Leadership Exercise 1
A leader’s influence comes from the relationship they create with their followers. How we represent that relationship in our minds determines what we think of leaders, how we respond to them and what sort of relationship we in turn create with others when we become leaders.
Use this exercise to explore how you think about leaders and how you see yourself as a leader.
1. Think of one or more people you respect as leaders.
2. Make a picture of them in your mind’s eye. Imagine people around them whom they influence and who follow them.
- When you think of these leaders in your imagination, where do you see them – in front of you, behind you or to the side?
- In your mental picture, is the leader a long way in front, in the middle distance or a short way in front of the other people?
- Is the leader larger, smaller or the same size as the people they are leading?
- Does the leader seem more vivid, colourful or ‘larger than life’ than the followers?
- If another person were to look at your picture, without knowing any of the people in it, how would they know which person was the leader?
- How vivid is the picture?
- Does it have colour?
- Does it have movement?
3. Now listen for any sounds in your mental tableau. Are there voices
- Imagine the leader speaking. What quality does their voice have?
- Now listen to the other people speaking. What quality do their voices have?
- Is there a particular voice quality that marks out the leader?
- If a stranger were to listen to the voices without seeing the scene, would they be able to tell which voice was the leader’s?
4. Now, keeping the rest of the picture the same, see yourself in the company of these leaders.
- Make yourself the same size and distance as the leaders and put yourself in the same position relative to the other people as the leaders.
- What does it feel like to see yourself standing there as a leader?
- Adjust the picture until it feels comfortable.
5. Now step into the picture, be in your body, in the group of leaders, looking out through your own eyes at the people around who are following.
Leadership Exercise 2
Ask yourself these very useful questions.
- Where in your life do you already have a leadership role?
- In what area of your life do you have authority, either formal or informal?
- Where do you have greater knowledge than others?
- Where do you provide a role model for others?
- In these areas you are already a leader. How could you become even more influential?
- Do you have the role of a teacher?
- Where do you give others knowledge and skill?
- Are you a designer? Where do you shape others’ lives by what you make?
- Are you a coach? Where do you try to bring out the best in others?
- Are you a healer (or a negotiator)? Where do you help others who are hurt in mind or body, where do you bring people together and make them feel good?
- Are you a steward? Do you keep important values or objects safe in times of change?
- What aspect of leadership particularly appeals to you?
- How could you develop more of this in your life or expand what you already have?
- What matters to you about being a leader?
- Why do you want to develop as a leader?
- What will that get you?
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