This is a common phrase among team athletes and the military (or so I’ve heard) made popular by The Rock.

It’s important in many scenarios especially in the scope of team sports, since if you don’t do your job, or try to do someone else’s the system, play, framework falls apart.  I use it all the time with the teams I coach, or have coached.

For whatever reason I clicked a LinkedIn link today from Penelope Trunk where she admonishes Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook Post on being a single mom.

I’m not a fan of Lean In, not because I don’t favor it but because I just don’t care what Sheryl thinks is right.  Apparently neither does Penelope.

Penelope finishes her post with this statement:

“We don’t need a role model. We need a role. Each of us wants to feel like we found our spot, what’s right for us. And it’s not helping to have to justify our choices to anyone but ourselves.”

I have to agree.  I’ve been asked “Who is your role model?” dozens of time, and I always struggle to answer the questions.  I typically respond with: “I admire Muhammad Ali” or  something along the lines of “Seems like (pick your person here) is doing righteous work, or living a good life, etc.”

Penelope answered my own question as to why I struggle with this question.  It’s because I agree with what she says so plainly.  We should all just know OUR role, find it, live it, be proud of it.  And stop worrying about what everyone else thinks about it.  If it’s truly right for you, then it’s right, period.

The hard part of all this is being honest with and then true to yourself.  Find your role, (it may take a few tries…) then Live It.  Fully and Proudly.

With respect to writing, your characters need to know their roles too.  Strong characters throughout your story, must all have a story of their own, they have a role to play for themselves but also in your story.  Find out what that is for all of them.  Then get to writing…your role is the storyteller!

-Brian (still finding my role…)