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Editor Note: Fast Forward

When one works on a cover story like Ten Teens to Watch, one becomes acutely aware that the upcoming generation is politely, if unknowingly, nudging the rest of us along. Determining who to feature in the story requires a series of difficult choices among a plethora of admirable personal qualities and intimidating talents. I even found myself wondering if one of these bright stars might be my boss someday.
Will this talkative teen be a senator? Will that one with the “professional” smile take center stage at Carnegie Hall while I settle into a comfy seat?

Will this other one, patiently trying to explain the DNA double helix to me, discover a life-saving medical treatment?

As humbling as it is, these are possibilities—and not all that unlikely. Preparing to yield to these teens is eased by spending time with them. Each has that youthful blend of optimism and innocence—but to back up all that warm and fuzzy, each also has an impressive academic record and is, in every way, preparing to plough headlong into the future. They only need to figure out what matters most to them and to define for themselves how best to live in this world.

This issue of the magazine, not coincidentally, includes three stories of people who have already tackled these decisions. First is Anne Mulcahy, former CEO and chairwoman of Xerox. She faced the odds of being a woman CEO, saving a troubled corporate giant, and retiring with an easy transition of power. Mulcahy talks to us about using her considerable skills now at Save the Children.

Next, Jerry Vigorito and Rob Fried. These two local businessmen decided to use their musical skills to form the group Band Together. While enjoying the spotlight, they entertain people and support local charities.

And, of course, Michael Kors. It is unthinkable to leave out our interview with this legendary fashion designer. He is at the top of his industry, even recently winning a Lifetime Achievement Award, but doesn’t reign from on high. Rather, he’s as hands on and savvy as ever.

When you find your mentor, you’ll know. One day, you’ll read about a person whose blaze makes all the sense in the world to you. In an instant, you will be acutely aware of what matters most to you, and you’ll want to get up and do something about it. There won’t seem time for polite patience, and being idle will be impossible—no matter your age.