As the lives of our role models are played out on our phones and TV screens, their accessibility fools us into thinking that they are somehow “just like us.”
Just because Ed Sheeran likes to have a drink, doesn’t mean that he would have much in common with the average man in the pub. But, you say, that is the whole point, these people are who we aspire to be. It doesn’t matter that they live totally different lives – my life could be like that one day. Or, more likely, maybe not.
The thing about reaching for the stars is that you give yourself a ready made excuse not to get there. Trying and failing is what most people will end up doing, and there is always a nagging sense of “well, I was never going to get there anyway.”
I am all for seeking to emulate our influencers, but maybe there are people a little closer to home whom we could follow a little more closely.
Rather than spend five minutes reading about the latest antics of Taylor Swift, why not observe how your MD goes about diffusing a conflict in the office. Before you tune into the latest episode of Game of Thrones to see who Daenerys fries next, why not see how your wife’s reaction to your child’s misbehaviour differs? I bet most parents wish that they had a dragon to back them up….
These day-to-day influencers are all around us, and they have far more in common with us. Yes, like us, they are far from perfect specimens, but if we take the very best from them, then we can’t help but improve our lives.
The thing is that they need to understand that they are our influencers. Elder children are always being told to “set a good example” – but the same applies for CEOs or any kind of leader in the corporate world. They have to see themselves as influencers for their people, taking every opportunity to reach out to those around them. The best CEOs walk in the shoes of their people, while demonstrating the subtle differences that set them apart. CEOs who talk to their people about their feelings are rare, but they are certainly some of the best loved. CEOs who aren’t afraid to reveal their vulnerability are some of the rarest.
Influencers are only human, and if you look for your influencers closer to home, you will have a front row seat about just how their mix of humanity makes them so successful.
At this moment in my life, my influencers are my two kids. They are developing and growing so quickly, absorbing new lessons like little ducks to water. They are my little heroes.
Who are your influencers…. the real ones?
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