Role models are important because they help guide us in the right direction as we make life decisions, they provide inspiration and support when we need it, and they offer their experiences with similar obstacles or struggles. Throughout our lives, we will have several different role models, from our parents and coaches to peers and bosses. These people are integral influences in our lives and our careers. So how do you know if you are a role model? And why is it important?
There is no ceremony commemorating one’s transition into a “role model.” Often times, this is a gradual transition that seamlessly happens throughout the years. A Canstruction team member who becomes a team captain, who then joins the event planning committee and eventually chairs the event. Another example could be someone who participates regularly with local Habitat for Humanity events and then steps up to serve as leader with a local build event like Carter Work Project. Both of these examples allow for one-on-one connections between those in leadership positions and others, but also the connection between that individual and the organization as a whole. Have you found yourself serving on a public or community service organization board? Have you helped make significant sustained contributions to that organization? Then you are a role model.
A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. When we are younger, we look up to our role models for inspiration and use this as a blueprint for how to achieve success and happiness. It’s important for SDA members to serve as role models because it will help each member continue their personal and professional growth, continue to practice model behavior, and guide future generations of leaders. Role models are not perfect, they are human, and they make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to step up and explore the benefits you gain from serving others. You may be surprised how much you get back in return.
One of the criteria to become an SDA Fellow is to be a role model. Have you discovered that you already are a role model and didn’t even know it? If so, you may be eligible to submit for the 2021 Fellows Class. If you haven’t taken that step to serve as a role model yet, evaluate your opportunities to do so in order to continue your leadership path and maximize your growth potential.
Sarah Wallace, FSDA is the Chair of the SDA Fellows and is a member of the SDA Atlanta Chapter.