chapter 1 The manager as role model — the key to influence

One of the most successful ways to influence people and raise performance in the workplace is for every manager to adopt the mindset of a role model. As Peter Drucker, author of Management Challenges for the 21st Century, has said, ‘People do what they see'. Just as children mimic the behaviour, actions and attitudes of their parents, employees look to their managers and leaders.

In the workplace, as in life, we find positive and negative role models. People copy people! Simple examples of this are the use of bad language and non-adherence to a dress code. It is interesting to note how often someone who dresses and speaks in a certain way when they first join the team will within six months have adapted their language and dress to match those of other team members or the leader.

After years of asking people at work who their role models are, and why, we have found there is a clear trend in the traits and characteristics defined and articulated. These we classify as conscious traits (traits that people can define and articulate).

However, there are also subconscious traits — traits that people are impacted by but are unaware of. These subconscious traits can include how a person presents themselves and how they speak, behave and act, all of which create a subconscious impression in others.

When was the last time you thought about yourself as a role model?

For most, not recently enough. If you want to influence how people ...

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