Leadership Activities That are Fun and Effective at the Same Time

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Leadership Activities

Leadership is a quality that some are born with whereas many people have to work really hard to acquire. The encouraging news though is that these qualities can be honed right from childhood through interesting leadership activities.

Benefits of Leadership Activities

~ Leadership activities help the participants to introspect and look at the positive and negative aspects of their own behavior. Once they know their shortcomings, they can take the necessary steps to improve their skills.

~ They help to boost the morale and enhance the overall confidence of people who participate in them. Participants get over their stage fear and are capable of expressing their ideas and views more articulately to a group of people.

~ They help to develop great team-building skills among the participants. People who participate in these activities tend to pick up excellent organizational skills and the knack of handling a group of people with coordination.

~ Leadership activities thus help in the overall personality development of an individual making him better equipped for different kinds of tasks in the future. People who develop strong leadership qualities acquire a habit to excel in every field, but most importantly, they acquire a habit of taking their team ahead along with them.

Leadership Games

Here are some fun and interesting leadership activities that you can use for children at schools, colleges, and even employees in different workplaces.

The Leadership Task


From among a group of people, short-list a few by means of a debate competition, or an essay competition. Make these short-listed candidates the group leaders and make them choose other players from the group to be a part of their team. Once the groups are formed with their individual team leaders, assign them a task. You can pick any task – like setting up a lemonade booth, and check which group manages to sell the maximum number of lemonades.

At the end of the tasks, hold a meeting and discuss the success and failures of every team leader and the team as well. This activity will help the leaders know what they did right, and where they lacked.

Qualities you should be looking for in a winner of this task

# Enterprising skills.
# Ability to assign tasks to the group members.
# Coordinating the entire team towards victory with control and confidence.

The Leadership Race

Blindfolded business colleagues standing in a row in lobby

This is a very simple activity that can be conducted in schools, colleges and even workplaces. Make a handout that contains qualities and general statements that convey the qualities of a true leader. For example: “I always take responsibility for my failures and try and learn from every failure”. Distribute these handouts to the participants and make them stand at a common start line.

Now, read the first sentence aloud and ask all the participants to judge for themselves whether that sentence holds true for them, and if it does, they can move one step ahead. While taking that step ask participants to narrate or illustrate a short example to support their assertion. Continue the activity until you have a winner of the race.

Qualities you should be looking for in a winner of this task

# Confidence to accept one’s positive and negative points.
# Honesty

The Thinking Hat

Businessman Giving Presentation to his Colleagues

Ask every participant to write down his/her view about the essential qualities of a leader. Give the participants a fixed time to write down their thoughts and then ask everyone to take the stage and vocalize their thoughts with the others. Ask them to do it in an innovative way. While a person is presenting his views on the dais, provide feedback forms to others and ask them to rate the person at the end of his speech.

Qualities you should be looking for in a winner of this task

# Ability to gather thoughts, pen them down and communicate with the audience without prior preparation.
# Ability to generate quality ideas and think rationally within a short span of time.
# Also look for creativity and confidence during public speaking.

The Leader Role

Mixed group in business meeting

This activity highlights and draws a comparison between the different types of leaders and leadership traits. 5 volunteers are needed for this task. While one of them plays the role of a team member, the others will be etching the role of the different types of leaders.

The situation is that the team member (John, for example) has been late for several important events in the recent past and has been seeming fatigued and disturbed. Some say that there is a problem at his home while others have said that the problem is in John’s attitude. As a team leader, the leader has to decide how to tackle the situation and how to handle John. The leaders have to decide how to approach the situation and deal with it effectively. They are given a list of the different types of leaders like the aggressive leader, the understanding leader, the play-by-the-book leader, the know-it-all leader and the like. Once the 4 volunteers have chosen the kind of leader they want to be, give them time to prepare for their act.

Play out the scene that transpires between John and each of the leaders in front of the entire team. Once this has been done, hold a discussion to determine which approach(s) seemed most effective and why. The advantage of this activity is that the pros and cons of each leadership approach can be duly drawn.

Qualities you should be looking for in the winner of this task

# The ability to keep a cool head if the employee creates a scene or tries to pull the emotional card.
# The ability to understand and evaluate the situation at hand and solve the problem such that the company does not suffer.

Situation Play

Start up business. Group of young architect at office

This is a simple activity that highlights the different kinds of leaders and the qualities that they exhibit. Make a list of a couple of situations like -‘You have to fire an employee because he has shown no results in the recent past’, or ‘An important meeting with a foreign client is underway and one of the team members has forgotten to add an important slide in the presentation that you’re making. How will you handle the situation and how will you deal with the team member’.

Several situations like these can be listed and the list can be given to each employee. Each of them have to then write down their point of view on the same in a stipulated period of time and then discuss each person’s response at the end of it all. A panel, or even the employees themselves will decide who the winner is.

Qualities you should be looking for in the winner of this task

# The qualities required to take decisions that are advantageous for the organization.
# Having the ability to think rationally in a short span of time.

Blind Sheep and the Mute Shepherd

Guy showing yellow card and blowing a whistle to businessman

This is a slightly complicated game but it is quite fun to watch and brings forth the qualities of a good leader very effectively. The group is divided into teams, and a leader is appointed. The team members are the blind sheep (who have been blindfolded) and the leader is the only one who can see and guide the sheep till the finish line.

The sheep are scattered all over the field, but the hitch is that the shepherd can’t speak. Before the sheep are blindfolded, each team is given about a minute in which to form a set of signals with the help of a whistle (given to the shepherd) He has to formulate a few signals like ‘One whistle blow=move forward’, ‘Long whistle blow=Continue walking’ etc.

Once the game starts, the shepherd has to guide each sheep to the finish line. The leader that manages to get his team through first, wins. To further complicate things, have all the teams share the same space, at some distance from each other. This will confuse many because of the different whistles being blown.

Qualities you should be looking for in the winner of this task

# The ability to work under pressure.
# Taking into consideration the different team members and their strengths and weaknesses and formulating an action plan based on the same.

These leadership activities and games go a great way in developing a sense of leadership and responsibility in children, as well as adults. Try these leadership games out and you’ll see how they help.

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