Who is role modelling you? – Why is role modelling so important in business?

July 20, 2017 | Thought For The Day

Many women find a role model in their lives to look up to. There are many different kinds of role models; they can be singers, public speakers, a parent, or even a friend. Role models also are not determined by certain criteria. A role model can be a role model just because they are a leader or have a great talent. Oprah Winfrey is considered a role model to many individuals because of her tough childhood, wonderful charity work, her schools, and the true relationships with her fans. Oprah stands out among many people on her ability to feel others’ pain and help those people get through their troubling times.

We start role modelling from the time we were born and our ongoing learning is influenced and drawn through modelling those around us.

As these experiences accumulate through adolescence, we decide what socially acceptable behaviour is and what is not. We also learn our individual strategies for achieving our goals.



Role models can have positive or negative impacts on us. Many of us know teens who emulated the wrong role models – people who were detrimental to their lives. Yes, these people are role models too!

Sheryl Sandberg announced on Facebook that the original Lean In relied too heavily on the assumption that all women have partners, and that she hadn’t fully understood the massive structural barriers facing single moms until she became one herself.

Now, Lean In is taking another step forward, urging young women to rely on each other for mentorship as much as they would rely on senior-level managers. It’s not an entirely new idea in the Lean In universe, and Sandberg has long encouraged women to support one another at work.



Researchers have discovered why some people are drawn to positive role models and others to negative ones.

The answer lies in the mindsets we adopt toward achieving our goals.

For example, we are more likely to be inspired by positive role models if we have a ‘growth mindset’. This is when we see ourselves as active learners and achievers who accomplish goals through hard work and perseverance. With this type of mindset, we strive to achieve their best selves. And we look toward role models to show us the way.

A growth mindset can be contrasted to a ‘prevention mindset’. This is when we approach life with a desire to prevent or avoid disasters and negative outcomes, they are more likely to gravitate toward role models who will help them learn avoidance strategies. These strategies might include cheating or using drugs and alcohol to escape life challenges.

Simply put, if we develop a growth mindset, we are more likely to choose role models that provide the kinds of strategies that support our thinking. When people have a prevention mindset, they are more likely to choose role models who provide them with preventative strategies.

Positive GROWTH MINDSET role models:

  • Boost motivation by modelling a guide to achieving success.
  • Posses an ability to inspire other.
  • Demonstrate a clear set of values in their lives.
  • Have a commitment to community.
  • Show an acceptance of others.
  • Have an ability to overcome obstacles.
  • They illustrate a way of achieving successful goals and a sense of self-worth.

People with a ‘growth mindset’ are likely to gravitate towards positive role models.

Negative MINDSET Role Models:

  • Also boost people’s motivation, but in different ways than positive ones. They do so by guiding toward strategies for avoiding failure.
  • They often have a deep personal fear of failure and have found various coping mechanisms and strategies to avoid misfortune at all costs.

People who have developed a ‘prevention mindset’ are likely to find these types of role models very helpful because they share similar fears.

Helping Women Find Positive Role Models
It is obvious that helping women find positive role models is not a clear-cut or simple task, particularly if they have adopted prevention mindsets during their growing-up years.


1. Look for clues of success – successful people are successful for a reason!

People who have achieved greatness in an area of their lives are typically using great strategies and are great strategists.

Consider what’s important to you and the things you want to achieve personally and professionally.

Start looking around you who exemplify the skills you want to acquire.

2. Mentoring goes both ways – healthy mentoring must be a two-way street

Both parties need to give 110% to the relationship, ensuring the mentor and mentee continually learn from each other.

If you are looking for a mentor, actively seek out ways to add value to their lives as well.

3. There is no one-size fits all – No one mentor can guide you through all the growth facets of your business

You might need to seek out different mentors in a variety of specialisms in business.

You might be faced with a variety of growth opportunities in your business, so why not think outside the box and look for a variety of mentors.

4. Change your definition of who you see a potential mentor might be – don’t be prejudicial

A mentor can be any age, in any discipline, so step thinking of mentor in traditional terms. Don’t let a persons age, title, or experience pigeonhole your thinking.

“If you intend to accelerate your business growth in 2017,
what strategic role models /mentors will you choose to work with moving forward”

In our I AM WOMAN Academy we enjoy learning from so many super talented women.
Every month we meet and transform our business growth strategies,
supporting one another to be the best versions of ourselves we can be,
as we inspire and lead each other to achieve our goals.

From left to right: Lisa Marie Brown – Pinkspiration, Margaret Carter – Patchwork Traditional Foods, Mandy St John Davey – Property Mentor


Check us out www.iamwoman.biz