I was young and thought I knew it all. All about small group facilitation and what it took to be a top notch facilitator at that. After all I’d been chosen by one of the nation’s leading PhD’s who was on staff at the world’s largest Organizational Development publishers and consultants firm. And I was only a junior in college!
The truth was that I was talented as a facilitator – it just came naturally to me. But I had barely stuck my toe in the waters of trainer and facilitator; hardly ready for the big league.
“You need a role model”, Tony (the late Dr. Anthony G. Banet) said.
“Why, I have you”, I responded. And that was true. He was my role model when it came to O.D., small groups and facilitation.
I adored Tony and his soft gentle way with folks. I loved how skilled he was at drawing folks out when they didn’t want to participate. I respected his talent for respecting others and giving them leeway to come into a group at their own pace. I didn’t feel I needed anyone else to model my style and adapt my talents to.
“No, you need someone larger than life as a model for your life as a whole,” he wisely counseled. “Someone whose character, personality and style extends to everything life has to offer you!”
Over the years, I’ve thought about his counsel. After the dramatic spiritual experience on May 2, 1981; I recognized that the model Tony spoke of is Jesus. A man (The Man) larger than life whose character, personality and style is one to emulate and adopt if I wanted to become all I am designed and destined to be!
All too often in life, we think we don’t need anyone to look up to. After all, we’re talented, intelligent, skilled and have considerable knowledge. Why would we need a larger than life other in whose shadow we would stand? Didn’t we look up to parents, grandparents, teachers and others whose integrity we admired? As an adult woman, I ought to stand on my own 2 feet for a change!
But adult womanhood is different. Different than being a child or young adult. Especially different if we’re a Christian committed to fulfilling the purpose for which we were born.
So why choose Jesus? Because He represents all that is good, whole and healthy about being human. We may not replicate the great miracles He performed while walking the earth; but He did tell us that we would do greater things than He did with the aid and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
He had integrity that wouldn’t quit – even when nailed to a tree. His character was honest, authentic, wise and direct. He told it like it is and let the chips fall where they may. He taught others the road to fulfilling their destinies without chastising when they failed to do so. He was transparent in all his dealings – what you saw is what you got. No pretense, no false pride – none of the human frailties we possess. Yet human in every way except an unbroken relationship with His Father!
If we want to become all we are destined to be – in every aspect of our lives; then Jesus is the perfect role model. Seeking to grow into His character will grant us the character that others admire. Growing into His integrity will net us the wholeness we long for. Becoming open, honest, authentic, transparent and real will bring us true friends.
After all – true friends and authentic friendships bring joy and delight, especially when life’s struggles arrive at our door.
I’ve chosen to have Jesus as my role model. I fall very short of His shadow many times; but the blessing is that I never feel a failure. Only that I have to get up and go at it again.
I encourage women – especially women of faith and those in business and professional life to choose Him as well. We don’t do so because we don’t feel we can measure up. But He came to give us the opportunity to do so. And when we do; we’ll find that as we strive to walk in His wake; life takes on a different hue. One that always has a silver lining no matter the color of the clouds.
If you’ve decided that having a role model is a great life strategy; then look no further than The Man who gave His all for each of us!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
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P.S. Image from Google Images. I like it so much I’m willing to leave in the “commercial” aspect to post the character of His face!