I have always admired some of our US historical figures. I believe they set an example that I can learn from and strive to emulate. My personal favorite is Thomas Jefferson because he was like a revered great-uncle of mine, he was a learned man but counted himself first a farmer.
Lifehacker has a great piece on what distinguished George Washington from his peers. Many of his posts, personal list of behavior, are relevant today. If you are not naturally a sales person or great with people this technique of writing down a list for yourself will have a positive effect on your business relationships. I have always leaned more toward the Asperger Syndrome scale of human interaction so a list I can do a gut-check at the end of the day is a great learning tool.