Quick Leadership Games


When you hear a term like "leadership development" you may think of a long process that takes years to complete. In actuality, there are many games that develop leadership and can have a long-lasting impact. If you run a youth organization it is imperative to instill these abilities in formative minds. In a world full of conformity, leadership skills are becoming more and more important.

Quiet Shape

  • This activity helps the leaders of a group interact equally with every member of the team while assessing their own strengths and weaknesses as leaders. Divide the group into sets of five to ten people each. Choose a leader of each group and whisper a shape in his ear. The leader must get his group to form that shape without speaking or pulling people into position. The leader may only gesture or touch. If there is time, rotate until everyone has had a chance to be a leader.

What Are You Doing?

  • This game helps budding leaders make choices and develop initiative while providing a strong energy boost for kids. Start in the center of a large circle. Begin by pretending to do an activity until someone from the group asks what you are doing. Tell them an activity that is completely different from what you are doing. For example, if it looks like you're hammering nails, tell them you're dancing a jig. The person who asked then goes to the center and begins dancing a jig. The students on the outside join in and dance a jig as well until someone else initiates and asks the center person what he's doing. The game continues until each child has a chance in the center.

Leading the Blind

  • This game teaches kids the importance of being a leader who sees the big picture and needs to lead his team safely. Give half of the group blindfolds to wear. The other half of the group chooses one blindfolded person to lead around the room. Place safe items like paper clips, coins and a box of tissues around the room and have the sighted leaders lead the blindfolded followers to the items. Without speaking and only using noises, the leaders must guide the blindfolded students to identify at least two objects.

Untie the Knot

  • This game promotes how important a team can be when it comes to leadership. Have the group stand in a circle. Everyone reaches in and grabs the hand of one person across from him. Next, everyone should grab the hand of a different person in the circle. This will create a human knot. Assign a leader and have him guide the team to untie themselves without letting go of anyone's hand. The leader can set up a system for members to report what they think is the next best course of action. After getting back to a circle, start over and pick a new leader.

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