What is a positive role model? Four Qualities that matter to young leaders!

March 10, 2016   /   byMaria Garcia  / Categories :  Uncategorized


Do you remember having a role model? Someone who was a positive influence in your life? Role models come into young people’s lives in a variety of ways. They could be parents, teachers, community leaders, clergy, peers, and ordinary people encountered in everyday life.

Role models play an important role in inspiring young people to learn, overcome obstacles, and understand positive values for everyday living. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, community leader, clergy member, or a person who just happens into a child’s life, you have the ability to influence in a positive way.

The best role models I had and still have are my parents. They provide a warm, loving environment for me as a human being. They always keep my best interests in their mind. They love unconditionally. They are loving in bad times and good times. When I reflect on their role in my life, they didn’t preach. They simply led by example. Their actions were the biggest influence in my life.

My mother for example, taught me a lot about hospitality. She always welcomed people to our house in a friendly, caring way. She would always put food and drinks on the table for our friends and family. She made her friends feel important. I think now I know why I have the hospitality gene in me.

I know what character, integrity and love looks like in our family. Does that mean we always have it? No. but my parent’s actions taught me something I didn’t know when I was young. That’s sometimes parenthood doesn’t come with instruction manuals, but trying to influence and be a positive role model is the key.

Anyone can inspire a child to achieve their potential in life. You don’t need to be wealthy or have a fancy title somewhere. It does require a heart and the willingness to add value to people.  It’s about becoming a person of positive influence.

 Be an Inspiration through your passion in life

Positive role models have a passion for their work and have the capacity to infect others with their passion. If you are not excited about your life, why should someone else around you be excited, passionate and inspired?

Young people pay attention to everything we say and do. They are students of behavior. They can detect a phony.  So watch your actions and your words, because they will take mental notes on how you conduct yourself. They have great photographic memory.

Find out what makes them inspired

What makes them tick? What excites them and builds positive energy in them? Don’t be afraid to ask because children are not afraid. They like to try new things and express their thoughts without hesitation. They do have to have trust with you though. The first thing we have to do as role models is to work on creating an environment of trust and understanding. An environment that fosters listening without judgment-A safe space for them to throw ideas without resistance.

Have a clear Set of Values

People of influence live their values in the world. Young people admire leaders who act in ways that support their beliefs.  It helps them understand how their own values can be part of who they are and how they might seek fulfilling roles as adults. When you are young, you are still trying to form your identity. You are trying to be authentic. Role models can help young adults understand the underlying values that motivated people to become advocates for social change and innovation in our society.

Help them to overcome adversity

Young leaders face an ever changing world. They will face obstacles and experiences that will get them out of their comfort zone. Positive role models are linked to resilience. By being a positive role-model, you can demonstrate the right philosophy and behavior when facing challenges and setbacks. Are you playing the “victim card”? Or you teaching them responsibility? Those are critical aspects of our society today. Most people are quick to play the “victim card”, but what if we as role-models teach our youth to take more responsibility for their lives?

This blog post was contributed by Tal Shnall. He is a personal development and leadership coach.


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