- January 27, 2015
- Posted by: STEP Consulting
- Category: Newsletter, Uncategorized
One of the favorite activities we feature in Unleash Your Leadership Potential is the Best Leader Brainstorm activity. It’s a simple activity and you can use it in your own leadership development program. It’s a simple exercise, really. But like many simple exercises, the results can be revealing and life-altering.
We divide our class into groups of three or four (two is too little, five is too many) and provide each with a flipchart page. You can do this virtually using breakout rooms. Ask each team to draw a line down the center of the page and label the left side “Best” and the right side “Worst.” Have the teams answer the question, “Think about the best leaders you’ve ever seen or worked with; what did they do that made them ‘best?’” Record answers in the left column. Also ask teams to record what makes for the worst leaders.
After five-seven minutes, ask teams to report out (we go roundrobin with each team reporting one best behavior/characteristic and, when best is exhausted, one worst.)
While the responses are fairly predictable – great leaders listen, respect, challenge, support, communicate, are fair, etc. – the surprise is in the predictability. Most teams report on the same things. And rarely will a team report that the best leader has all the answers or is charismatic or any of the other clichés.
The other surprise-that-isn’t-surprising is that these “best” behaviors and characteristics are accessible – they’re easily learned and applied.
The final surprise-that-isn’t is that leadership is all around us. Leadership behaviors and characteristics – both best and worst – can be observed in others around us.
I ask participants to reflect on the lists and determine what THEIR team would say about their leadership behaviors and characteristics. My challenge to participants is to be THAT LEADER that people think about when I ask THEM to reflect on the best leader they ever had! Create your leadership legacy!
Read more valuable leadership and management-related articles in this month’s Unleash Your Leadership Potential newsletter…