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Why You Don't Need a Role Model

Don't waste your time looking for the perfect person to emulate. Be your own inspiration.
Why You Don't Need a Role Model
Image credit: Courtesy of Alvogen
By Alvogen

Working in business means you have a host of people who can act as your role model, inspiring and influencing the way you work. Cher Wang, Bill Gates and Elon Musk are just three obvious candidates who you might try and follow in the footsteps of.

But what if you don’t find that you really have an affinity with those traditional role models? Maybe you can’t find anybody who is modelling a style you admire or that would feel natural for you.

Don’t waste your time looking for the perfect role model. Be your own inspiration.

That might smack of self-importance, but being your own role model can help you become a better person and leader. It will prompt you to be braver in your decision making, taking on other tasks, other hobbies and other practices—the things that get you to better places.

Earning your own respect.

It takes a good deal of confidence to denote yourself your own role model, which might mean taking some deliberate steps to earn your own respect. Here are a handful of ways that you can build up your confidence:

Celebrate your accomplishments. As you toast your achievements, write them down; building up a motivational list of your successes.

Don’t dwell on the bad days. On your path to success, there will be some difficult days. Don’t carry those dark clouds into a new day.

Remain open to ‘the new.’ As we grow older, it’s easy to get set in our ways. Don’t risk missing out on new opportunities by always sticking to what you know.

Build a great team around you. It can be a lonely business being a leader. With a great team supporting you, new ideas and perspectives will never be in short supply.

Taking inspiration from everywhere.

As someone who has never had a role model in business, Robert Wessman, Alvogen’s chairman and CEO, strongly believes in these motivational devices, which allow him to be a confident and driven leader.

He attributes not having a role model, in part, to his dyslexia, which has meant that he hasn’t  spent much time reading books on famous leaders in the world of business.

“It feels like something of a confession to say this as a businessman, but I just don’t like reading,” he says. “That might explain why I’m so drawn to people. I love surrounding myself with people from all walks of life. That way, I’m taking inspiration from all sorts of amazing people, rather than a singular role model.”

Great culture breeds confidence.

Wessman has spent a lot of time building a culture at Alvogen that brings the best out of its people. The Alvogen culture is derived from satisfying people’s basic needs, he explains.
He said: “Every person wants to be respected. Every human being wants to be listened to. Every person has something to say and a part to play in our complex world. Diversity adds colour and beauty to our lives. Taking it all in improves us as humans, as friends and as business people.”

The Alvogen culture celebrates the company’s accomplishments with a series of events held throughout the year, managed by the regional “Cultural Champions” who have the role to drive and facilitate various cultural activities. Meanwhile, a “culture that radiates fun” means that there’s no dwelling on the bad days.

It also remains open to “the new,” operating in emerging markets. Alvotech, Alvogen’s biopharmaceuticals arm, is focused on the development and manufacturing of high quality biosimilars—copies of original products—only a few of which have been approved in the U.S.

It just goes to show, you don’t need a role model to give you the confidence to make brave decisions—but you do need to create an environment that breeds confidence and bravery. Surround yourself with amazing people and you will never be short on inspiration.

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