15 Leadership Team Building Activities

Some leaders are born, and others are forged. Read this post to check out the best 15 leadership team building activities.
15 Leadership Team Building Activities
Team leaders play a vital role in companies worldwide. Nevertheless, the presence of innate leaders within the workplace is not always straightforward. Human talent is hard to find, volatile, and requires continuous nurturing.

Consequently, it’s necessary for companies to foster and promote leadership skills among their team members.

One of the best ways to do this is by making team members participate in a leadership team building activity.

This way, companies can create their own future leaders organically and naturally. This guide will cover the 15 best leadership team building activities and exercises, including how to play them, activity duration, goal of the activity, and more.

Having fun with colleagues at the office

What’s the Goal of Leadership Activities in the Workplace?

A team building leadership activity has the goal of implementing effective leadership values into the workplace.

As team members develop their leadership skills, they improve in many other aspects, such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.

Among the main objectives and goals of the team building leadership exercise, we have the following three.

1. Identify Potential Leaders

Finding a successful leader is a challenge that many companies around the world face every year.

Statistics show that only 10% of people are natural-born leaders, but another 20% show basic leadership qualities that can be cultivated and evolved.

Identifying born leaders can be challenging; however, developing high-quality leadership skills in a team member can yield significant benefits for different companies.

By making individual team members participate in leadership team building activities, it is possible to identify potential new leaders inside the workplace.

2. Enhance Communication and Problem-Solving Skills

Communication and problem-solving skills are necessary to ensure the productivity of the entire group.

A research paper titled “What is the true cost of poor employee communication?” by Haiilo shows that a lack of communication skills leads to poor corporate culture and reduced employee productivity.

By showing team members how to lead effectively, it’s possible to boost these necessary skills, which brings benefits to everyone.

3. Build Trust and Develop Leadership Skills

Trust among group participants can be built through leadership exercises. 

50% of employees say “bad leadership” is their main reason for leaving a job, which shows us the imperative need to have a great team leader in a company.

Additionally, a study conducted by Science for Work shows us that “team members who trust leaders more are less likely to intend to quit.

On average, it costs businesses over 5,000 USD to hire new talent (according to SHRM). Leadership games are an integral part of the leader-building process as they can have a significant impact on a company’s overall budget and human talent (see how much it could cost you to replace employees with our Team Building ROI calculator).

15 Leadership Team Building Activities

The main objective behind implementing leadership team building activities is clear: foster essential leadership skills that all employees need in one way or another.

The following 15 team-building activities consist of fun games and experiences that boost and improve the leadership aspects of each group member inside the workplace.

A mixed race woman standing in front of her colleagues smiling

1. Public Speaking Training

Some jobs may not require public speaking abilities inside the office, but developing public speaking skills of team members brings many great benefits, such as improved personal development, developed vocabulary, and boosted confidence.

Leadership workshops and training courses are designed to enhance the positive aspects of employees, which makes groups feel more connected to each other.

Teamland’s Public Speaking Training includes exclusive knowledge granted by a 2-time TEDx speaker. This activity is ideal for boosting leadership skills and learning how to communicate better inside the workplace.

  • Best For: Improving leadership skills for all team members.
  • Group Size: Medium-sized and big-sized teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

2. Leadership Race

Leadership Race is a game that aims at identifying potential leaders among group members. To play this game, the host must list a series of positive leadership aspects.

For example, some of these aspects are trustworthiness, great communication, loyalty, a positive mindset, and more.

Then, team members must be placed side-by-side. As the host names positive leadership aspects, they must take one step forward if they believe the traits relate to them.

The first one who reaches the finish line wins this game, and is more likely to become a future leader in their professional career.

  • Best For: Identifying group members with leadership behaviors.
  • Group Size: Small groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. One Member, Three Leaders

One Member, Three Leaders is a situational leadership activity that consists of identifying the leadership mindset of team members.

Divide team members into groups of four people, and designate one team member, and three different leaders.

Come up with a potential problem, and make the three leaders find a solution for that problem according to their own personal opinions.

Then, the one team member will analyze the different solutions and identify the one that, in their opinion, is the best solution. By engaging in this activity, leaders of teams compete to find the best way to tackle a problem, which develops their strategic planning skills.

