Emulating people to improve productivity at work & home
September 4, 2011 6:04 PM Subscribe
Is it normal to wanting to emulate a certain person at your job? My guess is yes, but I find myself doing this all the time. One day, I want to be as ambitious as General David Petraeus and it shows in my work - my productivity increases. This goes on for a few weeks... recently I've been reading about Tim Cook (Apple's new CEO) and aside from being very impressed with him, I have a more of an "industrial design" approach to my work... help! (more examples below.)
posted by msposner to Human Relations (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Truth be told, I've struggled to write this post for the past month or so, mainly because I have gone through life (I'm 30 years old) with this type of approach, mostly in my professional life. In some ways, it trickles into my personal life but with unusual amount of productivity.
What I am looking for is to make some sense of this -- is this normal? Is there anything about this type of thinking that needs to be addressed? Am I missing something here?
Example: I read some articles about NASA astronauts, particularly those with a strong military background and then I find myself wanting to become an astronaut. I know this is unrealistic but I start having a very detail-oriented approach to my work (the way an astronaut would) and at home, become more organized, efficient. Things are done/cleaned/put away on a whim.
After reading about Tim Cook, my interests in cycling heightened. I've always been an avid cyclist but made a point to go cycling more often as a way to emulate him. Plus, I started eating Powerbars more often (because of what I read about him, eating such during meetings, et al.) I also appeared to show a bit more "leadership" at work, stepping up more and helping my colleagues out a lot. Again, positive outcome from this particular emulation. I've even thought about getting up at 4 a.m. like he does just to answer e-mails.
This happens all the time and I find that if I am not emulating anyone at the moment, I become "me." A real slacker. Aside from being Super-Dad and loving husband (which are my only constants), I just like to chill at home. Dishes can wait because I'm not trying to be someone else. I've been doing this my entire working life and would like to improve on this as to be more consistent with my mindset, all while maintaining quality productivity just by being me, myself and I.
So, hive mind, is this normal? Do you go through your career emulating those you admire or do I need to get professional help?