Do you have someone you look up to as a role model? Did you, as you grew up? I know that I have had several. There were teachers and professors, my grandfather, some colleagues and a boss or two over the years. Role models play a big part in who we become as people and as leaders.
The dictionary defines “role model” as “a person who serves as an example of the values, attitudes, and behaviors associated with a role.” That definition makes it clear that each of us lives as a role model every day. People are always watching how we live our values. They notice how we step up to challenges or share glory and how we demonstrate gratitude.
Role models educate
NCAA Coach John Wooden said, “Being a role model is the most powerful form of educating.” Those are important words for leaders to take to heart. They apply to leaders in all walks, including both our professional and personal lives. Perhaps you are leading a company or a team or project for an organization. Maybe you are leading your family or you are a volunteer leader in your community. Or maybe you lead simply by showing up every day with a positive attitude, doing your best, and encouraging those around you.
We are all role models
As leaders, we serve as role models for people who want to be like us, do like us, achieve like us. Actress Meryl Streep says that “being a role model is equal parts being who you actually are and what people hope you will be.”
We are living in a time that calls for strong, positive role models. We have to remember that people are watching us as we go about our lives. They see us on social media or watch us as we interact in the workplace. They notice when we speak up and when we stay silent.
November is National Inspirational Role Models Month. It is a good time to reflect on who we want to be and who we want the people we lead to see us being.
If we can help you or someone on your team become a stronger leader, manager, or influential role model, contact us.