  • Best For: Develop different leadership styles.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized groups. It also works for remote teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Team Personality Training

Team Personality Training is an interactive workshop that delves into team roles such as leader, facilitator, supporter, and finisher. 

Participants discover their strengths and weaknesses and learn effective ways to communicate and collaborate. 

The training includes group discussions, role-playing exercises, and is ideal for improving team performance. This is particularly beneficial for team leaders, managers, and new hires, helping to enhance cooperation and mutual understanding.

  • Best For: Enhancing cooperation, improving leadership skills, and team onboarding.
  • Group size: Suitable for all group sizes.
  • Activity Duration: Typically ranges from 1 to 3 hours.

5.  Build a Tower Challenge

Building a tower is a classic race game that consists of grouping team members to craft a homemade tower using office supplies and standard materials.

As teams work to build a tower in this fun activity, they must designate a leader that will set the steps to follow in order to win.

This leadership activity is simple yet highly effective as the multiple participants work together and leaders develop improved communication skills to win the game. Don’t forget to set up a time limit to decide the rightful winner of this challenge.

  • Best For: Team bonding and enhanced communication skills.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized in-person groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.
Young business people enjoying team building

6.  Leadership Coat of Arms

Leadership Coat of Arms is a simple game that consists of drawing a coat of arms that represents the leadership values of individual group members.

Provide each team member with pencils, colors, and paper. They will then need to draw a coat of arms that showcases their leadership values and objectives.

As this game requires participants to draw something, it is important to remember that their drawing skills are not being tested here, but their leadership needs and styles.

Afterward, each team member must explain their arms of coat to the group, which helps other participants identify the different leadership styles inside the office.

  • Best For: Understanding the leadership needs of each team member.
  • Group Size: All kinds of groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.

7. Human Knot

Human Knot is a classic team building problem solving activity that everyone can play. The game consists of making all participants turn into a “human knot” by holding hands with each other.

The objective is to untangle the knot while working together. This light-hearted team building activity helps group members to develop their team bonding and communication skills in a fairly simple way.

Naturally, a person (or multiple individuals) will act as leaders to dictate the path to follow to untangle the knot.

  • Best For: Improving communication and team bonding values through teamwork.
  • Group Size: Small groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 45 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Leadership Trivia

Trivia is a great leadership team building activity that works for both in-office and remote teams.

With Teamland’s Trivia Time, it’s possible to pick a topic that suits all team members, which turns Trivia into a fun, engaging, and always enjoyable game.

However, the “leadership twist” consists of making the different groups choose their own leaders. Then, the answer to the trivia question must be discussed between all team members before announcing it.

  • Best For: Developing communication abilities between team members and a leader.
  • Group Size: In-office and remote groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 30 minutes to 1 hour.

9. Build a Boat Challenge

The best way to create compatible teams is by making them work together. Building a boat sounds challenging at first, but with the right materials, completing this task is fun, engaging, and highly beneficial.

Teamland’s Castaway experience provides groups with the necessary materials to build a boat with their own hands.

Divide office members into two groups, designate their leaders, and make them assemble a boat together by using the materials available.

The team that builds the best boat wins. Using effective leadership traits is crucial to becoming the winner of this task.

  • Best For: Identifying effective leaders and improving critical thinking of work groups.
  • Group Size: Medium and big-sized in-office groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 2 to 4 hours.

10. Leadership Pizza

Pizza is always welcomed into the workplace, but now, let’s take a different approach to this popular dish.

Leadership Pizza consists of making team members describe their ideal leadership qualities in a visual representation of a pizza. Each leadership trait represents a slice of the pizza, and some slices might be bigger than others, which means they believe those traits are more important.

Then, each team member shows the pizza to the whole team and explains why they believe their chosen traits are the ideals for leadership roles.

Identifying missing essential leadership characteristics will help team members to improve those skills over time.

  • Best For: Personal development of actual leaders.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.

11. Active Listening Challenge

Listening is a crucial aspect of leadership roles. The Active Listening Challenges consist of a host talking to the entire office or virtual group.

