Principles of Leonardo Da Vinci


Leonardo da Vinci was the ultimate Renaissance man: an accomplished scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, and writer. As a leader, an entrepreneur, a boss, we can learn a lot from the Principles of Leonardo Da Vinci:

1-Curiosita – You need an insatiable curiosity for  life.
Great minds have one characteristic in common: they continuously ask questions throughout their lives.

2-Dimostrazione–  A commitment to test knowledge through experience.
Wisdom comes from experience and the principle of Dimostrazione helps you get the most out of your experience

3-Sensazione– The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.
According to Da Vinci, we can best practice Dimostrazione through our senses, particularly sight.

4-Sfumato- A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.
An essential characteristic of Da Vinci’s genius is his ability to handle a sense of mystery.

5-Arte/Scienza– The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination (“whole-brain thinking”).
The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination”. This is thinking with the “whole brain”.

6-Corporalita- The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.
Corporalità is “the cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise”. Leonardo had amazing physical ability that complemented his genius in science and arts.

7-Connessione – A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; “systems thinking.”
In other words, is systems thinking. One main source of Leonardo’s creativity is his ability to form new patterns through connections and combinations of different elements.

Genius is made, not born. Leadership is cultivated, not positioned.

We are gifted with an almost unlimited potential for learning and creativity.

We can uncover our own hidden abilities, sharpen our senses, and liberate our unique intelligence—by following the principles of Leonardo Da Vinci.

Source Material “How to Think like Leonardo Da Vinci” by Michael Gelb

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. David Truss

    02. May, 2011

    Greetings. I thought I’d share a blog post that a former student of mine wrote, based on these principles:
    How to Prevent Another Leonardo da Vinci
    I think it is an interesting read.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sharon Corsaro

    02. May, 2011

    Brilliant Lolly! So look forward to this session tomorrow… Love the uncovering, and using of, DaVinci’s work… A brilliant man with a legacy well worth noting – AND learning from! Really love this ~ I plan on being there Tuesday, #LeadFromWithin Twitter Chat – 8 pm Eastern. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      02. May, 2011

      Sharon, We look forward to listening, reading, absorbing and embracing your insights and wisdom.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Micah

    02. May, 2011

    Hey Lolly, great post. I really appreciate #4, Sfumato. I think it is particularly relevant in our current times of constant change and movement. There are many subjects like failure that require leaders to embrace a bit of a paradox. We must succeed, but at the same time embrace failure as part of the path to success. Jim Collins write about this acceptance or paradox as well, referencing it as the Stockdale Paradox.

    Reply to this comment
  4. lollydaskal

    02. May, 2011


    Thanks for stopping by.
    I hope you can join us tomorrow night when we discuss and clarify in our tweetchat Leonardo Da Vinci’s principles and how it pertains to our lives and leadership.

    Bring your insights and wisdom. We would love to hear you thoughts.


    Reply to this comment
  5. Dax MaxGregor

    03. May, 2011

    Lolly, I’ve always been in awe of DaVinci. His scientific accomplishments and his artistic accomplishments can each standalone and qualify as genius.

    His demonstration of genius in in both areas places him in rarified air.

    I’ve never seen these before. They are quite an inspiration. I’m bookmarking these for the future.


    Reply to this comment
  6. Owen Marcus

    09. May, 2011

    I love this. Particularly – Sfumato- A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

    I do that without trying…

    Reply to this comment
  7. Steve Frechette

    16. May, 2011

    Enjoyed your post. Davinci has a great quote: “Some will see. Some will see when shown. Some will never see.” Like your blog because I think you have it right.

    Business is about leading others. To leaders others, must know others. To know others, we must know ourselves. To know thyself is to understand yourself. To understand yourself, well, that’s the focus of it all.

    Look forward to reading your blog. -steve frechette

    Reply to this comment
  8. Lori Ermi

    21. Jan, 2012

    I really love this! This is so innovative. I am going to have fun following you! Nice work Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Earl

    15. Aug, 2013

    We are studying this book in my MBA program and it is amazing!!!! Such a thinker … so…. acutely aware of the greatness and majesty of life that he dedicated his life to learning and expanding the mind. Wow……

    Reply to this comment

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