Here is our list of the best team building leadership activities and games.
Team building leadership activities are games and events that encourage members to work together toward a common goal while individually taking charge of the situation. These activities instill workplace teamwork and respect while motivating employees to reevaluate personal working principles. Examples include blindfold challenges, sticking to the values, and teams of the world. The purpose of these activities is to build team ethics, values, and leadership traits .
These ideas are similar to leadership activities and leadership games and can help in professional development. Also, the challenges can help participants learn essential leadership skills and become good leaders.
This list includes:
- senior leadership team building activities
- team building leadership games
- quick leadership team building activities
- team building activities for leadership workshops
Here we go!
List of team building leadership activities & games
Several team building activities aim to instill leadership qualities into members. Team building leadership activities require participants to think critically and handle complex tasks. Here is a list of the top leadership activities for team building.
1. Time Capsule
In the time capsule activity, teams work together to create a collection of items or notes that represent the current state of the team and its members. This collection could include personal reflections, predictions for the future, mementos, photos, news articles, or any item that captures the essence of the team at a specific point in time. Once the team assembles the time capsule, they seal it and set it aside to be opened at a later date, perhaps months or years down the line. This activity encourages reflection, creativity, and a sense of continuity as team members look back on their journey and progress.
2. Leader Interviews
During leader interviews, team members have the opportunity to interview leaders from various fields or levels of the organization. This process could involve bringing in guest speakers or arranging interviews with senior management, successful entrepreneurs, or community leaders. The interviews provide insights into different leadership styles, experiences, and perspectives. Team members can ask about challenges faced, lessons learned, and advice for emerging leaders. This activity exposes participants to diverse leadership approaches and offers valuable learning opportunities. When searching for team building activities for leadership workshops, be sure to add this activity to your list.
3. Emoji Storytelling
During emoji storytelling, provide teams with a set of randomly selected emojis. Participants will then create a coherent story using those emojis as prompts. Team members collaborate to string together the emojis into a narrative, infusing creativity and imagination into the process. The challenge lies in crafting a story that logically connects the emojis while incorporating plot twists, characters, and settings. This activity encourages thinking outside the box and working collaboratively to weave a story from seemingly unrelated elements.
4. Values Ranking
Values ranking is an activity where team members individually rank a list of core values based on their personal priorities. After ranking, team members come together to discuss their choices, share insights into why certain values are important to them, and explore any differences in perspectives. The goal is to facilitate a discussion that helps the team identify shared values and priorities. This activity can lead to greater clarity about the team’s guiding principles, fostering a sense of unity and alignment.
5. Group Mind Mapping
Group mind mapping involves visually brainstorming ideas, concepts, or solutions on a large surface like a whiteboard or paper. The process starts with a central idea or topic in the center of the space. Then, team members collaboratively add related ideas, subtopics, or branches around it. This process creates a visual representation of the team’s collective thoughts and associations. Group mind mapping promotes collaboration, helps organize complex ideas, and encourages participants to build on each other’s contributions. This technique is particularly useful for generating ideas, planning projects, or exploring relationships between concepts.
6. Balloon Animal Challenge
In the balloon animal challenge, provide teams with balloons and instructions for creating various balloon animals. Participants work together to follow the instructions and create the balloon animals. This activity goes beyond simple balloon twisting by encouraging creativity, as team members may modify or embellish the designs. The challenge promotes collaboration, communication, and patience. Participants must coordinate their efforts to inflate, twist, and shape the balloons according to the instructions. Additionally, the game can serve as an icebreaker or a fun break during a longer team building session.
7. Silent Meetings
Silent meetings involve conducting a meeting without verbal communication. Instead, participants communicate using written notes, messaging apps, or whiteboards. This activity prompts team members to carefully consider their words, improve written communication skills, and actively listen to each other’s messages. Silent meetings can be particularly effective in highlighting the importance of clear and concise communication. Additionally, this activity demonstrates how nonverbal cues, like body language, play a role in understanding conversations. This activity can be an eye-opening experience that encourages participants to approach communication more intentionally.
8. Personality Potion
In the personality potion activity, give teams a set of personality traits that represent qualities or attributes associated with effective leaders. These traits might include creativity, adaptability, empathy, and decisiveness. Team members collaborate to select a combination of traits they believe would create the “perfect personality potion” for a leader. This activity encourages discussions about leadership qualities and helps team members explore the nature of effective leadership. This exercise also allows participants to reflect on their own strengths and growth areas as leaders.
