“Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound like yourself.”
- Miles Davis
If you don’t have heroes, you’re either unaware of who the best is in the field (even if only to you), or you don’t have a passion for the field and you should probably be working in a different one.
When I started my career in marketing, I didn’t even know I didn’t have heroes. The thought hadn’t occurred to me. In fact, I studied Business and specifically did not concentrate in Marketing, thinking it wasn’t for me. Sure enough, when I started my career, I found myself in a marketing role. I was just punching in and punching out. My hobbies were my interests, not my job. That was just a way to fund my life. And it stayed that way until I met my first boss at Sprinklr, Jeremy Epstein. He turned me on to Seth Godin. I’d found my hero, and an appreciation of my field. Appreciation drives learning, which begets understanding. Understanding plus passion (at least for your field, if not marketing itself) equals energy.
Find your heroes.
When hiring, I ask every candidate who their heroes are. If you are well into your career and don’t know who you look up to in your field, why are you doing it?