By Dr. Bobby J. Grossi

Did you know that November is National Inspirational Role Models Month? It’s an opportunity to celebrate the people in our lives that we look up to, the people who inspire us to follow our dreams, overcome obstacles in our way, and be the best we can be. And if you don’t have any role models in your life, it’s an opportunity to cultivate some.

No Man is an Island

Our culture values individuals and individual achievement to the point where it often glosses over the reality that many people are involved in any successful endeavor. A pop singer is lauded for their best-selling album, but they had songwriters, producers, studio musicians, sound engineers, artists, marketers, managers, and so on working with them to make that album a reality. Their album – and their success – wouldn’t exist if not for the team.

It’s this way for all of us. What we can do is be proactive in creating the team around us who will help us in our endeavors, including role models to inspire us to go beyond our comfort zone and reach for the stars. 

Pushing Yourself on Purpose

If you’re the best player on your basketball team, you’ll have a hard time improving. There’s no incentive to grow; no one to push you. You need someone who’s better than you to up your game.

That principle is as true in business as it is in basketball. That’s why you should work to cultivate a network of people around you who are where you want to be: people who have dreamed big and achieved their goals, people who are smarter, more experienced, and more successful than you. You’ll not only draw inspiration from them as role models, but you’ll be moved to improve yourself and your own life.

Some people do the opposite. They surround themselves with people who are less successful, have achieved less, and haven’t followed their dreams. This can feel gratifying – who doesn’t want to feel like Top Dog sometimes? But in the long run, it won’t assist you in achieving your life goals. If this is you, I urge you to give up your desire to have the upper hand and start widening your circle to include people who inspire you.

Identifying Your Inspiration

I’ve long believed in the power of role models and mentors; my life has been shaped by them in important ways. In fact, they were so influential that I dedicated my book to the two biggest male role models in my life, my grandfather Joe Grossi and my father-in-law Dale Choate. But there have been others, including Dr. Skoglund, an incredible clinician, who reached out to me when I was struggling in dental school and told me he had faith in me. His simple show of support at a time I needed it most made a huge difference in my life, a difference I doubt he fully realized. My wife is another one; she inspires and guides me to be the best I can be. These are the people I’ve added to my team over my lifetime, and without them I would not be where I am today. 

If you have a role model, reach out and thank them this month. If you don’t, set yourself the task of identifying some. It can make all the difference in your destiny.


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