Ideas for Leadership Games

All employees, not just managers, can benefit from leadership games.
All employees, not just managers, can benefit from leadership games. (Image: WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

All corporations have some sort of management hierarchy. Employees at all levels, though, can learn and exhibit leadership skills of their own. Whether for the purpose of achieving higher levels of employment or finding satisfaction in one’s own abilities, leadership is an important ability for employees to possess. Several partner and group games can be used to strengthen leadership skills for all those involved.


This game is easily adaptable to various ages, settings and group sizes. Select your playing space, which will become the minefield, and place objects throughout it to simulate mines. Keep safety in mind when selecting objects. Divide the group into teams of two. One will be blindfolded and must navigate across the minefield, without touching any mines, by using only the other’s verbal directions as his guide. The partner doing the guiding may not enter the minefield. Each pair can have an individual turn navigating the minefield or they can all try simultaneously -- even competitively -- creating a more difficult scenario.

Helium Stick

This exercise is particularly effective in small to medium-sized groups. To introduce it, present a lightweight, skinny stick as the Helium Stick to a group of two rows facing one another. They must each extend their arms and outstretch their index fingers, on top of which you will place the stick; the group should adjust until everyone’s index fingers are touching the Helium Stick. Their challenge is to lower the stick to the ground without anyone’s fingers losing contact with the bottom of the stick; this would restart the activity. The Helium Stick, not containing helium at all, simply tends to rise due to the upwards pressure of the group members’ fingers.

Human Knot

An exercise in problem-solving, the human knot is created by the entire group forming a close circle. Each member must first reach into the circle with her right hand, grabbing another member’s right hand. The same is done with the left hand. The task for the group is to untangle itself without letting go of one another’s hands; the goal is to form a circle. This challenge may present different levels of difficulty. If it becomes too challenging, separate one or more sets of hands. To add a challenge, have the group attempt this without speaking.

Toxic Waste

Create a circle of rope on the ground at least eight feet across -- a “radiation zone” -- at the center of which you will place a bucket of water to represent toxic waste. About 40 feet away, place a large “neutralization” bucket. Near the rope, pile equipment for the challenge: bungee, cords, poles or whatever you choose. The group’s task is to transfer the toxic waste into the neutralization bucket within 20 minutes without entering the radiation zone. Penalties are incurred for partial or full entry as well as spillage.

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