Your Leadership Coat of Arms

Get-to-know, Opening, Review

Define intentions, Goal setting, Intragroup openness, Vision

Communication, Evaluation, Leadership & leadership development, Self-reflection

Up to 30 min, Up to 60 min, 60-120 min

6-15 persons, 16 – 30 persons, More than 30 persons




In ancient and medieval times, a coat of arms was an emblem – 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 value and find important. Values that guide the leader’s behavior and embodies the leadership philosophy of the person. In this exercise, participants are asked to create their own Leadership Coat of Arms.

Necessary tools (what you need)

  • Online whiteboard tool or Slack or Google docs, pick a tool that allows to use a large, zoomable canvas.
  • Video conference tool of your choice and availability.


  1. 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.
  2. 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 be concerned about how nice their drawing is, the main thing is expressing what they think is important for a leader.
  3. After everyone 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). Questions to consider:
    1. What items did you add to your Leadership Coat of Arms?
    2. Why are they important for you?
  4. After the discussion and debriefing round, you may ask participants to stick their coat of arms drawings to the wall, so you have a visual gallery of Leadership Coat of Arms.

Tips & Tricks

  • Users can either draw their Coat of Arms on paper and upload an image into the whiteboard or draw it digitally.
  • If running the activity in groups, use a video conferencing tool where you can assign the participants into breakout rooms.
  • If you do not have breakout sessions, keep everyone in the main room, though invite pairs and groups to communicate in private messages or small groups in Slack.
  • If you do not have an online whiteboard tool, you can use Slack or Google docs to share and comment on the created images.
  • If using video conferencing software alone, invite the participants to share their screen and show their digital image, or hold up their physical drawing for the group to see.

The exercise is successfully completed when? Conclusion?