Your Leadership Coat of Arms

25 minutes Online activity
Learning Outcomes

Participants will reflect on their leadership philosophy and will identify their main leadership values.

Resources & Preparation Needed

Sheet of A4 paper 

A few markers of different colours are needed for each student


Explain the concept of the “coat of arms”:

Since ancient and medieval times, a coat of arms has been an emblem – a unique design often painted on a shield – to represent an individual person, family or state. Each symbol on the coat of arms represents something that has an important meaning to that person or country. Every leader has certain things and values that they believe in and find important. Values that guide the leader’s behaviour and embodies the leadership philosophy of the person. In this exercise, participants are asked to create their own Leadership Coat of Arms.

Ask students to imagine a company, an organisation or a smaller team that is led by them. What would be the principles and values they would apply in their leadership? (If this is hard to imagine for a student, ask them to think of leaders they have met – teachers, media personalities, family members.) 

Brief participants about drawing their own Leadership Coat of Arms. Explain briefly the importance of consistent values in leadership and ask them to reflect what beliefs and values they find important as a leader.

Give a sheet of A4 paper and a few markers of different colours for each student, and assign 10-15 minutes of time for them to draw their coat of arms, representing the 4 most important items they value in leadership. Encourage participants not to be concerned about how nice their drawing is, the main thing is expressing what they think is important for a leader.

After everyone has finished their drawing, ask participants to share and explain their drawings (you may do it in groups of 4-6 participants, if you have many participants).

Ideas For Reflection

Questions to consider:

  • What items did you add to your Leadership Coat of Arms?
  • Why are they important for you?
  • What are the similarities and differences between different coats of arms drawn by your colleagues?

After the exercise the class may prepare a coat of arms gallery, exhibiting the leadership approach and philosophy of the class.