Johnson, the previous incumbent, came back triumphant from the 1997 tour to South Africa and the Ireland centre wants to emulate both the success and style of the second-row, who retires from competitive rugby after Leicester's Grand Final clash against Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday.
"I've played under Martin myself and have looked at the way he leads a team." O'Driscoll said.
"I've always had so much respect for him. I think the most notable aspect of his captaincy was that he led by example.
"He wasn't always the biggest of speakers but when he did talk, everyone listened.
"Actions speak louder than words and that's the way I'll tackle the job. I'll lead from the front on the pitch and let my rugby do the talking."
Coach sir Clive Woodward is in no doubt he has chosen the right man to take on Graham Henry's men.
"He is a proven world-class player, he is a proven leader and a man who made his name by excelling for the Lions," said Woodward.
"I am confident he will do so again. I am confident he can lead the Lions to victory. It is the toughest challenge he or I will have ever faced. I am looking forward to working with him."