By Chris Simmons
It was a snowy day in Sarajevo as one of my mentors, a brilliant man named Colonel Rik Krauss, discussed recent leadership challenges with me. To illustrate one of his points, he commented, “If you can’t be a Role Model, be a Bad Example.” We laughed at the humor and accuracy of his assessment. Continuing, he observed that “Bad Examples” are actually negative role models. As such, they are teachers. From them we learn what we DON’T want to be/do.
He then noted that being a role model is never a choice. Everyone is a role model to someone. Equally important, he said, “the people to whom you are a mentor are always watching — a mentor is never off the clock.”
Editor’s Note: Deeper development of the role of negative role models can be found in the July 11th post, “Why Enemies Are more Important Than Friends.”