Some years ago I did an interview on my other blog with a professional fashion model that turned out to be very popular. What most people don't know is that I've done a little bit of modeling myself. 🙂


Yeah, I hear it now; me, a model? Truth be told, if you pay attention to print ads and those brochures that have people in them, all of those people are models. Models come in all shapes and sizes and many other differences too numerous to mention. When someone decides they want something in particular, they go to modeling agencies and select who they want.

I ended up being a model in a weird way. I met this lady named Anne, who's no longer with us, and we hit it off as friends immediately (it happens lol) She asked me if I'd sign up for her modeling agency and initially I scoffed. Then I decided why not, it'll never go anywhere.

Turns out I was wrong. I had two modeling gigs with her agency before she passed away; that was sad. It's because of the second modeling shoot that got me thinking about potential leadership lessons all these years later; I'm weird that way.

It went on for a few hours, and it was "grueling" work; I spent more than 2 hours laying in bed with an attractive woman hovering over me (poor thing; her back was killing her afterwards lol). However, at times some of the positions I had to be in were uncomfortable, so it was "work", even if it wasn't overly strenuous.

With that sort of thing, and the one previous, I found some leadership lessons that one can apply to other situations. Here are 5 of them:

1. True leaders let other people do their job.

There's a main photographer but that person has a lot of help. On this shoot there was a wardrobe person who also kept making sure everything and everyone looked perfect. There was a makeup artist, the first time I ever had makeup on my face. There was a lighting guy, there was a computer guy, and there was one lady who... well, I never did figure out what she did other than bring snacks that I wouldn't eat, but I'm sure she had a role. Of course there was the photographer, who asked for a lot of things, but in general he let people do their thing.

2. True leaders work on getting close to perfect, but won't push too hard to get there.

This was a very interesting shoot. There were some looks they were really trying to get a certain way, which resulted in multiple shots. This time around I can easily say it wasn't me, since I couldn't do too many things while laying in bed, but in trying to highlight the product there were lots of minor adjustments, things I would think were penny ante, yet they knew what they wanted and were going to get as close as they could. Luckily they also knew when to stop.

3. True leaders know they sometimes have to defer to the expertise of someone else.

Leaders can't be expected to know everything. In this case, the photo shoot was for some new medical equipment the photographer didn't know all that well. Lucky for him, representatives of the company were there to help him out, and even I had a couple of things to say here and there, as the equipment is similar to some things hospitals use even now.


4. True leaders know how to get the best out of others.

I was working with someone else who was playing nurse to my being a patient. My job was to look at her, and since she was attractive it wasn't all that hard to do. Her job was to have different ways of looking at me, sometimes kind of far, sometimes really close, with different types of smiles. The photographer would tell her what he needed, and when he needed it, kept giving her encouragement, said things like "yes" and "perfect" as well as "back off the smile a bit" and "move your hands here". True leaders know how to tell people what they need, keep them motivated, and give praise when it's due.

5. True leaders know when it's time to take control.

There was a lot of fussing and adjusting going on, as representatives from his client were there and had their own opinions. He listened to them give their advice on things. He listened to the people who worked for them give their advice. Heck, he listened to me a couple of times, though I gave minimal advice. But when it was time to get it done he took charge because he was the photographer, and without him nothing gets done. As Harry Truman stated, "The buck stops here".

Overall it was fun, but I'll admit I was also hungry. I got paid well, though it took weeks to get paid, and I got to see the process and compare it to the first one. The only caveat, as you can see in the pictures, is that I ended up having to shave off my beard since Anne hadn't been told which specific look they wanted. The price of fame, right? 🙂