Through taking part in an art project, leaders recognize their basic values and share them with others, so that participants who will be working together on missions have a greater understanding of each other’s strengths.
To have participants share some of their background information, values, philosophies of life, and leadership experiences.
Activity training methods
- Art project
- Leadership Shield
- Example of a family coat of arms/crest or shield, if possible
- A number of sets of colored markers for participants to share
- Flipchart paper
- A large poster with a diagram of a shield, with one of the four following words in each section: background information, philosophy of life, values, and leadership.
- Move furniture away from the walls to create enough space for participants to hang up and stand next to large pieces of paper during the discussion.
- Prop the large poster as you prepare to open the activity.
Use this activity when you have enough space on the walls to stick the shields. An
alternative is to have participants draw their shields on bond paper. This is a popular activity; participants are able to work with categories of information that interest them most.
- Ask which participants have a family coat of arms, crest, or shield. Ask those who respond positively to illustrate or draw a picture of it. Explain that the goal is to develop a new symbol that emphasizes leadership.
- Distribute one sheet of flipchart paper and several colored markers to each participant. Ask participants to draw the diagram of a crest or shield on the paper. Demonstrate by drawing the diagram of a shield on your flipchart. A shield is a pictorial representation that may show one’s values, beliefs, and ideas.
- Clarify that four categories of information have been selected for representation on the shield or coat of arms. State one category at a time, and remind participants to leave space on their shield for all four. Allow them about two minutes to draw each response. The categories, each of which should be represented in one quadrant
of the shield are as follows:
a. Two of your leadership skills.
b. The part of your current work that you like best.
c. Two values that influence how you lead others.
d. A recent success or accomplishment.
- Ask the participants to fill out their coat of arms by writing their family names on the shield and adding a personal slogan that they try to exemplify. If they wish, they can adorn their shields with other graphics or designs.
- Ask participants to explain what they have included on their shield and the reasons behind it.
- Briefly discuss how our backgrounds, values, and personal philosophies affect the ways we interact and lead. Tie what is shared by the participants into the content of your leadership program. Pose these questions:
1. Which quadrant was the easiest to complete, and why?
2. Which quadrant, if any, reveals something about you that others
might not know?
3. Which quadrant demonstrates the values of your company?
Take a picture of each participant and attach it to each person’s shield. If you have more than 20 participants or you need to save time, form teams of 5 to 6 participants for Step 5.
Take time right after conducting this activity to ponder on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Then, take notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity