The Brain Bath?! Presents Not the Usual Suspects

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Richard Branson Now nothing against Richard Branson, but even the PR savvy Virgin boss may be getting a teeny-weeny bit fed up of topping "role model" type polls.

The latest, sees Branson top an "achievers" poll, leaving the likes of Bill Gates, Anita Roddick and Henry Ford trailing.

All very worthy, but it got us thinking of alternative role models – the ones who can really teach us all something special. Who is it that has shown you how to (or not to) do things?

The Brain Bath?! team decided to omit all the usual suspects and come up with our own top 10 role models, but, as ever, we would love to hear yours, fictional or otherwise. To join in, post a comment at the foot of this article.

1. David Brent, The Office – not only for his undisputed people management skills, but his ability to pass them on, as demonstrated in his baseball cap-toting "Simply the Best" leadership seminar.

2. Vicki Pollard, Little Britain – for near genius excuse making. Where is she when we are trying to explain to the boss why we haven't finished that latest project?

3. Patsy Stone, Ab Fab – a lady who knows how to handle hospitality. When are we going to get invited to Bolly-fuelled business lunches?

4. Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers – now there's a man who knows how to treat customers.

5. Alan Partridge, Knowing Me Knowing You – a communicator without equal.

6. Mr Britass, the Britass Empire – for his keen interest in health and safety and taking "family-firendly" working to a new level. Just how many employers would let their receptionist keep a baby in her drawer?

7. Jade Goody, Big Brother – no apparent talent or job as such, but many zeroes on her bank statement. She must be doing something right.

8. Gordon Ramsey, TV chef – for services to plain (erhem) English.

9. Simon Cowell, X Factor judge – how long until he brings out a motivation and feedback skills book? We wait with bated breath.

10. Sir Humphrey Appleby, Yes Minister/ Prime Minister – the subtle art of persuasion and manipulation personified.

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