ROLE: Growth by Example

One of the most common statements that I heard growing up was “Do as I say and not as I do.” This always puzzled me as a child because I wondered why I had to comply to so many rules and regulations when those who were older than me could get away with not following them.

I assumed that it was because I was the youngest of the siblings that it was my lot. As I grew older, I soon found myself saying and doing as it was modeled to me. This led me to eventually realize that there was a deepening “Dissonance” within me.

Dissonance is the huge chasm between what we know is right vs. what we actually do.

This really bothered me because I felt that I wasn’t being authentic with myself and began to investigate what I needed to do to bridge this vast chasm within me.

There are four major causes of dissonance that I discovered.

  • The first is that we have so much information available to us especially with our internet culture. The deluge of data prevents us from actually assimilating any of it.
  • Second, the real-world has unique challenges that aren’t present in classrooms. Too many times what we learn in theory isn’t given the chance to find practical application in the real-world setting.
  • Third, knowing doesn’t always translate to doing since we have all the right information but it doesn’t modify our behavior, attitudes or beliefs.
  • And fourth, we are uncertain of how do we measure growth. The standards and metrics to determine this are fluid and abstract at best.

So what can we do? The causes of dissonance seem overwhelming. There are four solutions that we are offering to help with this inherent problem.

  • First, Micro-Learning enables people to learn in parts. The goal of training is the improvement of output through the retention and mastery of key skills.
  • Second, Contextual Learning will enable people to learn best in real-world environments. This is where the theoretical will be turned into practical by enabling people to test out the theories with real life issues. The leap from theory and abstract will become concrete and pragmatic through intentional activation of tools to define the learning processes. None of us would allow a surgeon to do a procedure on us if they only studied it in a book?! We would require that the doctor had at least a few hundred real-life experiences with the procedure below allowing them to operate on us.
  • Third, people learn from exemplification more than command. In other words, as humans we follow humans. All of us are star-struck by a famous athlete or entertainer. We live vicariously through their victories and successes. Likewise, there are people that we gain inspiration from both in our personal and professional lives. However it doesn’t just stop at inspiration but actually needs to move toward encouraging us to learn from their lives so that we also grow and develop. People want to be led but by those that they can look up to and trust. We are tired of the manipulation and corruption and are longing for leaders that want to come alongside and challenge us to become the best version of ourselves.
  • Fourth, Growth tracking is a process that requires strategy and perseverance. Planting the right seeds and nourishing them to grow is a process that will help the long-term growth of any organization. Investing in the human factor of the organization through training will ensure business results and help leaders to know who their next level of leaders will be. And finally, various technology tools will aid in the tracking and measurement of progress for the organization.

Transformation begins when the pain convinces us that our behavior must change.

This is a true and motivating statement to awaken us to consider this opportunity to grow and develop. No one else can force us to change but only encourage us to take ownership of what we want to become.

Are you tired of mediocrity? Do you feel frustrated with your lack of productivity? Are there things that you want to change in yourself but you’ve feel trapped and don’t know what to do? The process of Role will enable you to address this issue of dissonance and provide tools to help you being the process of enabling change and growth for yourself and your organization.

Finally, take a moment to think through the following questions:

  1. Describe the ideal qualities of a person you would like to have in your company. Why did you choose these qualities?
  2. Name three people who exemplify the qualities you mentioned. Why did you choose these three?
  3. Are you effectively following their example? Why/why not?
  4. Given these ideal qualities, describe what kind of role model you want to become to others.

Reflect upon your responses and let’s begin the journey of transformation through ROLE. Through this we can perhaps now change the statement from “Do as I say and not as I do” to a culture that says, “Follow my example and let’s grow together.”


Neil Nakamoto is the Program Head of ROLE
Connect with Neil on LinkedIn


BetterBusinessBlog_Startwith   Start With You
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One Comment

  1. Coach Rye

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    I loved this Better Business Brunch session, and I totally love the new word I learned: DISSONANCE. Thanks again for the wonderful learning, Neil.

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