After carefully listening to a presentation, each employee must accurately elaborate on the topic discussed.

Normally, leaders have better listening skills as they care for what others have to say. This activity is great for identifying potential and future leaders inside the company.

  • Best For: Developing and improving leadership traits.
  • Group Size: In-person and virtual groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

12. Shipwreck Challenge

Picture this: a cruise trip went horribly wrong, and now all team members must work together to survive a shipwreck on a desert island.

The Shipwreck Challenge consists of dividing team members into small groups with a designated leader.

After 30 minutes, they must come up with a list of necessary materials to survive on the island while waiting for help.

Teams must discuss to find the ideal materials and items based on logic and the needs of all members. By participating in this leadership team building activity, existing leaders can improve their skills as they hear about the special needs that certain team members might have.

  • Best For: Leadership training.
  • Group Size: Small and medium-sized in-office and remote teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 1:30 to 2 hours.

13. Virtual Copycat

Virtual Copycat is one of the best virtual leadership activities as it improves the comprehension and listening skills of team members.

Join an online video conference with team members, and divide them into groups of three people. Make them select their own leader, and bring the leader to a solitary video conference room (1 on 1).

Show them a picture, and make them see it for a few minutes. Then, they must go back with their groups and explain the picture they saw in as much detail as possible.

After a while, the other two team members must explain the picture (colors, landscape, topic, and more) as accurately as they can. This helps all members of the team to develop interpersonal skills in a natural and entertaining way.

  • Best For: Developing interpersonal skills.
  • Group Size: Virtual groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 1:30 hours.

14. Leaders You Admire

We all have leaders we admire, and in a way, they reflect ways of thinking and leadership values.

Gather all team members and make them say out loud what leader they admire and why. The leaders can be politicians, musicians, historical personalities, and more.

This shows us an accurate image of the leadership values that team members unconsciously seek.

  • Best For: Learning the leadership style of team members.
  • Group Size: All kinds of teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

15. Virtual Escape Room

Virtual Escape Rooms are always entertaining and very engaging. The objective of Virtual Escape Rooms is to escape a virtual place before time runs out.

Normally, certain team members act as leaders to guide others with the goal of escaping the virtual room.

This helps companies to identify what group members are more prone to acquiring leadership roles in the future.

  • Best For: Identifying leaders and developing communication/team working skills.
  • Group Size: Medium-sized remote teams.
  • Activity Duration: From 30 minutes to 1 hour.

16. Minefield

Minefield is one of those fun leadership activities that can be easily played without hard-to-find materials.

The game consists of setting up an in-office obstacle course. Some group members will try to finish the course while blindfolded, and hand-picked team leaders will guide them by speaking to them out loud.

As other team members sort out the challenges of the course, the team that manages to complete the course first wins. This improves coordination and communication skills.

  • Best For: Improving coordination and communication among team members.
  • Group Size: Small in-office groups.
  • Activity Duration: From 1 to 2 hours.

Summary: Best Leadership Development Activities in the Workplace

Implementing leadership activities in the workplace provides outstanding benefits to both companies and employees.

Leaders are a necessary figure in many activities of our day-to-day lives, and the following leadership activities are great for identifying and improving the leadership skills of any company’s team groups:

  1. Public Speaking Training
  2. Leadership Race
  3. One Member, Three Leaders
  4. Build a Tower Challenge
  5. Leadership Coat of Arms
  6. Human Knot
  7. Leadership Trivia
  8. Build a Boat Challenge
  9. Leadership Pizza
  10. Active Listening Challenge
  11. Shipwreck Challenge
  12. Virtual Copycat
  13. Leaders You Admire
  14. Virtual Escape Room
  15. Minefield

What you should do now

Whenever you're ready...here are a few ways we can help you:

1. Book a team social event. If you'd like to work with us to have more engaging team events, book an event.

Don't know what activity to pick? Use the Team Building Idea Generator for options.

2. If you'd like to learn remote work strategies for free, head to our blog where you'll find several guides and posts.

3. If you'd like to create a offering for companies for a skill that you have, then contact us and let us know.

4. If you know someone who’d enjoy reading this page, share it with them via email, Linkedin, Twitter, or Facebook.

More Articles