White Papers

Leadership (and Strategy) Lessons Learned While Sketching on the Beach

Both the artist and the leader are creating a vision--- the artist is communicating that vision through the painting, the leader through her messaging of her vision and strategy to the organization.  The process and pitfalls faced in creating and communication these visions have many similarities.  How one approaches creating and communicating the vision will mean the difference between a successful painting for the artist and a successful strategy and effective and engaged organization for the leader.  Studying the approaches and skills an artist uses to focus, frame, connect to the environment, develop his vision, and create a strategy can help a leader understand how she can be more effective and successful.

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Wassily Kandinsky and Engagement

Wassily Kandinsky was a pioneer abstract artist as well as an important art theorist.  In his treatise, Über das Geistige in der Kunst (On the Spiritual in Art), he outlined the relationship of the artist, artwork and the viewer.  While these concepts outline how an artist connects his work with the viewer, they also relate to how the leader develops his vision and engages his team with that vision.  By understanding the connection between the artist and viewer, the leader can enhance how he articulates his vision and better connect it to his team, inspiring them and enhancing team members’ effectiveness.

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Terms of Use

Users are encouraged to download and read these papers for their personal use, provided they provide Kathy feedback on the following questions.  By downloading, users agree that they will only be using these papers for their personal use.

  1. What concept or analogy did you find most effective or resonated the most with you?
  2. What concept or analogy did you find least effective or hardest to understand?
  3. Did the analogy of the artist’s approach help you apply these leadership skills more effectively?  How?

Individuals seeking to use the content or concepts in either of these papers in a workshop, class, speech or written or digital form must contact Kathy for permission in advance.