I model myself after many people.   This is because even the best role models will disappoint in one area or another and in fact I think it’s expecting too much when you model only after one person.

Instead, I think it’s important to have a board of advisors – chosing 5 to 8 people that can be your mentor or role model for different aspects of what your want to develop. For example ,

  • For work life balance, I always think of the HP client I had 8 years ago, who showed me how to work effectively without over perfecting. She manages to get out of work by 6:30 and be the SVP of marketing.
  • For entrepreneurship, I think of two entrepreneurs I know who have shared their trials and tribulations and teaches me something new every time I interact with them. One has similiar business experience as me but ahead of me in career. I am learning a great deal from him about how to apply corporate experience to entrepreneurship and how to overcome fear of failure. Another has totally different background than me. He is a serial entrepreneur and I really admire his vision, perseverance, and ability to think completely outside the box.

These are just two examples of qualities that are important to me right now and the role models I have. I believe who our role models are also changes over time as we grown in career and life.  In summary, I take four key steps when I model myself after others

  1. know what specific qualities I am hoping to develop and why they are important to me.
  2. Find multiple people that have different qualities I respect.
  3. If I can, have deep conversations with them so I can see what they have learned, and what they have overcome and not just what they have accomplished.
  4. take what I learn from others and adapt them to my career situation and capabilities. This is important because modeling after others is NOT about emulating or copying exactly what they did, but actually integrating what I learn from them into my own situation.

hope that helps you.  Good luck out there!

Lei

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