A role model is a person whose character, positive behavior and achievements are emulated by others.

In the work environment, role models provide a blueprint for others about how they should act and interact with others. Role Models inspire, motivate and encourage Team Members to realize and achieve their own potential.

Even though anyone – a peer, a senior Team Member or a new Team Member – can be a role model, a Team Leader, because they have the daily interaction and influence to shape the Team’s work environment, are in a primary position to become a role model for their Team Members.

To Achieve the Distinction of Becoming a Great Role Model, a Team Leader Needs These 9 Attributes:

1. Character: Integrity is the cornerstone of a role model’s character. Role models “walk the talk”, aligning their actions with their words and values. They operate with honesty and fairness, treating everyone with respect and dignity.

2. Vision: Role models manage the present, but also create a shared purpose by describing a clear and compelling view of the future, including where the Team is going and why it matters.

3. Communication: Role models are skilled communicators.  They clearly articulate their vision and expectations, and are active listeners who value open and honest communication. Role models provide the psychological safety necessary so every Team Member, especially those with a different perspective, can be heard.

4. Emotional Intelligence: Role models care about others. They have empathy and compassion and actively seek ways to have a positive impact on their Team Members’ lives.

5. Coaching and Mentoring: Role models answer questions, offer guidance, provide constructive feedback and share their knowledge and experience, helping Team Members develop their skill sets and advance their careers.

6. Well-Being: By promoting well-being and self-care, role models send the powerful message that taking care of physical and mental health is a necessity for high performance and a full life, encouraging Team Members to take care of themselves.

7. Work Ethic: Role Models are reliable, enthusiastic, committed to succeeding. They are also and dedicated to getting their work done using effective time and energy management skills.  They create Action Plans, setting ambitious goals and then make clear, timely and well-informed decisions to achieve them. Role models recognize and celebrate, both the big and small, successes of their Team Members and express appreciation for hard work.

8. Accountability: Role models take responsibility for their actions and decisions. They don’t avoid difficult conversations and decisions and always do the right thing that’s a hard thing. They show humility by admitting their mistakes, and apologizing when necessary.

9. Development: Role models are lifelong learners who, by embracing continuous improvement and development, encourage a culture of learning. They are open to new ideas and ways to improve the operation. They encourage Team Members to see challenges as opportunities for growth and to recover quickly from set-backs.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the post-pandemic work environment, being a successful Team Leader is a multifaceted concept. While financial success is essential, leading a High Performing Work Team, where Team Members give discretionary effort and exceed expectations, also requires the Team Leader become a role model, who not only generates results, but is also an example that motivates and inspires Team Members.

I could be wrong…but I’m not.