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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Role Models and Ethics

Role Models and Ethics

"Example has more followers than reason."


Role models are an important source of inspiration, and the exemplary behavior of others can be a significant influence on our moral formation. In order to prepare for this discussion, please consider your role models. Select one or two for discussion.

  1. Who are your role models? Are they prominent leaders, people in your community, or close friends and family?
  2. Why do you admire your role models? What virtues and values do they embody?
  3. Are there any quotes from your role model that you find especially inspiring? Can you describe a situation or an interaction with your role model that was particularly meaningful for you?
  4. Have your role models inspired or influenced you? If so, how have they done so? Is their influence more personal or professional?
  5. What traits, characteristics, or virtues of theirs do you want to embody? How have you applied those traits, characteristics, or virtues in your own life? Have you personalized their virtues or inspiration to better fit your own experience?
  6. Do you feel that your role model has influenced your virtues and behaviors in terms of your role on student government? How do you utilize their virtues or inspiration in your role as a student government leader?
  7. Are there any particular dilemmas in your time as a student government leader where you were able to apply your role model’s wisdom and influence?
  8. Have your role models changed over time? How has this change reflected your moral development?
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