Leadership Symbols: Signs of Power and Authority

Leadership Symbols: Signs of Power and Authority

Leadership symbols are all around us. Leadership symbols exude leadership and power, prestige, and getting ahead in one’s life. A leadership symbol can be integrated into art, marketing collaterals, and even handmade jewelry. Wherever a leadership symbol is placed, it works quickly to establish that the company or person behind the leadership symbol is worth the attention. So if you’ve been looking for inspiration for art or craft, you’ve come to the right place!

Archetypal Leadership Symbols

Common assumptions about effective leadership from the past center on power and position.

These icons may be based on military imagery that portrays power dynamics in the workplace as a struggle between a leader and subordinates. The lion and the king are leaders who have attained their positions of power by noble lineage or exceptional skill. Aside from appealing to the egos of individuals, symbols of leadership can also draw on the ethics of collaboration and cooperation.

The Servant

Despite the seeming contradiction, the emblem of the servant leader signifies a decisive shift in which the leader is more of a supporter than a protagonist. A manager who insists on keeping the office operating like clockwork according to a detailed strategy may get things done quickly and efficiently. Still, they will not encourage people to exercise initiative or creativity. A servant leader, on the other hand, increases the self-reliance and productivity of their subordinates. A modest outlook boosts morale and motivation, promotes creativity, and facilitates lifelong education.

See Xinar’s 925 sterling silver occupation charms for inspiration for the Servant Leader archetype.

The Builder

Only a few managers can take over established businesses and smoothly implement established procedures. Businesses typically start small and have continuing maintenance and repair needs. According to the Harvard Business Review, leaders who regard themselves as builders bring a sense of humility to running their firms and are eager to get down to the nitty-gritty of solving problems. They enhance the framework by building on a history of triumphs and setbacks.

See Xinar’s career and occupation charms collection for inspiration for The Builder Archetype.

The Mentor

A sportsmanlike management style fosters teamwork and improves employees’ abilities individually and collectively. The coach’s role, like the servant leader’s

Like a good manager, a good coach is aware of the employees’ abilities and weaknesses. Careful coaching uses each team member’s unique set of skills and personality traits when it’s most effective, pushing everyone to grow and develop.

See Xinar’s education and school charms for inspiration for The Mentor Archetype.

The Artist

Artist Leadership is an artistic endeavor that strives to create something more than the sum of its parts through the medium of the personalities and skills of its employees. A great leader, like a great artist, has a vision.

Even if your teammates have difficulty grasping this viewpoint, it will become evident via open dialogue and coordinated effort. In the same manner, an artist can make sense of a landscape by establishing links between seemingly unrelated elements and displaying these links in a way that is both clear and original.

See Xinar’s music and art charms and pendants for inspiration on expressing The Artist archetype via leadership symbols you can see and touch in real life.

How Do Leadership Symbols and Other Symbols Work?

The use of symbols predates the development of written language. They become part of who we are, like our DNA, when we set foot on this planet. Simply put, a symbol is a picture representing a concept. For instance, water represents the moon, the feminine, and the subconscious. The element of fire represents the sun and the manly vitality around us.

Everything visible to the senses and the imagination has a corresponding symbol. Your rational thinking recognizes a ladder for what it is: a means of reaching new heights. The image of a ladder can remind us of the ascent to enlightenment or the spiritual ascent to ultimate truth. Unfortunately, symbolic significance is lost on the vast majority of us. A ladder is a ladder, period. However, the symbolic significance exists only at our minds’ unconscious and subliminal layers.

The medical community adopts the caduceus as its emblem. At its core is the legendary wand of Hermes, the Greek deity of sleep. The wand’s twin snake coil represents health, sickness, medicine, and poison. The five Olympic rings represent the coming together of athletes from all corners of the globe to compete in Olympic sports. Likewise, the flags’ various hues represent rival countries from all around the world. (In 1913, when the idea for the rings was developed, each country’s flag included a single hue.)

The use of symbols representing brands is not new. Stamps identifying the manufacturer were used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese on bricks, ceramics, and bags of herbs. In the nineteenth century, however, trademarks expanded beyond their original function. They were adopted as symbols representing the company’s values and ethos. A giant, for example, the heart is on the un. In addition, the heart is frequently used to represent romantic affection as a universal symbol of the human soul and emotions.