9. Blind Art Auction
In a blind art auction, teams will create artwork while blindfolded. Once the artists are done, they hold a mock art auction where teams must “sell” their artworks to the rest of the group. This activity is both creative and engaging, as it requires participants to use their senses of touch and spatial awareness to create art without visual cues. During the auction, team members take on the role of persuasive salespeople, highlighting the positive aspects of their artwork. Blind art auction encourages teamwork, creativity, and effective communication. Participants must convey the value of their creations to potential “buyers.” This lighthearted activity can lead to laughter and a sense of accomplishment.
10. Did You Know?
Team building sometimes utilizes relationship-building techniques. This exercise is an excellent activity any team can engage in to learn more about each other.
To play the game:
- Have a manager or a team leader act as a narrator.
- Participants write five or more fun facts about themselves and give the sheet to the team leader.
- The manager should then use each point to question the group. For example, leaders can ask, “Did you know that a teammate has a boating license?”
- The manager will then open the floor for members to guess who has a boating license and why the chosen team member is the most likely option.
This idea is one of the team building leadership games that encourages teammates to recall past conversations or observations about other participants. The activity also opens the floor for better relationships between colleagues.
Browse this list of get to know you questions for inspiration.
11. Leader for A Day
Leader for a day places every participant as a leader in charge of the team. The activity aims to build respect and working relationships among the team. The manager can appoint a team member to lead for the day every other week. The selected leader will have a list of managerial tasks and duties to carry out throughout the day successfully. Tasks can include projects and delegation, reviews, praise, and corrections, which the member must give to the team. Any job that can place employees in a leadership position, including enforcing a rule for a day, can be included in the leader’s daily duties. The game aims to see how each member manages the task and team with all possible difficulties. The activity also tests how other staff respond to leadership changes and styles.
12. Stick to the Values
Certain workplace values maximize team relationships. Stick to the values is a great way to let members know more about each other and test how well they can uphold the values. To play the game, team leaders must highlight workplace standards that help build team relationships. These principles include patience, commitment, punctuality, accountability, and discipline. Each participant must pick a value and spend a week trying to uphold it. Then, other colleagues will determine if teammates have stuck to their assigned values.
You can rotate the ideals until each member has explored each. Teammates can then judge how well a coworker maintained the assigned value and if they failed or succeeded while sticking to their value. This game is one of the leadership team building activities that will help members learn the team’s expectations and how these values affect the team.
Here are examples of company core values.
13. Lip Reading Relay
Lip reading relay is a team building exercise that instills trust, teamwork, and creativity among colleagues.
To play the game:
- Managers divide the team into groups of three.
- A volunteer from each group will wear noise-canceling headphones to ensure they cannot hear a single word.
- The other players will get a sentence or a short paragraph of information.
- Have the members relay the information to the deafened player as accurately as possible.
- Participants can speak in low voices to ensure the headphone wearer cannot hear.
- Players cannot show the deafened member the paragraph or sentence.
- Colleagues can use bodily expressions and mouth words slowly to ensure the deafened player understands the text.
This game encourages thoughtful communication and problem-solving skills.
14. One-Sentence Instruction
One-sentence instruction explores how teammates react to guidelines. The game begins with a manager calling the team and providing instructions for members to complete. The instruction must be vague and incomplete.
- Organize and send some files
- Create a video for a company
- Develop a plan
The goal is to see how workers respond to this guideline. There should also be a time frame for completing the task. You can expect three different responses.
The first set of members will instantly jump to complete the job and try to figure out or fill in the blanks of the incomplete instruction. The second set will stop and ask questions to learn more about the expectations. For this group, the manager should remain steadfast in simply repeating the one-sentence instruction. The last group will most likely do nothing.
At the end of the timeline, the manager should evaluate each group. The first set was active, but incomplete instruction is the root of many errors. The second set is the most successful. When an instruction is vague, stop and seek clarity. The last should get encouragement to be more active in their actions. Doing nothing can be worse than filling in the blanks. This activity can teach participants the importance of speaking out and seeking clarification when an instruction is unclear.
15. Teams of the World
Teams of the world encourages members to learn how other famous teams managed and succeeded. Managers should conduct in-depth research on various world teams that completed a notable feat and get as much detail about the working dynamic of the team as possible. Managers can turn to companies with renowned team operations, like Trader Joe’s, Rackspace, and Amazon.
