Visual Metaphor – From the Big Top to the Wild West

This is another in a series of visual metaphors that I provide as a learning tool for executive coaches in order to develop their clients’ leadership skills. This visual metaphor is a three panel, sequential cartoon that illustrates this client’s current career state, a transitional state and a successful final state that sees the individual flourish in the company.This one was a lot of fun because this client was all over the place resulting in three distinct illustrations. Below is this gentleman’s description of his particular leadership challenges from which I derive my illustrations:

FRAME 1       This is a circus and I’m twirling plates on bamboo sticks. People keep handing more sticks and more plates and I just keep trying to keep them all spinning tightly.

FRAME 2       This is a hospital trauma unit where you have to make prioritized decisions. I’m the Resident on duty and there are lots of patients coming in and I have to make good, rapid assessments regarding their vital signs and what type of care they need immediately.

FRAME 3       I’m using my time very differently now because I have the organization and key people all in place. I’m the Trail Boss now – there’s a lot going on but it’s the cowboys who are out there doing their thing. I can ride down quickly if they need me but I don’t have to push the herd as I did before.

Below are the illustrations I provided for this assignment. Click on the thumbnails to see a larger view.

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