Steve Jobs chose Apple’s iconic Apple logo on purpose. The apple represents wisdom, awareness, originality, and charm. Legend has it that inventor Gottlieb Daimler was inspired to create motor vehicles for land, air, and sea by the three-pointed star in the Mercedes-Benz symbol. However, the star is an old icon in and of itself. Stars have been used to guide lost travelers for thousands of years. The star symbolizes the astral, heavenly part of ourselves. It represents the wise, guiding, and foreordained portion of ourselves that we call the Self. This emblem serves as a beacon of direction for Mercedes drivers.

These representations of our shared humanity can be found in every culture’s myths, dreams, and imaginations. Adolf Bastian, a man of many talents, referred to these as “primary concepts.”

These universal characters were dubbed “archetypes” by Carl Jung. Jung argues that archetypes embody universally shared sentiments and concepts and universally shared imaginations and visions. Images and feelings can both be associated with archetypes. When you add feelings to a picture, it becomes more engaging. Without feeling, the picture has nothing to say to us. We can enter the realm of our fantasies, imaginations, and emotions through the portals provided by symbolic images. Life is devoid of meaning when feelings are absent.

Archetypes, as defined by Jung, are universal patterns or images. These depictions are frequently found in ancient religious texts, myths, stories, and fables. Archetypes manifest themselves in our dreams, our fancies, and our actions. Every person or thing appearing in a dream or myth is an archetype.

The characters in the books we read, the movies we watch, and the plays we see all embody archetypes. The arts, media, advertising, and popular culture are all rife with archetypes.

These factors shape our interactions with others and with ourselves. The hidden drivers of human behavior are archetypes. The unconscious mind is home to archetypes. Thus we are influenced by them without even realizing it.

These archetypes are ingrained tendencies that shape our responses to everyday challenges. 

Your actions, thoughts, and emotions are all shaped by archetypes. And they’re having the same effect on everyone in your immediate vicinity. The exercises in this book will help you recognize the archetypes at work in your own life and the lives of those around you.

Most people’s actions and reactions follow predictable patterns that can be taught. You’ve set yourself apart from an archetype when you can recognize it at work within you. The ability to distinguish oneself from a stereotype reduces the likelihood of the stereotype negatively affecting one’s conduct.

Other Signs of Leadership

Various signs and emblems can be used to represent leadership. But, of course, we must be cautious with our definition of “leadership.”

Crowns, thrones, robes, imperial guards, suits, orbs, and scepters all spring to mind when we think about symbols of power associated with leadership. These signs of authority are meant to instill confidence and make the leader seem greater than life.

The truth, however, is that these images more often represent outdated forms of leadership than progressive ones. These emblems of authority stand for outdated power structures that modern society strives to dismantle. And albeit sluggish, progress is being made.

Which new signs of leadership are appearing most prominently?

Some of the new signs of authority are:


Leadership is an embodiment of strategy


Using the telescope symbol means you are constructing the direction of a vision.


Leadership in the spirit of the entrepreneur is a method for taking an idea, assembling a group of people, and turning it into a reality.


The display of original thought and leadership as a lightbulb.


Leadership coaching as a tool for personal growth.


The selfless, self-sacrificing leader.

Many more symbols exist for leadership, but these have momentum behind them. You can’t convince your loved ones, team members, stakeholders, coworkers, friends, and customers with just words and thoughts. Feelings, emotions, and visuals have an impact on us. Likewise, the signs of authority have an emotional impact on us.

A leader must speak with conviction, focus, and foresight to inspire others. They explain complex concepts utilizing metaphors, analogies, examples, stories, and anecdotes. In reality, archetypes first reveal themselves through metaphors. You know that a metaphor is a figure of speech that uses one thing or idea to depict another more abstract. Metaphors convey meaning from one thought to another by drawing parallels between them and using symbolic language. Thirty-six presidents’ metaphor used in their first inaugural addresses was analyzed for research on presidential leadership and charisma. The charisma of each president was evaluated separately.

According to the study’s findings, presidents with high levels of charisma were roughly twice as likely to utilize metaphors as those with lower levels of charisma. Metaphors fascinate cognitive scientists because of their power to alter people’s perspectives and actions. In addition, using metaphors facilitates the rapid processing, storage, retrieval, and application of enormous volumes of data.

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