Once the managers have information on these companies and a specific division, they can gather the participants and have them discuss each team and what lessons they can learn. Managers can go a step further and get information about famous broken teams, such as Enron and Toys R Us. Then, leaders can highlight the reasons or series of events that lead to the group’s dissolution. Managers can try to see what members think and feel about these famous teams.
16. Alternate Words
Alternate words is an effortless game that teammates can play to build teamwork and collaboration.
To play the game:
- Split players into groups of two.
- The game requires a team of two players. Player one gets a stack of cards with images or symbols.
- Player one will have to use alternate words to explain the image or word. For example, the card might say, “Picture.” Player one must use an alternate term, like photograph, to describe it.
- The second player must reply with the correct word or name.
The game can be time-based to make it more challenging.
17. Find the Missing Item
As an accessible team building and leadership game, find the missing item is fun and effective.
To play the game:
- Managers split the team into groups of at least three.
- Each group gets a minute to go through over 20 items or images.
- The manager will take the items and remove a quarter of them.
- The team leader can bring the cards back to the team.
- The team will identify the missing items.
This game helps encourage teams to pay attention to detail and communicate.
18. Speed Texting
Speed texting can also be an excellent team building activity that ensures teammates work together toward a common goal.
To play the game:
- Group participants into twos or threes.
- One teammate will read a text aloud from a piece of paper, another will type, and a third will serve as a cross-checker.
- The team must work together to get the correct text sent within a given timeframe.
- The team with the most accurate and complete text wins.
Speed texting is one of the best quick leadership team building activities to explore during your event.
19. Team Research
Senior leadership team building activities are complex and demand each individual takes responsibility for tasks while collectively working for one goal or project. Team research is one such activity. For this activity, managers should develop an intricate question or task where members must research information and collect data from various online and offline sources.
The question or project should consist of multiple mini tasks, which teams must solve before arriving at the solution. The activity should have a limited time frame, causing teammates to divide tasks to solve the project faster. Team research as a task will prompt the division of labor and teamwork to ensure success within the limited time.
20. Team Building – Literally
In this activity, colleagues will try to recreate objects using crafting or building supplies.
The game will require a lot of resources and tools, including:
- toilet paper
- bottle caps
- Lego blocks
- building sticks
These resources should be available before the game begins. The manager will need to split the team members into groups of two or more, depending on the team size. Managers can give groups detailed items or images to build using the tools and resources.
The object can be reasonably complex. However, the goal is to see how well the teams work together and how creative they are while recreating the build. The team with the most attention to detail and teamwork wins. Team building – literally is an excellent way to boost collaboration, creativity, communication, and attention to detail.
21. Team Fundraiser
A team fundraiser is a fun way to see how well teammates can work together for the common good. Leaders should pair teammates randomly and have groups choose from a preselected list of charity organizations. Each team will devise a fundraising strategy and raise money for their charity. Managers can set a small target amount and a stipulated time frame.
The game can come with rules, such as funds must be from folks unrelated to the team. You can also set rules that enable groups to raise money within or outside the company. Managers can devise whatever rule makes the game even more challenging. Team fundraising opens teammates to teamwork and respect, allowing members to move past personal differences. Besides, the event also enables employees to participate in a charitable effort.
Here is a list of virtual fundraising ideas.
22. Favorite Teammate Feature
The favorite teammate feature is a game that helps teams value each other and their skills. Team members will pick a teammate and share the work values and characteristics they love about their colleagues. The game can go further by asking each employee to say which of the chosen colleague’s traits deserves emulation. Be sure to give each member time in the spotlight.
Another variation to this game is to ask every participant to list three to five favorite features of all teammates. Each point listed can be about the member’s work ethic, general personality, skills, and values. The favorite teammate feature aims to get colleagues to appreciate each other and identify the team’s strengths. The game is also a way for participants to see themselves through the eyes of other colleagues.
Here are more gratitude activities.
As a manager, building leadership qualities and teamwork among your staff is essential. To create a dedicated team, managers must go above and beyond to help their teams connect and thrive. Managers can explore many activities that will allow employees, individually and collectively, to improve working principles to grow the team further.
Managers can focus on senior leadership team building activities, which are complex and intricate, or they can stick to more straightforward tasks and events to boost teamwork and leadership. Whichever option you choose, ensure that you distribute teammates well to allow for complete relationship development.