Leadership activities are not all created equal. Business managers look for leadership programs for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’ve experience phenomenal growth or your stockholders are expecting numbers that will require exceptional performance to meet. You need more than leadership activities that will inspire, you need real tools your leadership team can use to help your organization meets its goals.
In order to get the most out of your investment, there are six key questions to ask as you research possible training programs and leadership activities.
Is the point of the activity clear or stated so everyone understands the why behind the activity?
If you don’t know why you’re making Sangria or doing a ropes course, you shouldn’t do it. Find a reputable program that has a tangible connection to what you want to accomplish in the training.
Is collaboration of all participants encouraged?
Part of getting the best from your employees comes from individuals feeling inspired, valuable, and like they are important. Are the different strengths of individuals accounted for? Is it easy for everyone to participate and feel like they are a vital part of the activity? That is essential to feeling like they are an important part of your organization and that their performance matters.
Is there something learned that could be applied later in a real business environment?
How to meet the expectations and core values of each person on the team is something that can make or break job satisfaction and overall team morale. Does the activity you are involved in teach leaders how to recognize what is valuable to different employees? Does it reward them with work that is satisfying and communication that honors what is important to them? Can you take specific things from the valuable time you spent in the activity and apply it directly to a problem or project at work when you get back? Does it really teach leadership skills or just how to make Sangria?
Does it facilitate getting to know the other members of the group in a deeper more meaningful way?
Is it personal and allow for a discovery of qualities and characteristics that may not be apparent in every day work settings? It is critical that the activity doesn’t feel superficial and meaningless and achieves a deepened sense of connectedness for the participants. In a situation where morale is suffering, superficial activities can actually hurt rather than help.
Does it allow for problem solving, evaluation, brainstorming, or other solution-oriented activities derived from your business?
A beneficial experience requires that the activity is adapted to your industry and particular circumstances for it to have a long-term impact.
Will this activity stretch you and challenge you beyond your comfort zone?
You are looking for leadership activities because you need your management team to extend the vision, obtain difficult goals, and succeed in highly competitive environment. Your leadership team can’t expand and grow from a special training unless the training itself encourages risk. Look for a program that is geared toward learning and expansion.
Leadership activities should be fun, but more importantly, they should provide tools that your employees can take back to the office, they should have a positive and long-term impact on your team, and they should give each team member a sense of their importance to the organization.