Visual Metaphor – Expect the Unexpected

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 little different in that people don’t often incorporate hand grenades or any kind of explosive in describing a career journey. Below is this woman’s description of her particular leadership challenges from which I derive my illustrations:

FRAME 1 (Current)
I’m one of many — more like everyone else and I’m trying to break out of this. I’m trying to be a more impactful better version of me and I’m evolving into this high impact version of me as a leader.

FRAME 2 (Transition)
People will say more than I’m a “nice” leader, more than I’m the “collaborative Canadian.” People will be saying, “Huh, that was unexpected!”  I’m creating more of these unexpected leadership moments—unexpected moments that will find me throwing the grenade on the table to force needed conversation.

FRAME 3 (Future)
I’m a leader who’s building and leveraging my strong followership by being more demanding  about what will really accelerate the business.  I’m getting more from the people who are working for me by requiring more from them.  I’m being really discerning about talent; ensuring that I’m surrounded by people, including my peers, who are as competent as I am.  I’ve become a “velvet harpoon” when it comes to others hearing what they need to hear about their performance.

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2 Responses to Visual Metaphor – Expect the Unexpected

  1. Old NFO says:

    Interesting approach, especially in this day and age…

  2. Joe says:

    Yeah, I thought it was a little unusual, but I was happy to do it. Unusual is good!

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