As a leader, your response to the question from your followers ‘what should I paint?’ should almost always be ‘you tell me.’
Of course the easy thing to do is hand out coloring books (let’s call these manuals) with prearranged lines and drawings to color within, but where’s fulfillment, where’s the creativity, and where’s the bravery that a blank page or canvas invokes?
Leadership boldly leads followers to the blank canvas, swaps eye contact between the canvas and the followers eyes, smirks, and then says ‘show me what you see.’
In the end, being told what to paint will never compare equally to simply being asked to paint what you see.
We are all one of two painters: one that is free or one that is imprisoned.
Imagine having to paint behind bars and knowing there’s the option of painting with eyes pointed towards the sun rising or starlit horizon.