The Frankenstein Role Model

Did you have a role model growing up? Someone you wanted to emulate? Someone who you looked up to and made you think, “That’s who I want to be when I’m older.”

John Adams

Second President of the United States, John Adams.

For myself, being the odd duck that I am, I always wanted to be like statesman, diplomat, and second president of the United States, John Adams.

Or at least, mostly like him.

I wanted to have the courage to follow my convictions, the guts to stand up for what I believed in, and the to intelligence to make good decisions for the betterment of society. I wasn’t, however, interested in being a short balding white man who owned a farm and was widely considered to be obnoxious and disliked.

But in some ways, I really wanted to be like him.

In a video I recently saw on Business Insider, the fabulously articulate Astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, presents a new take on this traditional role model business. He discusses how he’s always striven to create a Frankenstein Role Model.

In the video, Tyson argues that “[i]f you need a role model to be what you want to be, that precludes you from ever doing something that no one has done before.” Therefore, Tyson has always created his role model figure “a la carte” so to speak. A little bit of Carl Sagan here, a little bit of his parents there, and voilà – you have the famous narrator of “Cosmos” that everyone is talking about today.

With the new year just a few hours away (or already started if you’re in the Eastern part of the world), I couldn’t help of think of those traditional new year’s resolutions everyone has started making. Lose weight, eat healthier, listen more, etc… How do you know when you’ve actually reached those goals? How do you know you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do?

So this year, instead of giving myself a list of resolutions to work on that might not have a firm goal or destination outlined, I’m going to give myself a Frankenstein Role Model. And my Frankenstein looks something like this:

– Learn to be a great listener like John P (He’s the Chief Sales Officer where I work)

– Discover how to connect with people like Darren LaCroix (World Champion of Public Speaking)

– Embody the same type of goofy humility as Ellen Degeneres (Actor and Talk Show Host)

And how will I know when I’ve achieved my goals? How will I know that I’ve accomplished what I mean to?

Well, if I look anything like these three people by the end of next year, I’d say I’m on the right track.

So how about you? What skills or abilities do you want to have next year? What do you want to work on?

What does your Frankenstein Role Model look like?

Happy New Year!


P.S. If you create your own Frankenstein Role Model, post it below! I’d love to hear what you’re working towards.


Don’t Let Success Hold You Back – Words of Wisdom from Robert Redford

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending the Adobe Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a big tech conference for folks and companies who use Adobe products to get together and learn more about current tools and see sneak peeks of upcoming ones.


Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT.

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The Wisdom of Taking Risks

I have come to the conclusion that there is often more wisdom in taking risks than in playing it safe. I didn’t arrive at this belief by scouring research papers and reading self-help books, though they’ve definitely reinforced the message. I first believed this statement because of a quote from a new school Italian man born about 500 years ago.

Let me explain…
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