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A Small Business Owner’s Guide to Leadership Development Activities

Posted January 9, 2020 by in Career
Female Executive Manager and Team

    

Formal leadership activities make up what we call “training”. Many other activities offer leadership development, without the participants noticing they’re engaged in learning how to be a leader.  

Leadership development activities may happen on or off-site and can be sedentary or physical. The activities can be an efficient method to help individuals train and strengthen their administration and team-building abilities.

Companies use these activities to nurture better communication in the workplace, improve teamwork, and develop team cohesion. They can also be fun! Let’s take a look at some of these activities:

leadership activities

Let Your Employees Design Shapes in Silence

Hand out pieces of ropes to groups of three or four then ask your employees to stay silent during the exercise. Tell them to create different shapes—such as circle, star, and square—with the rope.

Make the game harder by asking them to craft outlines of more complex things such as animals. Note that the success of creating such items depends on a team’s collective patience, creative capacity and the length of their rope.

This teamwork activity helps you to see how teams approach different tasks, as well as the leadership abilities of members in your team. Most importantly, it helps to overcome the challenge of miscommunication. At the end of this activity, discuss with the participants how clear communication hindered or helped this activity.

Center Stage

Start one of the most interesting leadership development activities by dividing participants into four teams. One team plays the role of an employee who has been late to work recently or has missed meetings. The other three teams should show the different styles of how to deal with such an employee.

Then, ask all the teams to reflect on the different styles of leadership. For instance, teams could mention what worked and what didn’t. To conclude this activity, ask the teams to think through what the ‘ideal’ leader would do in such a situation.

The Marshmallow Challenge

The Marshmallow Challenge is one of the leadership building activities that foster team building. Give participants a variety of building materials such as strings, spaghetti sticks, tape, and a marshmallow.

The aim of this activity is for teams to build the tallest free-standing structure (in about 20 minutes) with the materials. They also have to put the marshmallow on top.

Teams need to be able to organize themselves, troubleshoot issues, determine an action plan, and work together to reach a common goal. This leadership activity emphasizes collaboration, group communication, problem-solving strategies, and innovation.

Rotate Your Employees’ Job Positions

You don’t want a company filled with a whole team of employees who dislike their job. This activity allows people to swap roles and see what others around the office are responsible for.

This activity helps do a few things. It can be a fantastic way of creating empathy in the workplace. Offices are hardly the place where individuals understand what everyone else is getting paid for.

The activity will also help your employees feel a whole lot more connected to your company. It can also help them feel more knowledgeable or even more invested.

Rotating employees can also help show leadership skills in workers who hardly get the opportunity. For instance, an office assistant might shine when given a chance to guide new salespeople on filing.

This confirms to individuals that people have come a long way, innately growing a unique skillset that proves they’re a valuable asset.

A Round of Drinks

While games are often considered standard practice in team-building, treating your team members to a round of drinks can as well do the trick. Plus, it’s one of the quickest leadership development activities.

Another option is to hire a bartender or a portable bar to set up and provide various after-lunch drinks to your employees. This would reduce the possibility of anyone being too drunk to drive afterward.

Make sure you stay together like you would go out with friends. You can even go out for wine tasting in the afternoon. Select one wine and let all participants try it and give their opinions which can be a thoughtful way of allowing employees get to know each other.

Group Meditation

Here’s an inspiring activity to give your team a break from their busy work hours. Get yoga mats so that all employees can lie on the floor or allow everyone to meditate while seated on their office chairs. Bring in a meditation expert so your teams get the most of this classic activity.

The activity helps build a more cohesive team. Even more, meditation provides a horde of benefits. Meditation benefits include helping improve concentration, reducing stress, boosting immune health, and reducing cardiovascular problems. Group meditation is one of the most valued leadership development activities to keep your workers healthy and happy.

Blindfolded Trust

Great leaders inspire trust in those they lead. This group activity can help develop confidence in the workplace. With the exemption of a designated team leader, all members of the team need a blindfold.The team leader is then tasked with giving directions to the blindfolded members. A good way is instructing them to move safely through a path with a few turns and hurdles. 


People aren’t always born natural leaders. Yet they can still guide a team towards achieving your business goals. There are many leadership development activities you can use to enhance your teams’ leadership skills. These activities focus on building characteristics, traits, and skills of strong leaders.

Take some time to try them in your office to help all team members. For more tips and guidance on career and business, check out the articles on our blog.