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Trainer’s Tip: Leadership Exercise

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Rus Slater shares an exercise to help managers think about leadership.


Give each delegate a piece of note paper, a set of 10 post it notes and a marker pen. Reveal a slide with the Industrial Society definition of leadership:
"Leadership is the relationship between those who choose to lead and those who choose to follow"

(So far you have used up about two minutes.)

Give the group five minutes, in silence, to consider 10 one-word answers to the question:
"So, what are the most important characteristics of a leader in this organisation?"
on the same slide.

Give them a minute to write them, one per post it.

(You have now used up about 10 minutes.)

Get them to stand up and affinity group their post its on the walls, be clear that they have only two minutes to do this. Whilst they do this watch for examples of leadership and followership behaviour, note them down.

At the end of the two minutes get them to sit down and look to see the "voting" (more post its in a group = more support for that as a priority).

(You will now have used about 15 minutes.)

You now have 5 minutes to pose some questions (possibly rhetorical).
"That's the vote, is it right?"
"How do you, personally, stack up against these priorities?"
"Are these the priorities you use when selecting a potential manager?"
and, as these are middle managers:
"Do you think the senior management of this organisation would agree?"

Shouldn't last too long, should get some thinking going, if a taster aims to do that, should be easy for you to prepare - two slides and a trip to WHSmiths!

View the original posting:

Does anyone have any short session ideas for leadership for middle managers?
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