dogs, walk on a lush trail or visualize an opera house.

At least, those are the scenes where dozens of business leaders get their best thinking done, as they revealed in "Where I Work," a new LinkedIn photo series featuring work spaces of thought leaders.

Not that you need exotic surroundings to coax out creativity. Lots of LinkedIn Influencers find inspiration at traditional desks. Still others rely on whatever temporary space they find themselves in: hotel rooms, economy-class seats, hair salons or kitchen tables.

The concept of mindfulness unites this wide variety of settings. No matter the environment, successful people tailor their surroundings to the specific ways they work.

Take a look at the scenes where business professionals get their best thinking done.

By Francesca Levy, LinkedIn

Posted: 29 Jan. 2013

Richard Branson: Surrounded By People

Richard Branson works from his home on Necker Island
Source: Richard Branson | Linkedin

Having colleagues nearby — whether at the beach or in a crypt — means the ideas are always flowing.

When I work I see people. Whether I am at home on Necker Island, or on the move somewhere in the world, there are always other people around, to bounce ideas off of and to provide inspiration. I have never liked locking myself away in a separate office, or spending long periods alone to work out plans. That has continued from the days when we ran Student Magazine out of a crypt in London with people coming and going as they pleased, to now when we have many different companies around the globe.

My most regular working place is on Necker, where I have a wonderful view of the ocean, and plenty of space to relax and think. We often have all manner of interesting people on the island, who either directly or indirectly contribute to my work.

-- Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group.

T. Boone Pickens: Three Decades of Deals at One Desk

Source: T. Boone Pickens | Linkedin

I've had the same desk since the 1980s, and it has seen billions of dollars come and go. It's been with me in this particular Dallas office since 1996.

You're looking at a very messy desk. I need to spend another weekend here catching up and cleaning it off.

I'm particularly fond of the carved wood box at the bottom right of this picture. It celebrates my connections to Oklahoma State University. It was carved by a good friend of mine, another OSU grad, Walt Garrison, the famous Dallas Cowboys running back.

In the bottom left is a calendar I use to score my daily workouts. Over my shoulder is a Bloomberg terminal. I've made - and lost - billions of dollars watching that screen.

--T. Boone Pickens, founder, chairman and CEO at BP Capital and TBP Investments Management.

Arianna Huffington: A Fishbowl Into the Newsroom

Source: Ariana Huffington | Linkedin

My office has views of Broadway and the HuffPost newsroom. It's all about transparency. I can see out, and everyone can see in.

Things accumulate. As you can see, I keep some books around. On the window ledge are photos of my daughters, my sister Agapi, and my mother. On my desk: more books, my computer (perennially tuned to HuffPost's front page), and two gorgeous hand-carved wooden figurines given to me by our partners in an upcoming venture: HuffPost Japan.

How do I wish it would look? I guess I should say I wish my desk looked clean and organized, but I actually don't. I aspire to be a person who aspires to have a clean desk!

-- Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief at AOL's Huffington Post Media Group

Herb Greenberg: The Best Seat in the House

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

I sit smack in the middle of the newsroom in an environment that at times is electric; other times, crazy; at no time good for concentration.

This is my desk at CNBC. It is hard not to be impressed with CNBC's newsroom/studio, which is the size of an airplane hangar.

Live TV is always happening. I have four computer screens and one TV screen. One screen is devoted entirely to my stocks monitor. Another is email. The other two are work screens with various (often way too many) web browsers open.

My chair is a HumanScale Freedom Chair -- a version of the one I use at home. And my view is straight out -- seeing everything that goes on in the newsroom. I've been known to scream toward the set during a live show if I disagree with something somebody says!

-- Herb Greenberg, CNBC Reporter


Craig Newmark: Minimalism, Hummingbirds and the Simpsons

Source: Craig Newmark | Linkedin

Two generations of Simpson heroes and views of the local fauna are the only adornments to my sparse setup.

Here's where I do the majority of my work, customer service, but also public service and philanthropy. I have one big screen connected to a desktop. There's little paper there, since I've arranged pretty much everything online. You'll see a few knicknacks, with some focus on my prior role model, Homer Simpson, and I just acquired something related to my current role model, Grandpa Simpson.

In the back I do disguise the desktop, my printer, notebook, and a camera used for bird photography. I overlook a small forested area and bird feeders and bird baths, which attract bird and squirrel visitors.

-- Craig Newmark, Founder of CraigConnects

Deepak Chopra: The Office as an Extension of Myself

Source: Deepak Chopra | Linkedin

Your work is an act of worship; and that's why both of my main headquarters embody the principles of healing.

These principles have guided me throughout my life. I began my career as a medical doctor and soon became aware that if you looked only at a person as their body you might sometimes treat the illness, but you never evoke healing from within. My career spontaneously extended into first mind-body healing and then expanded into the realms of spirituality, personal relationships, social interactions, and environment; all as components of the healing process. I started to recognize that the word healing is related to the word holy, and for me, health, healing, and holy were all strategies for the return to wholeness.

As my career broadened into holistic healing, I began to realize that my workplace should embody the principles that went into healing in its broadest sense. I now have two places where I spend most of my time working when I am not on the road. The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, Calif., and Deepak Homebase in New York City.

-- Deepak Chopra, Founder, Deepak Chopra LLC

Peter Guber: Design Your Work Space to Inspire Your Success

Source: Peter Gruber | Linkedin

A round table encourages conversations – and the awards and other items tell a story about my businesses.

You're looking at an office that has no desk, only a round table with all equal chairs, and a collection of items earned, given, and used over the years in its center. There is a set of bobble heads of the NBA Franchise I own, the Golden State Warriors, in my direct eye line.

I set it up this way so everyone coming to meet with me feels no control or hierarchy and sees the eye candy that represents our diverse business activities. My view is 360 degrees and it reflects me seeing opportunity and history in every direction while stimulating my curiosity and motivating me to live up to and surpass my past.

-- Peter Guber, CEO, Mandalay Entertainment, Owner Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Dodgers

David H. Stevens: Surrounded by Favorite Things

Source: David H. Stevens | Linkedin

My office is decorated with mementos that illustrate my career and educational highlights.

Pictured here, you'll see me, my desk and a few of my favorite things.

1. Me at my desk.

2. My "signing in" document from when I was confirmed as the US Assistant Secretary and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner, signed by President Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton (as the Secretary of State).

3. A letter from President Obama thanking me for my service leading the FHA.

4. My University of Colorado, Boulder (my alma mater) mouse pad.

5. My iPhone (I do a lot of my work on the go via this device).

6. The door to a conference room (for easy access).

7. The door into my office, which is at the moment – open.

-- David H. Stevens, President and CEO of Mortgage Bankers Association

Jeff Weiner: I'll Take Walking 1:1s Over Office Meetings Any Day

Source: Jeff Weiner | Linkedin

This is the view behind our office in Mountain View, Calif., when walking along the Shoreline bike path. It's now my preferred venue for 1:1 meetings. I started doing walking meetings early last year at the suggestion of a colleague who used them as a means to reduce meeting room scheduling issues while getting some exercise at the same time.

It's energizing to get outside for a 30 minute walk a few times a day. In addition to the obvious fitness benefits, this meeting format essentially eliminates distractions, so I find it to be a much more productive way to spend time.

-- Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn

See More

Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

These images prove that a vast array of places can be conducive to productivity. What type of environment helps you work best? Do you think people's surroundings affect the quality of their output?

For more, take a look at LinkedIn's "Where I Work" series.