The Power of Role Models
4 things that you can do if you would like to have more role model quality as a leader
“I have never been led in such a way that I can say, ‘That’s the kind of leader I would like to be’. I simply lack the role models.”
I hear this from many managers, whom I accompany on their development path in leadership coaching – especially if their goal is to refine their leadership profile and thus strengthen their standing in the organization for which they work.
Beyond professional competence, the personality of the leader is the real key to success – for themselves and their teams. Modern leadership requires managers to show themselves as humans. And role models play a decisive role in our becoming human beings.
Role models form us – right from the beginning
Even in early childhood our parents, grandparents and people with whom we are familiar are our first role models – their positive abilities and attitude to life inspire and encourage us.
Good role models in the family of origin
• … consolidate our “roots” by helping us define our identity and gain self-esteem,
• … strengthen our core of strength – through trust and recognition,
• … convey values that give us guidance in life.
Looking for role models in professional life
In professional life we learn best from superiors who manage to do both – enable high performance AND develop employees and teams.
Good leadership role models
• … convey a proper understanding of leadership,
• … are a source of inspiration for both young managers and experienced ones,
• … serve as role models in the organization for which you work.
Good role models are an enrichment – those who are lucky enough to have inspiring people in their lives enjoy a head start.
But what should one do if good role models are lacking in the family? Or if there are not enough of them in professional life?
4 things that you can do as a leader if you need more role model quality
1.“Create” an ideal role model for yourself
Have a look around – which people around you have a certain positive side that you admire? For example, a natural authority or a particular attitude that enables him/her to lead employees and teams successfully.
Or does someone always have an eye for the big picture rather than getting lost in micromanagement.
And perhaps a third person always finds the right solution to any problem?
That’s wonderful! Be inspired by this. Write down points that you admire and would like to implement yourself.
2.Turn negatives into positives
Yes, negative role models do exist – both in the family and in management. Nevertheless, they provide a cornucopia of insights that can make you reflect. What specifically don’t you like? What are your “no-goes”? What would you do differently and how exactly would you do this? Make a note of these insights, too.
3.Leadership gurus – treat with caution
There are some (in actual fact many) leadership gurus, who are celebrated on social media and are much quoted. Are they realistic role models? Not really – for three reasons.
First, because they are impossibly out of reach. They may be good as an orientation, but they are hard to grasp as direct role models.
Second, they are really not quite as they present themselves.
Third, your initial situation is different from that of other people.
Be aware of this when analyzing these people. An ideal role model is someone you admire but whose success, however, seems achievable. They are people who have worked hard for their success but are not perfect. They make mistakes and have weaknesses just like us. Weaknesses that we know and have experienced ourselves. We can orient ourselves best to such role models.
Also remember that role models are not carved in stone. As soon as you change and take the next steps your role models are allowed to change, too. In this way some aspects of role models that at first appear to be unattainable may become attainable at a later point in time. Step by step you will develop into the authentic leader that is inside you!
My programme “Lead with your star factor!ˮ has been designed just for you.You can reach me at: email@example.com or +436602400135.
Your Raluca Ionescu