What Makes a Leader?

  • What Makes a Leader?

Challenges a number of myths about leaders - and it could awaken your organisation’s dormant leaders!

Learning Objectives

  • Explains the difference between the manager and the leader
  • Explodes some key myths about leadership
  • Identifies basic leadership behaviour at work
  • Explains what day-to-day leadership is all about
  • Builds confidence and motivates participants to embrace a new leadership approach
  • Criticises the ‘traits’ approach
  • Participants

    3-24 (up to 4 teams of 3-6 per team)

  • Timing

    1 hour

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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The Activity

Leadership is absolutely key when it comes to setting goals, motivating staff, managing people and achieving results. Unfortunately too many leadership courses focus on extraordinary, inspirational leaders on the world stage. Tim in Accounts is never going to have the gravitas of Nelson Mandela, Amitra in Admin is no Angela Merkel. Nevertheless if all staff understand basic, leadership qualities it can make a real difference to their own everyday performance: presenting ideas, instigating change, pouring oil on troubled waters, showing objective judgement. This pack challenges many of the above ideas and puts leadership in a new light.

Trainer's Role

  • Divide group into teams, briefly introduce the activity then issue Handout 1 (‘True or False?’) to each person to complete the 1st section (about individual responses). Now ask them to work in teams to complete the 2nd section (about the team’s response)
  • Discuss results to bring out prejudices and falsehoods about leadership. Now issue each team with a sets of 55 cards. Ask them to think about the statements on the cards. Which are specific to a ‘leader’ rather than being generic statements or ones specific to a manager? Ask them to narrow it down to those cards that best sum up the key attributes of an effective leader
  • Lead a debrief about the selections (all covered in the Trainer’s Notes)
  • The True/Flase session at the start and the card activity can now be linked to see how much their original ideas have been challenged and changed
  • Use the Handouts 2, 3 & 4 to establish the new view of leadership expressed in this exercise, and to identify key differences between leaders and managers
  • Participants now look at how to apply their learning in order to strengthen their role at work. In the final stage they prepare Action Plans that identify situations in their particular job where their new-found knowledge of leadership behaviours can be put to good effect
  • Debriefs of each section are fully supported by clear Trainer’s Notes.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer's Notes
  • Handout 1 (A4 pad): True or False?
  • PDF files for printing Handouts 2, 3 & 4
  • Handout 2: Leadership or not?
  • Handout 3: Leadership or Management?
  • Handout 4: Executive Leader or Manager?
  • 4 x Set of 55 Cards

Makes people consider the power we all have to be leaders by challenging the status quo. I used this exercise as part of an ILM module and it created much debate among the delegates. It is great to finally have an exercise which challenges the old Leadership theories (Trait, Great Man, Theory X and Y).

N. Porter, Bahrain Petroleum Company

Northgate Games always add a dimension to enhance the learning experience.

P. Mistretta, Center Parcs

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