When I think of the term “role model” one person from my life comes to mind. Immediately after I graduated from college, I began working for a manager whom I liked and admired immediately. She was who I wanted to be, professionally speaking, when I grew up.
From the way she whisked into the office every morning with an enthusiastic, ready-to-work attitude, to the way she carried herself in meetings and phone conversations, I learned from her day in and day out simply by watching.
One day I came to work, and found a rubber Gumby standing on my desk. I said, “Why the Gumby?” To which she responded, “Sempre Gumby. Always flexible.” She then proceeded to guide me off of one project onto another that took precedence. To this day, when something I’m working on or toward is in a state of flux, I think back to the Gumby on my desk and remember to try to embody those traits that I respected in her.
In all of my professional dealings since, I often think, “What would Marti do?” The positive impact of a role model can last a lifetime.
“There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche