Everyone knows that you can learn a lot from an exemplary role model. But despite that, you can learn from a lousy role model too. While outstanding role models showcase what you’re supposed to do, terrible role models demonstrate what not to do.
What can you learn from someone who treats people like dirt, stops at nothing to get what they want, or gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar? Plenty! Smart people learn from their own mistakes, but wise ones learn from the mistakes of others.
Good role models teach you how to get ahead.
Bad role models teach you how to fall on your face.
15 Ways to Spot a Lousy Role Model
When you see this behavior, you may think: “He’s such a jerk. How can he live with himself?” When that happens, it’s not enough to condemn the behavior. The key is to make sure that you never act that way. Here are 15 attributes of a lousy role model:
Uncivilized. Some folks are vulgar, ill-mannered, and quite frankly offensive. You have to wonder if they were raised in a barn. (No offense to animals.)
Thoughtless and uncaring. Some people are cold, callous, and inconsiderate. They’re so insensitive and self-absorbed that they’re oblivious to the turmoil that they leave in their wake.
Mean-spirited. Some folks are nasty, heartless, and even volatile. These bullies lash out at others — especially the weak.
Selfish. Some people are takers. “What’s in it for me?” is their rallying cry.
Irresponsible. Some folks are careless and reckless. They don’t care about anything, and it shows.
Unaccountable. Some people make bad choices and then blame others for their circumstances. You have the freedom to choose, but you’re not free from the consequences of those choices.
Uninspired. Some folks have a bad attitude. It’s one thing to lack the skills required to succeed, yet quite another to let a poor attitude cause your demise.
Self-centered. Some people are arrogant and condescending. They have such a big ego that it can hardly fit through the door. (Ugh.)
Unprincipled. Some folks are devious and dishonest. They’ll do anything, and I mean anything, to get what they want. To them, the end always justifies the means.
Power hungry. Some people are obsessed with wealth, power, and status. They don’t care how many toes they step on or who they cast aside to get what they want.
Toxic. Some folks bring out the worst in others. They infect your attitude, dampen your spirit, and corrupt your morality.
Entitled. Some people want all the good things in life but are unwilling to work hard or make the required sacrifices to earn them.
Untrustworthy. Some folks are greedy, unreliable, and unprincipled. They may think they’re fooling the world, but they’re only kidding themselves.
Hypocritical. Some people say one thing yet do another; they make rules but don’t follow them; and they act differently in public than they do in private.
Weak. Some folks care more about seeking acceptance than being true to themselves. Compromising your principles, even one time, can be a terrible mistake.
Be a Positive Role Model
You can learn as much from a negative role model as a positive one. Given that, determine the impact that poor behavior has on one’s relationships, career, and mental well-being. Ask yourself, what’s causing them to lose the trust and respect of others? And make it your business to reject that behavior.
Lousy role models are a poster child for what not to do.
While you may think power, position, and material trappings are the sign of success and happiness, think again. The journey is as important as the destination. At the end of the day, if you’re not proud of who you are and the way you choose to live your life, little else matters. Therefore, learn from the mistakes of lousy role models rather than following them off a cliff. Do what’s right. Make people feel special. Be a giver, not a taker. And live your life with honor and integrity. You’ll not only win the respect of others, but of yourself as well.
Check out Franks NEW book, Leadership by Example: Be a role model who inspires greatness in others
Do You Know Any Lousy Role Models?
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