7 Things that art can teach us about leadership

When Dean Phelan and I decided to write a new book called The Gentle Art of Leadership, the word ‘art’ was important to us. 

In our experience, practical leadership is as much about art as science. 

Here are some examples. 

✔️ Creation – Navigating a global pandemic; leaders need to create from a blank canvas 

✔️ Vision – Leaders have a picture of where they want to go, but not all the details of how to get there 

✔️ Emotion – Like artists, leaders need to evoke emotions in their audience to win their hearts and minds

✔️ Style – Leaders need to adapt their preferred leadership style; what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow 

✔️ Inspiration – Leaders need to rise above the press of day to day concerns to draw their inspiration for a new strategic direction

✔️ Aspiration – Leaders see new possibilities and aspire to something beyond what we know today

✔️ Perspective – Leaders know that how we see the world is all important and that there are many ways of viewing it

On this final point of perspective, Amy E. Herman takes executives from different walks of life, including New York City police officers, into museums and galleries, not just to look at the art but to talk with each other about what they see, or often more importantly what they don’t see. 

Spending time in this unfamiliar world helps them increase their powers of observation and particularly to have their view enriched by how others see things. In her book, Visual Intelligence, Herman says, “To be a hero to our bosses, our families and ourselves, we need to shake up our world-view and shift our perspective.”

🙋Click here to complete a brief survey about your role models of leaders who practice the gentle ‘art’ of leadership.

Best regards, Brian

P.S. I have just made my book Leadership Is Changing the Game available to download free of charge, along with several other authors, in The Lockdown Library.