What Ellen Degeneres, Steve Jobs, Thomas S. Monson, and Abraham Lincoln have in common

Who would you interview if there were no limitations on access to leaders and problem solvers in the world? Why?

This has been the most difficult post for me to write, and for me that can mean one of two things:

1. I’m either incredibly lucky and I’ve had easy access to the brightest leaders and problem-solvers of the world


2. I need to do more information gathering!

Although I have had opportunities to interact with and observe some pretty incredible people, there is so much more for me to learn. As I started brainstorming, I realized I don’t really know who I would want to talk to. Who are my heroes? Who do I look up to that I don’t already have access to?  I feel stumped.

Do I choose people for their fun and interesting personalities, like celebrity television host Ellen Degeneres or Andrew Slack of the Harry Potter Alliance? For their unique life philosophy, like Casey Fenton of Couchsurfing? For their incredible success in the business world, like Steve Jobs? For their strong religious conviction, like Thomas S. Monson? For their unrelenting dedication to a cause, like Fábio Rosa and his quest to bring electricity to rural Brazil? For their association or involvement in an organization that intrigues me, like Maria Eitel, the CEO and President of the Nike Foundation? For their strong political leadership like Abraham Lincoln? Or do I choose people for their historical significance, like Mother Teresa, Ashoka the Indian Emperor, or Melchizadek, the ancient prophet and king?

I’m still not sure which of all these people would be the best for me to interview, although I think a conversation with any of them would be incredible. Since I don’t have a clear answer to this question, I’d like to pose one to all of you: how did you find the leaders you look up to? Did you just stumble across their work, or did you deliberately seek to discover them? And if you looked for them, how did you go about your search?