Be a Hunter for Role Models
Setting the Scene:
Once upon a time, a well-known bank robber was captured by the police. He was asked why he specialized in robbing banks. His answer was short and on point. He said, “This is where the money is.”
A personal revelation that I get from this is that if I want to be successful in life, I need to develop an eye for successful people – role models. They have what I want. I should identify them and where possible, ask them to coach me. My message to you is this: “If you are teachable or open-minded, role models will help you to avoid the mistakes that they made, and furthermore, they will give you the wisdom that you need to succeed.”
Role models are pathfinders. They are walking billboards of success. Let’s face it, people that have achieved greatness allowed their thinking to be influenced by other great people. Experience is the best teacher, but it does not necessarily have to be your own experience. Learn from role models as you yourself become a role model. Learn from other people’s experience as you create your own experience. Pick something from the legacy that they have left as you build up your own legacy.
“Hey, the wheel was invented ages ago. No point trying to reinvent it. Besides, who has the time?” (Paul du Toit, You Can Present with Confidence)
It is worth noting that you do not have to actually know, meet or interact with role models aligned with your calling. We are in the midst of an information era where there are facilities that overflow with information - the internet, books, audios, DVDs and so forth.
The Dos & Don’ts
Role models are quality people. To have access to them, I advise that you observe or take note of the following:
- Support their vision. Don’t approach them with the attitude of “me and my urge to succeed”. Sow something of value into their vision. If you opt for the coaching/mentoring approach, be prepared to pay for their services.
- Don’t be a copycat. Your focus should be to embody the attributes and principles of your particular role model into the way you do things; attributes such as hard work, integrity, excellence, perseverance and so forth. Your job is to be the best you and not to mimic others.
- Remember that successful people are human beings, not angels. They are not perfect. Your role is to focus on the positives and not on areas of concern. You are not on the mission to judge, you are on a journey to success, significance, and greatness.
“A winner respects high achievers and tries to learn something from them. A loser resents them and tries to find chinks in their armour” (Roger Fritz, Building Your Legacy)