Time required:

At least 60 min

Number of participants:

By yourself or two by two


The tool printed out
Ballpoint pen
Small post-its


Brian Frandsen


Want to hear more about Personal leadership canvas?

Want to hear more about Personal leadership canvas?

Modern leadership is less about managing and controlling and more about motivating and supporting. This tool and approach aim to help individuals fulfill their professional and personal potential, benefiting the work community or project team they are part of. A crucial part of this leadership toolkit is the conversation about individual goals, motivations, and potentials. This tool helps structure these conversations—beyond just performance reviews—and provides a framework for ongoing discussions about progress, focus areas, and sources of support.

The tool is not only intended as a traditional management tool between a boss and an employee but can be used in various ways. For example:

  • You can use it yourself to explore your internal and external dreams and ambitions in your work life.
  • You can use it as a reason to start a conversation with your leader, mentor, or boss about your future goals.
  • You can use it to guide your colleagues, friends, or family in fulfilling and exploring their potential.

The canvas is designed to accommodate different preferences for approaches to personal development.

Some people feel most comfortable discussing themselves, their needs, dreams, and goals by focusing on what the external environment demands or expects of them. If this is the case for you, you should start exploring the canvas from right to left.

Other people feel more comfortable discussing their inner purpose, dreams, and needs and aligning them with the external environment and its conditions. If this resonates with you, it is best to start filling out the canvas from left to right. You should complete the entire canvas regardless of where you start.

Understanding the Tool

This tool is a so-called canvas. This type of tool presents a series of connected questions that provide an overview of the relationship between complex parts of a whole. This canvas aims to give you a comprehensive view of your dreams and ambitions for personal and professional development. It serves as a visual overview where you summarize everything you have learned about each question in the canvas. It gives you the freedom to explore each question individually, bringing your insights back to the canvas to see how it all fits together. This way, you don’t have to keep the whole overview in your head at all times; you can focus on the parts that are most important at any given moment, with the assurance that there is an overview you can always return to if you feel you are straying.

How to Use the Tool

The central part of the tool is its core. The right and left sides are questions about who you are and what you dream of and believe in.

The center section is where you state your ambitions for your development. So, what do you want to develop, and how do you plan to work on your development?

The top and bottom parts of the canvas are the last to be filled out.

The top part deals with the specific goals and milestones you want to commit to. Be practical and set realistic, measurable, and ambitious goals.

In the bottom part, you write who can help you achieve your goals. Who do you need to contact, share your goals with, or involve in your development? No one is an island, so consider both known and unknown helpers at this stage.

Other tools and methods:

  • Speeddating your user while making personas

    When it's not possible for you to talk directly with your user, you might invite them on an imaginative date?

    Speeddating your user while making personas

  • Thing of the Future – A Speculative Warm-Up

    Go to the future to challenge your assumptions, biases and suspend your inner critical voice, by using this tool originally designed by Stuart Candy

    Thing of the Future – A Speculative Warm-Up

  • 5 Step Storyboarding
    – Use storytelling as prototype

    Test, test, test.. You can never test your ideas ioo early or too often. The 5 Step Storyboard is a quick way to communicate your idea and get feedback.

    5 Step Storyboarding
    – Use storytelling as prototype

  • Give shape to your idea – The Pre Concept

    Create Pre-Concepts for your early ideas to better assess what will work and what needs further development.

    Give shape to your idea – The Pre Concept