There are some people in life who inspire you to dig deeper, to work longer and to think harder. They invite you to engage yourself in whatever you're doing just that little bit more than usual, to bring your whole self to the party.
Alan Weiss - who challenges me every day with a question, options and a sometimes contrarian outlook
Seth Godin - for his thought provoking ideas and books
Hugh McLeod - the cartoonist, of Gapingvoid whose daily emails remind me of the corporate absurdity for growth and profit over all else
Gary Vaynerchuk - the entrepreneur and digital marketing guy who is driving new approach ideas into the marketplace
From the past:
Sir John Harvey-Jones - the ex-head of ICI. The man who believed that the people were the life-force of the company and not the board-room.
Professor Eric Laithwaite - the inventor of practical MagLev trains, whose Alice Through The Looking Glass Royal Society lecture has inspired me forever.
The inevitable Steve Jobs - whose Stanford Address I have as a poster on my home-office wall. "Remembering I'll be dead soon is a reminder that I have nothing to lose..."
Mr Phillips. ...Wait...Who..? My Maths teacher in 11th grade. A kind gentle man who wore brown lace-up shoes, always, and accepted that not everyone was an immediate natural with numbers
Not quite Heroes, but a current interest:
http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/ - Interesting approach on company culture and marketing.
http://www.bhorowitz.com/ - the head of Andresson Horowitz venture capital
http://savvysexysocial.com - Amy Schmittauer - the girl who is teaching me Social media, properly
... maybe I'm missing someone? - drop me a line and tell me who.