Excellent leaders are made, not born. With a positive attitude, desire and willpower, anyone can become a successful leader. Leadership activities are designed to improve basic skills for leaders as well as introduce new ideas. Understanding your downfalls and being able to discuss them with a group of people during various exercises will improve your skills and make you a stronger leader.
Round Table Activities
Organize three groups of five people each. Place instructions and three sets of materials for tasks at five tables around the room. Examples of tasks could be assembling a jigsaw puzzle, making a playing card tower or a treasure hunt. There should be a time limit for each activity and points awarded for first, second or third place based on who finished fastest. Each group will start at the first table, completing the task presented before moving onto the next table. Instruct each team to choose a different leader for each table. The leader is not allowed to participate in the activity other than talking or giving verbal instructions. Once the tasks are complete, regroup and tally up the points. Discuss what could have been done differently to reduce time used during each task and how difficult it was to lead certain tasks.
Tom Siebold, a writer and consultant, developed this exercise to help visualize the difference in leadership styles. This role playing exercise involves four people, one of whom is the employee who has not been meeting the expectations at the company. The other three people will play the part of a leader, each with a different approach toward the employee. The leaders can portray someone who is bossy, pushy or lenient. The group is given a scenario about the employee such as the reasons why he has been late, how he has been acting when he is at work and how his work has been affected. Each leader will have a turn to confront and discuss the situation with the employee based on his assigned approach. Once all three leaders have had a chance to show their skills, the group will come together to discuss thoughts and opinions as well as provide input on different ways they would have handled the situations if they were the leader.
Instruct a group of people to compete for two leadership roles by submitting an essay on a random topic. Have the boss or teacher choose the two best essays, resulting in the winners being made team leaders. The leaders will each choose members for their team. Instruct the groups to set up a stand on a busy street selling a product such as lemonade or iced tea. Set a time limit and monitor the progress of each team as they sell the product in the real world. When the activity has ended, gather together and count the earnings from both teams. Discuss how each team worked and how the leader performed overall.
Kelly Masi, born and raised in upstate N.Y., has been writing professionally since 2009. She has been writing for various instructional websites since November 2010 and has also written for the website CafeMom. She received her associate degree in early childhood education from Fulton Montgomery Community College.