Every region needs its heroes. These folks take role modeling to an extreme; they have names like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Steve Case, Anita Roddick, and Oprah Winfrey. Kids need heroes, in that they can say, ‘When I grow up, I am going to be the next Steve Jobs.” Guy Kawasaki, Reality Check


nolen from Pixabay

The concept of hero worship is an interesting one Some people would rather not mention that they had heroes at any point in their lives. Some are willing to name all the people they looked up to, or still do, and why. Some can’t explain why they looked up to someone; they just did.

Sometimes the hero is a family member; sometimes it’s a best friend. Rarely is it someone you work for, but it can be someone in your industry that inspires you to try harder, to be better, such as the case indicated above where Guy Kawasaki is talking about people who work in Silicon Valley and some of their heroes.

At this point in my life I don’t have any more heroes. That’s not how it was for me as a child. Most of my heroes were athletes, one or two entertainers, some civil rights leaders and that was pretty much it. I never considered my dad as a hero back then because I didn’t know much about him other than he was dad. He wasn’t famous in any way, but he was a part of the greatest generation that Tom Brokaw talked about some years ago.

The best part about life is that one doesn’t have to be a hero to have people look up to them. It pays to be ethical, honest and someone others can look to and say “there goes a reliable person who I know will always do right by others.” In business that’s one of the best qualities a manager can have. In life, sometimes we think that’s what we’re seeing, but sometimes we find out we’ve been hoodwinked. It’s too bad because, unfortunately, these are qualifies that I don’t know if many of us see all that often. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m wary.

I wish I could say that in all the years I worked for someone else that I met many people whose ethics were impeccable. I wish I could say that in the years I’ve worked on my own that I’ve met many people whose ethics were impeccable. Unfortunately I can’t. I’ve worked with a few people as a consultant who’ve never paid me for my services; it jades you a bit for a while.

I do have people I admire, rather than anyone I look up to. Surprisingly, some of them are younger than me; I never thought that would happen. There are a few people who’ve proven themselves to be ethical beyond belief. I love seeing that sort of thing because at times I’m an eternal optimist.

I tend to believe that humans in general will try to do the right thing, even if what they do turns out not to be so. For those whose actions end up being positive, they lend me to believe that we’re all going to be okay, that someone’s got our back when we need it most, and they’ll come through for us. Hopefully we’ll also always be up to the challenge when it’s needed.

Do you have someone you look up to? Are you someone others can look up to?
 

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