Do you ever wonder if the term ‘role model’ is overused? I do. We attach it to footballers, boxers, topless models, politicians….. For some Kim Kardashian is a role model.A role model for a child is someone who acts as a guide to how they should conduct their lives and there is huge pressure on those in the public eye to act in a way that upholds high ethical or moral standards. The irony is, of course, that we also love an anti-hero and the media revels in the ‘fall from grace’ story.
How often do we hear a celebrity or sports star or even politician saying the words, ‘I’ve let down my fans’ (think any sports drug cheat) or ‘I let down the people who voted for me’ (think the MPs’ expenses scandal)?
As adults we also look to those who can inspire us, motivate us and influence how we view the world.
I love, for instance, that Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days, crossing the finishing line wearing scarlet red nail varnish. Why? Because you can be tough and different at the same time, but most importantly he dared to attempt the impossible to help others.
In business we constantly look to people we admire, aiming to achieve even just a little of their greatness. Their stories can teach us what is possible and we learn from their ethos or their experience. We can take inspiration from many different people and places to help better ourselves.
To be the best we can be in the situation we find ourselves in often needs a trailblazer, someone who has been there, done it and worn the T Shirt.
Here are just a few of my inspirations:
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for their knowledge and understanding that to be the world’s best takes unrelenting hard work and dedication – and for their sportsmanship.
Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi and Maya Angelou for their strength, warmth and ultimate power to forgive and build bridges with their persecutors.
Two bosses, Gerard Eadie and Jacqui Low for always being true to themselves and living their values.
And closer still to home, my father for his determination to be successful, my mother for her personal strength, my husband for his brilliant mind and my daughter for her courage.
Lizzy Lambley is an Account Director at Indigo