Sometimes the question of who inspires you and why gets tricky. Some people are so negative that they encourage the opposite in you. And that can be an excellent thing.
I had several bosses who drove me in that direction. They fell into a category of individuals that I refer to as those who “kiss up and kick down.” They kiss the nether regions of those superior to them and kick anyone they perceive to be lower than them. Peers are treated depending on whether you are perceived as an asset or a competitor. Everything is transactional to them, and all transactions get weighed for value. Nothing is for free.
My friend Bill was the opposite. I wrote about Bill in my blog posts over the past several years. Bill was no saint, but he had a practical and ethical bent that he freely shared in the form of bits of advice. He offered me my introduction to the road and guided me between the reefs and shallows of the 1960’s lifestyle we led. So much of his advice was practical; while on the road, do this, and avoid that. This substance is safe to try in moderation but never try this other. Bill provided these lessons as whimsy, humor, and only for the most necessary blunt seriousness. To this day, I still hear his terse advice on the people I mentioned in the first paragraph. Unfortunately, this is a family-oriented post, and I hesitate to use that sort of language.