VIEWING LEADERSHIP HOLISTICALLY: Using Mind Maps to Teach Leadership

Mind mapping can be a pedagogical tool that helps students brainstorm how to organize information in a way that incorporates creative and active learning, as well as critical thinking. In this article, we describe the application of using mind maps in an undergraduate course focused on teaching leadership theory as an effort to help students think more holistically about how theories intersect with their lives. The assignment description, rubric, and details of the application are provided. Examples of ways students have organized their maps to integrate theories into their lives (e.g., based on themselves, organizations, or metaphors) are also included. Through this practice, we found that mind mapping leadership concepts to areas of students’ lives develop their ability to describe how leadership theories operate holistically in their life, rather than limiting their understanding to one or two popular theories. We recommend leadership educators consider mind mapping as a pedagogical tool to teach theories and other content that require understanding in a broader context.