The Power of Being (and Having) a Role Model

by | Oct 4, 2022 | Leadership

Being a role model is a big responsibility … and choosing a positive one for yourself to follow is just as important. A study found that 81% of those who have a role model say that, at some point, that person has heavily influenced some of their major life decisions. It’s essential to find someone who inspires you to make choices that lead to success (and to be that person for someone else as well). 

So, how do you find a great leader in life and how can you be one for others? Here are a few of the things that every great role model does. 

Role models are passionate.

One of the most important parts of being a role model is being genuinely excited. According to Psychology Today, one person’s passion can have a profound effect on the unfolding of another’s passion. If you love what you do and have fun, there’s a good chance that people around you will follow suit.  

Don’t forget that a bad attitude rubs off on others just as easily as a good one does. If you find that you’re always complaining or making excuses, read this article for some advice on how you can turn your perspective around to influence others more positively.  

Role models work hard.

It’s difficult to get inspired by someone who doesn’t have a good work ethic. The best role models don’t just sit back and coast through life. They’re the ones constantly striving to be better and pushing those around them to do the same. This is the type of person to follow … and the one you should always strive to be.  

If you’ve noticed yourself going through the motions lately, here are five traits of a hard worker to motivate yourself to get back on track: 

  • They enjoy challenging themselves.
  • They’re self-motivated.
  • They’re great problem solvers.
  • They’re constantly exceeding expectations.
  • They’re dependable.

Role models are knowledgeable.

Rigel J. Dawson once said, “You haven’t learned it until you can teach it.” Not only does a great role model know a lot about their field, but they know it so well that they’re able to pass that information along to others in a way that’s easy to understand.  

More than that, it’s important for that wealth of knowledge to keep growing. Lifelong learning is important in anyone, but it’s especially important when you’re in a leadership position. Research shows that a growth mindset (i.e., believing your success is based on time and effort) leads to vital traits of a role model, such as better adaptability and problem-solving skills. If you’re looking for a better way to influence others, choosing to become a lifelong learner is a great place to start.  

Role models are confident.

We all know someone who just seems to have all the confidence in the world. They’re never embarrassed, they never take things personally, and they have that captivating sparkle radiating from them. Sound like anyone you know? 

A good role model has taken the time to cultivate this confidence—it doesn’t happen overnight. In truth, establishing self-confidence takes time, effort, and a whole lot of “fake it ‘til you make it.” If you could use some help in this department (and we all could at times, let’s be honest), check out this article for a few ideas. 

The concept of role models is like a chain reaction: If you have a great role model in your life, you have a chance to take what they’ve taught you and become one for somebody else. It’s an honor, but it’s also a big responsibility. Use our tips to make sure you’re becoming the best one possible! 

Are you looking for other ways to positively influence those around you? Read our blog post here for simple ways to start practicing servant leadership!

Glen and Joya Baker smile for the camera, surrounded by their children.
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