The Incredible Power of Our Actions (Part II)

   The magic of role modeling is that it works at any age, in any place, and at any time. As human being possess a natural tendency to want to make things easier when facing the discomfort associated with change, role modeling actually helps alleviate this burden as sociologists confirm the first place we look to determine how we should respond when facing unfamiliar circumstances is to others. In fact, we not only routinely learn what to do by watching those around us, we also learn what not to do, when to do it, and what to expect when we do it.

   Thus, it turns out role modeling is actually our preferred means of empowering ourselves and those around us to reject mediocrity and stretch ourselves in new directions. Why? Because:

  • Someone else is already doing it (it’s safe)
  • I can see what they’re doing (it’s visible); and
  • I don’t need to think for myself when I can just emulate what someone else is doing (it’s easy).

   Albert Bandura, one of the world’s most prominent social psychologists and originator of the original Bobo experiment, helps us understand why this is: “Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do.” In watching others, we form our own ideas that will later become our basis for guiding what we do, or don’t do.

   Intuitively, of course, we know role modeling has a powerful influence on us the same way that the Bobo-beating children knew to pick up the bat and begin whaling on the plastic clown after watching a video of one of their classmates doing the very same thing. And as researchers have repeatedly validated who we are and what we become are not just functions of our own direct experiences. They are very much a byproduct of the perceived or actual consequences of what we routinely see emulated by someone else.

   Our example, it turns out, is the most powerful way to demonstrate and communicate our commitment to leading our lives in a more excellent way, each and every day.
   Need more proof?

   Sociologists tell us that even the most introverted person in the world will influence at least 10,000 people in their lifetime. No matter who you are, where you work, or what title, position, rank, or role you possess, you will leave your mark, for good or bad, on scores of people. And if that fact isn’t significant enough for you, scientists using special brain-imaging technology have proven we begin having an impact on others in the initial 1/20th of a second of an encounter.

   We can’t even think that fast!

Copyright © 2012 - All Rights Reserved
John Michel
experienced leader, humanitarian, visioneer, and renown status quo buster,
is the author of the ground breaking book:
Mediocre Me: How Saying No to the Status Quo will Propel you from Ordinary to Extraordinary
Check out his blog at or drop him a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.