Everybody in this world, except bots I guess, looks up to someone as their role models. Especially when we were young, we grew up looking up to someone and desired to be like them when we grew up. Take a trip down the memory lane, remember how you were crazy for your role model. The posters on the wall, wallpapers on the phone, autographs, or you had some in your own house etc. The question is, not that it’s your turn, how can you be a good role model for the next generation? How to be that person who the young lads look up to to be? How do you own that privilege?
Here’s a quote I love in this regard:
Be the role model you wanted when you were younger.
First things first, If you’re a role model, you’re a hero. It’s an honour of high regard. Understand the fact that the youth looks up to you to rectify the things that they make an error in, look up to you to be able to carry themselves, look up to you so they speak, play, post on social media etc. And for that matter, not just kids, adults have role models too (they just don’t agree as easily, or do you? Gotcha! ). And suppose you are a worthy role model in your workplace, can you fathom how easy, smooth, stress free and positive things would be for you and your team. And the obvious outcomes of skyrocketing productivity and a rock solid team bond. Reflect on that for a moment.
I’m waiting, no hurry, take your time to pause and reflect.
Done? Cool. Now that your right brain hemisphere is seemingly overwhelmed by the idea, here’s some data for the logical left hemisphere that is still skeptical about it.
- More than 75 percent of America's children say family members, family friends, teachers, coaches and community leaders are their role models, according to the 2008-2009 State of Our Nation’s Youth survey by the Horatio Alger Association.
- The Los Angeles County Department of Health Service conducted a study in 2002 to “examine the relationships between role model characteristics, psychosocial functioning and health-risk behaviors.” The results showed that 56 percent of the adolescents identified with role models. Those who identified with role models they knew personally showed higher levels of self-esteem and stronger academics.
- For better and worse, teens are emulating the people they know best.
Entirely convinced? Swell. Now to answer your next question, “How to actually be a good role model?”, following are a set of pointers, divided again into two parts.
- Part 1 includes tips that we’ve been learning since our childhood.
- Part 2 contains characteristics that we experience in our professional life when we are a GREAT role model.
If you miss part 2, when you have read up until here, I’d press F to pay respect ( you need good meme knowledge to understand this 😉 )
PART 1 : Things that we’ve learnt since our childhood
1) Admit to your mistakes
Even for a normal person, admitting that he/she was wrong, publicly or for that matter, or even within a small, personal group is quite a task. Nobody likes to admit to mistakes and take the blame, I understand but that’s what separates you from the lot. And the worse you could do is blame it on others and create an issue, an argument out of the blue because of your ego.
Yes, this has quite a lot to do with ego. If you’re an egoistic person, you can’t be a role model, as simple as that. If you let your emotions do the thinking, what do you possibly have in yourself for others to look up to? The only thing they’ll learn is to behave entirely out of control, with their emotions recklessly fueling them to a slow but steady resentment for everyone else who doesn’t comply with their needs, a perfect hotbed for numerous mental illnesses.
2) Respect everyone -
Regardless of who you are, what you are, how rich you are, big shot, blah, blah, blah, everyone deserves your respect, especially your team. You want to be a good role model, this is absolutely necessary. If you disrespect someone because they are hierarchically, financially, physically, mentally inferior to you, due to no fault of their own, you piss them off big time, especially your teammates.
You might think they have nowhere to go and are bound to you because you manage them, but remember, not even the most helpless person will place money above self-respect ( after a point ). They are worthy people, loyal to you and being wronged by you, could just be the fuel the motivation they need to turn things around and who knows, be your boss one day. You don’t mess with a wounded man. Respect everyone around, that instantly makes you a lot more desirable too ( a tip for your next date ), and you’ll have that same respect in return and your team would put their hearts & souls into their work to repay and justify your respect.
3) Don’t strive to be sparkling, popular or a TV personality -
The first step on your path to be a good role model is being one for your own child or your relatives’ children. You don’t have to be a TV/movie star, an athlete, or a recognized face. Quite simply, it all starts from your own home. And you’ve been learning this in school too, but ask yourself this, do you actually, like actually implement this in real life, and listen to yourself, ‘cause the only person you can’t lie to is you. If you do implement, it's time to upgrade to part 2, if not, Start today!
PART 2 : Try the following to be a good, nah, great role model.
1) Strive for hard work, not success -
Someone once said, “Beta Kaabil bano Kaabil, excellence ki picche bhaago, kamyaabi jhak maarke tumahare picche aayegi” ( Be worthy my son, strive for excellence, success will follow you…. No points for guessing who said this).
And he was indeed true. Any wise man would rate perfection or excellence higher than success. Because success doesn’t guarantee your excellence, you might be successfully imperfect, but it would be a slice of cake for a perfectly unsuccessful man to arrive at the scene and capture all your success and be even more successful than what you could ever be.
Excellence guarantees your success. Sure, it might take time, but once it happens, you’d be an unstoppable beast. Everything will eventually fall in place, and you’d be more than you ever imagined yourself to be. And that’s the thing, success is overhyped today, the real game changer is the effort that you put in. Just like life, excellence is like a long term game. Unless you’re Dominic Toretto, who used to live his life quarter mile at a time, if you think short term in life, you won’t be successful in the long term.
2) Give people the confidence they need -
What do I mean by this? Well, role models are usually leaders in one way or the other. Being a great role model also opens the door for you to be a great leader. And great leaders or role models don’t leave the field in tough conditions, they lead from the front and fight back. Your team does some work better than you, that’s the reason you’ve a team in the first place. So, criticizing or yelling at them would not only leave them feeling under confident, but also make them question their potential due to repeated criticism. And as a leader, that’s one of the last things you want.
So, give them confidence, back them up in tough situations, that's when they need you the most. They excel in that particular aspect of work and are better than you in that aspect. So, if anyone can turn it around, it’s them. You can’t do it yourself, it’s not your forte. The only thing you can do is back them up and bring the best out of them. Trust me, that’s the only thing they want at that moment.
Simply conveying ,“I trust you mate, do whatever you wish to do, you know better than me, if there’s anyone who can turn it around for us, it's you. Try whatever you wish, I’ll back you up. If we lose, it's on me. If we win, you’re the man. Give it your best shot, and you’ll make me proud, I believe.” These are priceless words in that situation.
And trust me, your team will shed every ounce of their power to make things work. If it’s successful, that’s what you wanted. If not, they won’t stop until they succeed. This is a hallmark of a truly, truly great leader and a role model. The young generation needs more leaders and more importantly, role models.
So, did I ignite a spark in you? Did you have goosebumps, a chill down your spine, a rush of motivation? If yes, you’re willing to be a leader, a role model. And the world needs you, the future generation needs you. If no, go get up and freshen up a bit, you seem too sleepy ( hehe ).
It’s never too late to start. C’mon, get up & get going.
Happy Role Modelling, Champ!