Published May 18, 2020

Influence by Design—An Invitation to See Yourself as a Leader

The invitation

The most surprising thing I’ve learned on my leadership journey is that God gives us the opportunity to choose to embrace what He’s given us. And the beautiful thing is God doesn’t force it—it’s an invitation.

I was excited to accept a position at the Global Leadership Network and be a part of putting the message out there—you have influence and your leadership matters.

He gave me a gift of leadership: I’m not the type of person who feels like I always must be the leader in the room, but when there’s a gap I accept the invitation to step in. My first invitation into leadership was in junior high. My youth pastor invited me to be on a team to help lead the ministry with a group of students. Then at age 16, in my first job, my supervisor challenged me to apply for management roles. He asked me to look at the rest of my life and how this season could help me learn leadership skills that would help shape my future. During this time, my dad, who is a pastor and a Summit point leader at Eastview Christian Church (Bloomington-Normal, Illinois), invited me to attend the Summit for the first time. It was in that first job where I saw how leadership impacts every part of work; and through my dad and the GLS where I saw how it impacts every part of day-to-day life.

Leadership impacts every part of work and life.

From a young age, I saw how leadership impacts every part of work and life. I believe it’s something everyone can be better at, and that the world would be better if everyone took ownership of their leadership. So, after I graduated with a degree in graphic design, I was excited to accept a position at the Global Leadership Network and be a part of putting the message out there—you have influence and your leadership matters. Through my work, I get to empower people and help people realize they are a part of something bigger than themselves.

It turns out there are similarities between leadership and design—both are a process and a journey. In the design process you don’t accept the first solution that comes to mind. I’ve found that usually the first solution is not the best one—you need to see where the process takes you, taking time to research, brainstorm and ideate. When you trust the process, you create something better as a result.

1-GLS20-Process-Sketch

This year, I was excited for the 2020 Summit design process and to make something that matters, reminding people of their influence, and that they are included, represented and invited to make a positive impact on the world.

3 Themes in the 2020 Summit Design—Message, Inclusion and Embodiment:

 

1. Message—you have influence

The process for the 2020 Summit design started with the message. Our main tagline over the last few years has been “Everyone has influence” which is a really important message, but I knew it could be refined. I felt that saying “You have influence” was a way to take our message and make it personal and direct.

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2. Inclusion—when we say everyone, we mean everyone

I really wanted to visualize who we’re talking about when we say, “you have influence” and explain by saying “everyone” we really mean everyone. So, I came up with the idea of creating a list to describe the people we’re talking about. It’s meant to be an inclusive concept so that you get the idea it really is everyone, while naming specific roles. You can replace the “you” in “you have influence” with any of these: nurses have influence, teachers have influence, janitors have influence, etc. Even the idea of the type running off the pages gives people the impression that the list is endless—it’s cool what you can do with just the constraints of a piece of paper and type.

One of the awesome things about graphic design is a lot of shapes have symbolism. You can say a lot without using a lot of elements. For example, the oval in the design comes out of the middle of the letter “O” in the word “You” and that oval shape is a very key symbol of the design. It looks like it’s rippling out—and it’s the ripple effect of your influence or what can happen when you attend the Summit. The oval shape also resembles a portrait, a fingerprint or a mirror shape—these are all symbolic of the uniqueness of you.

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There are so many layers—it’s uniqueness, individuality, and whatever special thing you bring to the table. And in the design, the oval encloses the list of people that are included in having influence and who would benefit from the Summit.

 

3. Embodiment—seeing yourself in the design

The 2020 design is very text-centered because the message is different, and I wanted it to stand out. The type treatment matters, because words matter. We’re even using type as a texture in the background.

I hope people see themselves in the design. Not only that, I hope people feel like they can embody the statement “you have influence” realizing they can make a difference because of their influence. I hope people see themselves represented in the list of different people, take that banner and own it.

I hope people feel like they can embody the statement “you have influence” realizing they can make a difference because of their influence.

Some of the people I had in mind while designing for the GLS were the 7,000+ incarcerated men and women who attend the Summit each year. I found out that they receive the conference notebook and hold onto it for years at a time because it is such a huge deal to them. I can’t wait for them to have this year’s message.

I also have a lot of family who are teachers and educators—they all have incredible influence. I want people to recognize the power of their influence and be encouraged.

I get really excited about seeing my design work in other languages as the GLS goes international throughout the year as well. It’s so amazing to get photos back of my work being used around the globe. I view myself as a citizen of the world and I love participating in a global movement in this way!

4-GLS20-brochure-pages

 

Design and leadership require intention.

The design process led to these intentional choices, and each one not only makes a statement about your influence, but each marketing piece is also an invitation to develop your leadership at The Global Leadership Summit. Just as I engage in the creative process to design the best visual solution, we’re all invited to invest in our leadership at the Summit, trusting that the intentional process of growing our leadership will positively impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

Just as I engage in the creative process to design the best visual solution, we’re all invited to invest in our leadership…

How you live and work matters and it is what you can improve upon when you apply what you learn at the Summit. And that’s why I designed the 2020 Summit campaign the way I did—because your leadership matters no matter where you have influence.

I hope to see you at #GLS20! Come and feel inspired and refreshed to do the work you set out to do, wherever you have influence!

About the Author
Natalia Warren headshot

Natalia Warren

Senior Graphic Designer

Global Leadership Network

Natalia Warren is a senior graphic designer at the Global Leadership Network and has been on the team since August 2017. A longtime Global Leadership Summit attendee, Natalia started developing her leadership skills as early as junior high. Natalia is someone who believes in the power of your influence, and that belief shows through in her work, which can be seen across GLN platforms–most notably in the 2018 and 2020 Summits.

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