In continuation on my series of brainstorms for alternatives to “played out visual metaphors,” I’m attacking Leadership.  This is one where folks frequently show something at the top or some older white man in a suit.

But what is leadership, really?  Good leaders inspire other to follow, they have contagious energy, and a vision.  They’re good at managing the small and large tasks and can direct those that follow them in the right direction for the big picture.  With this description in mind, here is a list of ideas for alternatives to the white man in a suit:

  • Various hats of leaders (Naval Officer, Police Chief, Master Chef, etc.)
  • Beautiful sky on the horizon (to indicate vision)
  • Beautiful road or path forward
  • Ants following each other (to indicate teamwork and momentum)
  • Director on a movie set
  • Conductor at a symphony
  • School teacher with students
  • Historical and Business figures that inspire (Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, FDR, Malcolm X, Mandela, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, etc.)
  • Lead animal in a pack/brood, etc (lions, wolves, etc.)
  • Characters from fiction displaying desired qualities of leadership (Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, Robin Hood, Super Heroes, etc.)
  • Corner office (showing the top)
  • Someone leading a group of people walking (political or otherwise)
  • Someone giving a speech in front of a large crowd

Do you have any other ideas?