I have the luxury this week of time to spend illustrating the next book: ‘The Humble Leader’ [working title] is an exploration of humility in leadership. It forms a guided, reflective space. I have known from the start that i wanted it to be black and white illustrations, and have settled for the moment on line drawn ink.
The use of leaves is intended to tie it in with the parallel work on Quiet Leadership: although both bodies of work are very different, and the Quiet Leadership Guidebook is full of colour, they both stick to the analogy of the single leaf, and the ways we are each, individually, part of a broader ecosystem of organisation.
I need around eleven full page illustrations, but the book itself will be very small, pocket sized, so i can draw them large and shrink them down, which is an old school way of cheating!
As an aside, i completed the final manuscript for Quiet Leadership last week, and it’s headed off into production. This is an exciting turning point coming up: with both these books almost done, i can start to think ahead to the two projects for the second half of the year… more on that soon.
Below, the first page from the Humble Leader manuscript:
These pages form a reflection on humility and how, in the Social Age, leadership may need to be more ‘humble’ than ‘heroic’.
My work explores the context of the Social Age, and the ways that we must adapt, as societies, within organisations, and as individual leaders: it considers a deep seated need for fairness in all that we do, and the social accountability of those who fail to act so.
This reflective essay forms part of that journey: it considers whether, and how, we can learn to be more humble and fair as Social Leaders.
It is intended neither as a definition of humility nor a route map to get you there. If anything, it’s an individual reflection.
My own reflection, and structured as such. My own understanding and truth.
At best, I hope it provides you with a set of thoughts to kick off from: a place to start. But I should warn you that I suspect humility itself is not a destination, but rather a measure of, and judgement upon, the journey that we take.
Your truth is yours to find.
I know people who are humble, but few who would describe themselves as such. The badge of humility may be one that is bestowed.
With that thought, humility may not be a state that we attain, but is, perhaps, a light that is shone upon our actions.
It’s not an intention, but rather a judgement. A measurement upon, or a shadow of, our deeds.