Role Models

Role models

We all have an idea of what cool, successful or powerful looks like 

And it turns out most of us are influenced by the movies or serials we’ve watched over the years.

According to my recent undercover investigation, most people (men and women) around your office have inner fictional role models. For example a Programme Director at one of the world largest investment banks admitted over drinks that – when things get tough –  he asks himself : ”What would Harvey do?”

Turns out he isn’t the only one.


Harvey Specter of TV show Suits seems to be a highly popular role model for men around offices in London. In fact, two of the clients I met for lunch today have even admitted feeling so inspired by Harvey that they would think ‘What would Harvey say’ in meetings or even ‘What would Harvey wear’ when shopping for a new tie.

This seems to be reflected by a rather impressive online cult following.


harvey specter role model



In the top 5 are also James Bond (quite popular), Barack Obama (might as well) and Frank Underwood of House of Cards (why am I not surprised)..


Women, on the other hand, found it much harder to answer the question


Most of the ones I talked to confessed to seeking inspiration from fictional role models too… but they tend to pick different attributes from a number of characters, and piece them together to create the perfect inner mental picture.

None of them found that they could identify with just one character. Interestingly, they all found that ‘real people who have achieved something’ are more interesting – Women like Angela Ahrendts of Burberry/Apple, or Nathalie Massenet, who famously said ‘judge me on what I do, not what I wear’ and also happens to have created a brilliant new business model rumoured to bring over £1 billion in revenues.


Role models Angela Ahrendts

 harvey specter role model

The perfect female role model


It looks like TV and Hollywood haven’t quite managed to give us the perfect female role model just yet.

And maybe it is a good thing – as women in the City reinvent themselves everyday.

I was interviewing Partner candidates recently and it struck me how fresh, witty and beautiful many of these women are. Some even have kids and happen to be in functional relationships… Refreshing. But most importantly they all shared a passion for making things happen in the world …

Now that is real inspiration.

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