Modeling. No, not that kind, role modeling

by Cathlyn Pistolas

Who do you look up to? Why does that person come to mind?

The person or people that you look up to should be good role models. On the other hand, who is looking up to you? What behaviors are you modeling for others so that they want to look up to you? What goes into being a good role model?  Here are four things that make a good role model:

1: Be you. Be authentic. If you are a different person on your team, with your friends, and with your family, then you aren’t being you. Last year, a little girl’s dance class had princess day; she decided to wear a hot dog costume instead. Be the hot dog. Be the hot dog because that’s you not because you’re trying to get attention. If you’re going to stand out, stand out for good reasons.

2: Care for others. Recently, I went into a clothing store and was distraught that I couldn’t find the right clothes in other stores to wear to a new job. The manager saw me walk in, greeted me, and asked if there was anything in particular I was looking to get. After about an hour of laughs and shopping, I walked out of the store feeling connected. The manager and store associate helped me feel as though they cared about me in a genuine way. I went back to the store a couple weeks later, and the same manager greeted me, asked me how my job was going, and wanted to stay updated on how things were progressing. People can quickly tell if you genuinely care for them, which can build trust.

3: Be a leader. Are you the one that volunteers first for things? Leaders show initiative for things. Leaders are influencers; they step up. Be the one that stands up for what is right and shows others the path. One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost, which can be found here. My favorite lines are the last two “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” As a leader, the best path is often the one less traveled. Leaders pave the way for others, which is how you serve and pay it forward.

4: Accountable. Be accountable for your actions. If you make a mistake, own it, learn from it, and move forward. You have to be accountable to yourself before you can make others accountable for their actions.

“Who are you when I’m not looking?” – Blake Shelton

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