Lunching With Your Heroes

I was told when I was younger – “Don’t ever meet your heroes, you’ll be disappointed and disillusioned”.  Terrible advice.  I’ve met Rowan Williams, Peter Blake (the artist), Earle Kirton, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee, Hunter Davies, Tom Peters, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell – all heroes of mine … and loved ‘em all.  
Thursday was special.  Lunch at Michael’s in New York.  Michael’s is a classic American restaurant, run by Michael McCarty who paces the floor checking in on all his guests.  An ambling, shambling force of nature.  Michael hosts all the Media Power Players in the City.  The bigshots all have their own tables, backs to the wall, facing outwards, accepting fealty from their followers, and checking out who’s with whom, as the pieces move on the NYC Media chessboard.  
And I was with a hero of mine; a wonderful writer with Vanity Fair, British GQ, and author of the best book ever written on Rupert Murdoch – Michael Wolff.  Brilliant, prolific, provocative, punchy, new father of one year old daughter, 62 years young, and for me – ‘The Authority’ on all things interesting on media, politics, culture, … and so magnificently opinionated.
He put a bid together to buy New York magazine and nearly pulled it off.  He went to Adweek in 2010 as Editor with a brief to save it; he lasted a year!!  (The man who fired him was on the table next to us.  A handshake was exchanged – just! – as lunch ended.)
I rarely venture uptown into this world.  But a summer lunch with the heroic Mr Wolff at a Rosé splashed Michael’s takes some beating.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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