If you are now worried that to be a good leader you need great cheekbones, a slim waistline and a pout from hell, then rest easy because there is a different kind of modelling you should be focused on... Role modelling.
Great leadership is about inspiring people to action, and in my eyes nothing does that better than when leaders live the values, or consistently demonstrate the behaviours they are wanting to achieve. Which is why these principles are inherent in the TakeON! Management Matters programme - inspiring leaders to step up and lead the way with their own behaviours.
This week, for some reason, I have seen lots of great examples of role modelling being profiled, that are worth sharing.
There is a fantastic example of the power of this, in this article...
Why PepsiCo CEO asks his team to ‘leave loudly’
And again in this article which features our friends at Tauranga City Council...
More than 50 council staff proud owners of electric bikes
And in this story as well about a climate scientist who knows, to be credible, he had to change his life to consume less carbon...
Top scientist's climate-friendly, flight-free 2018
All good examples of leaders stepping up and leading by example.
I remember a colleague of mine once saying that most people supported improved public transport because that would get other people off the road so they were then able to use the roads freely. I'm pretty sure that mentality is commonplace with people sitting in queues of traffic bitching about it, when all the while they are absolutely part of the problem and need to change their behaviour as much as the next guy. For this very reason I now use public transport two days a week, even though my journey takes longer, simply because I don't want to be part of the problem. I want to be the solution and role model the behaviours I want to see in others. My plan is to progressively increase the days I use public transport but in the meantime I've made a start with two.
So what is a role model? The simplest definition is ...
a person looked to by others as an example to be imitated
The big challenge with role modelling is that it needs to start at the top. This article The Need for Digital Know-How Starts at the Top does a good job of describing the issues and the challenges with getting senior leaders to lead with the very behaviours they want to see in others. In this case creating organisations with a strong focus on embracing digital innovation.
As the article says...
"Do you remember the last time you received an email from a senior leader touting some new transformative technology you’d soon be expected to use? It was going to revolutionize the way you work, change your company’s culture, and inject digital acumen into the organization.
How did that turn out? Most employees probably followed along for a while, then looked around and saw that the heads of their divisions and other executives were going about things the same way they always had. So much for that new culture."
So remember when it comes to getting change in an organisation, if you're a leader then your mantra should be...
"It starts with me"
And if none of the above works, you could always try traditional modelling and nail that pout...
If your organisation needs assistance with creating a culture where modelling of the right behaviours comes naturally, we'd love to talk.