“The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.” – John Maxwell
Benefits of Leadership Games
- Improving Communication and Delegation Skills
- Boosting Productivity and Creativity
- Encouraging Teamwork
- Enhancing Problem Solving Skills
- Motivating Individuals
The Best Games for Leadership Development
- Plan a “swamp” route through the countryside or in a park. Make sure that it is a bit dirty and challenging.
- Create a clear map or place markers to guide the teams.
- Divide the group into two teams.
- The entire team must finish the course. Time the event. The last person on each team that finishes will lock in the official time. Whichever team that has the shortest time wins.
- Tear up the paper into small pieces with enough room to write a word on them.
- Write down a genre. Select popular well-known titles for the teams to guess.
- Separate everyone into two teams. Flip a coin to determine who goes first.
- Have a person from the first team select a piece of paper to act out the genre and title.
- Allow ten seconds for the team member to decide how to act out the title without speaking.
- Give the team member 2-3 minutes to allow them to guess what it could be. Each team earns a point for correct guesses.
- Alternate turns between the teams.
- The team with the highest score wins.
Leading the Blind
- Create a course with some obstacles to avoid.
- Split the group into teams.
- Have teams select a person to be blindfolded and a person to lead the blindfolded person.
- Instruct the leaders to guide the blindfolded person with only verbal communication through the course.
- The first person to cross the finish line wins.
The Human Scavenger Hunt
- Come up with 10-15 questions relating to people in general. (For example, who had a paper route growing up?) Photocopy the questions for the entire group.
- Give out the questions. Explain they have to find people who have done each of the things.
- Allow the participants ten minutes to discover who in the group meets the requirements for each question.
- Have participants share stories about their experiences.
- Whoever finishes the questionnaire first wins.
The Leadership Race
- Create a lane for each person in the group that allows for plenty of personal space.
- Write out 20 leadership expressions on pieces of paper. Fold them and put them into a bag. Examples of expression can be “I’ve never had a problem being supervised.” or “I always speak positively about my team.”
- Instruct the group to take a step forward when they agree with the statements or expressions.
- Choose people who stepped forward to give examples of their leadership activities to make sure they are correct.
- Continue with questions until someone gets to the end.
- The first one to make it to the finish line wins.
The Human Knot
- Participants will stand together in a circle. They will be shoulder to shoulder.
- Instruct the participants to place their right hand in the hand of someone standing from them in the circle.
- Place the left hand in the hand of a different person.
- Participants must try to untangle themselves without breaking the chain.
- If they break the chain, they must start again.
- Divide the group into teams of 2-6. Have them come up with a business idea to pitch.
- Ask the groups to draft a business plan that includes data about the target market, pricing strategy, financial forecasts and unique selling proposition.
- Select 4 people to be the “sharks”. Give them fake money to invest in the ideas.
- Encourage group members to put themselves into the investors’ shoes with detailed questions about the business models.
- The team who wins the most funding wins.
The Survival Game
- Each team member is given a list of 15 items.
- Have individuals first rank the items of importance.
- The individuals will collaborate with the group members to reorganize the items and agree on the order of importance.
- Once they have made the decisions or the time runs out, the facilitator reveals the correct ranking.
- Teams must compare their rankings with the correct ranking.
- The team that matches the ranking of importance most closely wins.
- Divide group into teams of 3-5 people.
- Distribute 1 marshmallow, 15 pieces of spaghetti, tape and string to each group.
- Tell the groups to work together to build the tallest structure and place the marshmallow on the top of the structure without having it fall over.
- The team that builds the tallest structure wins.
While these are generic games but with a little twist & mindfulness, any organisation can turn them into leadership games. Developing leadership does not necessarily mean spending heavy resources in trainings, rather making one thing obvious through leadership games – that leadership is associated with even day to day ordinary situations.