Draw Yourself a Leader

Chris Teague - 3 mins

What's it for: Exploring how others perceive your leadership.

Who's it for: Conscious leaders.

“The process of drawing a leader allows you to tap into what you really think of leadership”.

I’ve found this to be a really insightful activity; it uses visual thinking to help give fresh insight into your own beliefs about leadership. It can also help individuals and teams reflect on their own leadership style and reveals their biases about what leadership is or looks like.

Drawing a leader is an exercise in visual thinking. It’s useful because it stimulates your brain differently than writing or speaking about leadership do. According to Heather Willems, co-author of Draw Your Big Idea, drawing “stimulates cross-cognitive brain function” in ways that lead to deeper understanding. You call on memory, analysis, symbolism, and creativity simultaneously.

Give it a go:

  • Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
  • Now draw a leader. Don’t think too hard or worry about getting it “right.” Don’t fret about your artistic ability. Just sketch out what comes to mind.
  • Once you are done, take a good look at your work. Did you draw yourself? A lone figure? A group?
  • Now consider if someone were to draw you as a leader, what would the picture look like?
  • Finally, consider whether you are happy with how they see your leadership style? If not, what will you change?

Draw yourself a leader: Read the article