Some people influence you – their work or ideas resonate with you. Some people are role models – their lives are worthy of emulation. Heroes inspire you.

They’re the full package – their lives, their style, their ideas, their philosophies and their work. Without further ado, here are some of my heroes –
Warren Buffett – investor. Humility, focus, long term thinking.

Bill Gates – technologist. Intelligence, focus, passion, philanthropy, vision, multi-disciplinary.

Kelly Slater – surfer. Honesty, vulnerability, creativity, physicality, multi-disciplinary.

Kobe Bryant – basketball player. Work ethic, focus, physicality.

Robert E Lee – general. Leadership, humility, principle.

John von Neumann – physicist. Intelligence, multi-disciplinary, energy.

Norman Borlaug – biologist. Philanthropy, humility.

Abraham Lincoln – politician. Humility, sacrifice, leadership.

I debated whether to include some of my favorite writers and poets on this list but decided to hold off. For the most part I tend to be inspired by writers’ work and books rather than them as people. Hemingway, Twain or Fitzgerald might make the cut. Might.

10/1: After returning from Hardly Strictly and learning more about him, I’d like to add one guy to the list: Warren Hellman. I think Warren Hellman sort of sets out a clear prototype for what I’d like to be able to accomplish because the path he walked is all out there for me if I want it.

Achieving in business first at Lehman and then at H&F. Impacting the specific, local community in visible (but non-self-glorifying), creative ways through direct philanthropy and the founding of HSB. Physical health in water polo, running and the connection to Sugar Bowl. Creative in banjoing.

Granted, he became a partner at Lehman at 27 and I’m not there yet. And probably the biggest barriers are energy and his seeming ability to make friends but I’m going to try my best.


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