Ripples in the corporate ocean – the power of role modeling

Blue-water-ripples_9394126_mlA dear executive coaching client inspired me to write a blog on the power of positive role modeling in leadership.  Let’s call him Andrew.  Andrew is a young high potential executive, a department head of +/- 60 people of which 8 direct reports. He works for a large international corporation employing > 40000 people worldwide in a business-to-business environment.

Andrew was not “sent” in coaching. Andrew came upon his own initiative, had chosen to be coached because he wanted to lead with more consciousness, have regular reflection space and growth time in his busy day-to-day business life and expand his own leadership competences.

Having gone through a deep transformative coaching journey of leadership, he said, “I’m so grateful, I never thought I would be able or even dare to live my leadership in such an authentic way.  It is such a relief.”

We talked about role models and I asked him who his role model in the company was – not someone very public, famous or well-known, but really somebody out of his close environment, one of the leaders within his own company. His answer blew me away: “I cannot think of any of the current leaders whom I would want to choose as a role model.”

This was a moment of truth and deep insight. 

Deepening this experience and realizing how his colleagues and people at the company talk about their own leaders, Andrew’s next words were: “I don’t want people to talk about me like that. I want the people I have an impact on, to think differently about me.  I want to be an inspiring leader and a positive role model.”

Another moment of truth and one of true connection to deeper meaning in leadership.

These moments are so valuable and precious. They make my heart sing. Leadership from this place is connected to a deeper meaning and is experienced much more fulfilling compared to simply doing a job.  From here, leadership becomes a conscious and intentional process with high awareness of one’s impact.  It’s no longer “about me” anymore and Ego makes space for something bigger and more important.

Leaders who walk this path experience success as a consequence, not as a goal anymore. They also experience more fulfillment and happiness, which in turn has an impact on performance. All areas of our lives are interrelated and have an impact on each other. Thinking that we can separate this is a mere illusion. Their leadership becomes powerful and influential because of who they are being during pursueing their goals and strategies.

From this place, the concept of leadership gets a broader meaning and becomes a lifestyle. It’s about making a conscious choice, to make a difference in your corporate world and with that a passionate commitment to your own continuous inner growth process supporting pursueing your business goals.  I feel grateful to know many people like Andrew through the executive coaching work.

The impact of role modeling:

I know that one Andrew in a >40000 people organisation seems like a drop in the ocean. But I also know Andrew is happier, more fulfilled and takes influence on his own organisation of +/- 60 people plus many more people from other departments with whom he needs to work together.  So, here’s 60+ people who can be inspired by his conscious leadership style and take example of how things can be handled in conscious ways by making choices and thinking about intentional impact. (rather than action without reflection and end up with unintended impacts)

One person can make a change, become an inspirer for many others and create a ripple effect in the corporate ocean. That’s the impact of Andrew’s choice.

Some questions for reflection:

  • Do you have a role-model who inspires you amongst the leaders in your own organization?
  • Are you a role-model into your leadership?
  • How do you think your employees talk about you, when you are not around?

I hope this post inspires you and would love to hear from you if you are interested in bringing in more consciousness, lead and communicate with intention and increased awareness of your impact.


Nicole Heimann is an experienced and passionate Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and Neuro-Transformation Coach specialized in Conscious Leadership and Impactful Communication. Contact Nicole at

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