What leadership theories have you used (practiced) during team building programs?
Leadership outcomes are very common in team building programs - we provide amazing opportunities to practice leadership behaviors. Most of my leadership programming has included activities that give participants practice with leading (e.g., a "leader" is assigned as part of the activity). After a group conversation about what leadership looks and sounds like, we get into activities to practice (or not) these behaviors. In most cases, for me, theoretical conversations do not take place.
My favorite process for exploring leadership is to provide feedback to the leader(s). Knowing the group understands how to provide feedback (this skill development might take place as part of the program), we include leader feedback as part of the processing session. Then, the group moves into another activity with a new leader (or leaders). More leader feedback after the activity and then another activity. The facilitated objective of this continual (formative evaluation) leader feedback is to collect "data" about leadership and (hopefully) to learn, in the moment, and use this knowledge to inform leadership behaviors that are on the way (i.e., if the near-future leaders are listening, they might remember to use the behaviors that are important to the members of the group - like, using names when interacting with each other).
The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, Kouzes & Posner
More recently I've had the opportunity to work (program) with the five practices of leadership promoted by Kouzes & Posner. Through a particular program, participants were learning about these practices and studying, The Leadership Challenge (the extended research-based book by Kouzes & Posner). Through personal exploration and learning from the participants about the practices, I slowly built up a repertoire of activities that brought out behaviors related to each practice. (HERE is a nice PDF article with more details about the five practices.)
Five Practices in Summary:
When I began learning about, The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, someone shared this acronym, M.I.C.E.E. (Micky) to remember the practices.
How about you? What Leadership Theories have you worked with (programmed) in your team building experiences? Please leave us a Comment so we can explore them and learn from you.
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Chris Cavert, Ed.D.
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Dr. Chris Cavert is an educator, author and trainer. His passion is helping team builders learn and grow.