Visual Metaphor: Of Water Sports and Monarchs

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. Somehow we go from the deep end of a swimming pool to the liege of a kingdom. Below is this man’s description of his particular leadership challenges from which I derive my illustrations:


I’m a swimmer – an adequate or above average swimmer. There are times when my head’s above water and there are times when it’s under water. Right now my head’s mostly under water and my arms are flailing.


I’m in training – there’s a lot of physical and mental exertion. This is taking a lot of cognitive effort. It’s a really arduous level of commitment and work.


I’m a benevolent monarch. I have control of my environment and my situation because I understand that I have resources that can act in my stead for reaching our goals. I’m somebody they can look up to and emulate.

Click on the thumbnails above for a larger view.

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3 Responses to Visual Metaphor: Of Water Sports and Monarchs

  1. Old NFO says:

    Interesting take on the ‘situation’… As long as nobody in the audience has lost someone to drowning.

  2. Joe says:

    Weird thing is that it’s a very tiny audience. It’s usually just the client.

  3. Old NFO says:

    That is a valid point.

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