Friday, October 10, 2008

Do we need a ‘Role Model’?

Did you like being:

- Compared to another kid in school, because he/she got better grades?
- Compared to another student in college, because he/she made it to the college-team, played a musical instrument, topped the university?
- Compared to a friend who made it big before you?

If we run this question as a survey, most of us would answer ‘NO’. It’s simple to justify the answer, why would we want to be like another person? They have their own strengths & areas of improvement, so do we.

Now let’s ask the same question about 5-10 yrs after we complete our education & head towards to work-life. Surprisingly, we do a complete volte-face on our answer! We are always in the search for reasons to compare ourselves to someone or the other all the time…so what has changed this time around? Not much. This time around we are in control of our actions and we term our searches for ‘That’ better person as a Role-Model (RM).

It’s great to have a RM if what we need from them are their principles or ideologies – which unfortunately are not the actual reason! As much as we would like to debate, we need a role-model to compare ourselves on our own progress. Up to a point where we sometimes become self-critical! Not a good sign at all.

So what’s the big-deal of having RM’s?

Firstly, it’s NOT a ‘Necessity’. The reason to not have a RM is because it gives a sense of putting a barricade or a ceiling that you feel as the goal that would get you to the top. Provided you followed in the same path of the RM.
Are you sure you cannot go beyond that limit? If the answer is yes, its time to start re-evaluating your idea of having a RM in the first place!

The very reason to not emulate someone is so that you have an independent vision of what you want to achieve, your own ‘Individuality’. That’s something that everyone carries, but unfortunately, it gets lost in the ‘Fight For Comparison’ with the RM. You decide your own goals.


We often get mixed up with not being able to differentiate between “Role-Model” & “Mentor”…maybe its time to give it some thought! That’s another post for another day.

Have a nice weekend!
The HR Store