We make a difference in more lives than we realise.
Being a role model is not only confined to parents, bosses and mentors. At any given time, our behaviour is open to being admired by any possible observer, whether they are engaging with us or not. We will never be aware of the majority of these situations, but it is a fact that a day will not pass without someone thinking: “Wow, I wish I could be a little more like him/her.”
We model ourselves on others in order to develop, internalising their words, modelling their actions and attempting to see things from their perspective. How can we be a bit more like them?
Seeing it from our perspective, we are all heroes, for a whole range of different people, but this comes with a certain amount of responsibility. It is easy to be a “one-off” hero, but it takes something special to be viewed by the same people in this light on an on-going basis. This hero “staying power” can only be achieved if we are aware of the impact we have on others, and can continue actively influencing them.
Take the example of a service provider and a client. The client may see the service provider as a vital confidant(e) in their particular market. The service provider’s value is therefore far bigger than the individual projects that they complete. There may be periods of “down time” between projects, but this doesn’t mean that the client’s view of the service provider will change. They will still see them as this font of knowledge, and they will still want to continue their relationship. The service provider needs to recognise their role as a “hero” and go above and beyond the call of duty to help their clients irrespective of whether they are working on a project or not. Giving when you are not compelled to give it at the essence of being a hero.
In business, the most successful individuals and companies go above and beyond what they are “paid” to do – they realise that they are heroes, and they want their every action to live up to that billing. Yes, sometimes their willingness to go the extra mile will be abused, but more often than not, it will lead to deep and mutually beneficial partnerships.
One of the most rewarding aspects of life is to realise that you are making a difference to other people. You can be sure that if one person comes up to you saying that they enjoyed your recent presentation, you can be sure that there will be a few “silent” others who will have felt the same thing. We are all heroes for masses of hidden admirers, and I personally think that this is a hugely empowering idea.
Make the right decisions, seek to influence others in the right way, and you can be sure that you will make a difference in countless lives. We can all be heroes. The real question is whether we will continue to be a hero when “no one is looking.”
You can be sure that someone will always be looking….
Written by Alex Turner, Edited by Paul Drury