“Example is Leadership” - Albert Schweitzer
Have you ever considered the traits needed to be a role model? And what exactly is a role model?
The dictionary defines it as:
A person looked to by others as an example to be imitated.
We think of role models as having a positive effect on others. We look up to them and emulate their behaviors. But in this era of social media, our view of a role model may be challenged. Sometimes we may think of a celebrity as a role model because of their influence and reach. But being “famous” doesn’t necessarily mean that person or should be considered a role model.
Are role models born or made? While it is true some people are born with the traits needed to be role models and leaders; it is also true we all have the ability to learn and develop the skills and characteristics required to become one.
If it is your goal to be someone that people look up to and emulate, then here are some “secrets” you can follow. But it is important to know, becoming a role model is not something that happens overnight. Having a positive influence on others requires consistent effort on your part.
Some useful techniques:
Stand by your values and principles. People look for guidance from their role models. They watch for signals on how to act and behave. By displaying your values, you help lay a path for others to follow.
Have clarity on what matters to you? Do you value honesty and integrity? Then showcase your principles by handling situations accordingly. Clearly explain why you’ve chosen to follow a particular course.
Show persistence in overcoming obstacles. In difficult times, many people feel they have nowhere to turn. When situations are tough, it's easy for them to break. By demonstrating courage and perseverance, you will inspire others to do the same.
Display courage and tenacity. Be willing to accept the outcome, no matter how unfavorable it may be.
Being persistent and strong doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help. Show how relying on a support group can help. This could include family members, friends, and colleagues.
These “secrets” to becoming a role model are just the tip of the iceberg, but as you master them, so your influence will grow. Continually develop your natural talents and skills, practice living the values to which you aspire, and you’ll notice others emulating you in their own lives.
When that happens, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing; you are now a role model!