Leading From The Front And Staying Safe

Learning Leadership by Playing Games

By all accounts leadership is a skill which can be learned by nearly anyone with the right aptitude. We certainly have demonstrated that to be true with in our various coaching and mentoring activities and our management training programs.

It’s also true that no one can be a highly effective manager unless they have finely honed leadership skills. However, the opposite is actually not true. One can be in extremely fine leader with no management responsibility at all. And, your business will be likely performing at a higher level if the number of leaders exceeds the number of managers.

We also believe it’s very important for leaders to be able to think prior to acting. In general, a leader is expected to understand the entire situation in order to be in a position of leading others. No one will follow a leader that does not know the terrain for very long.

Why I am in favor of leadership games.

For that reason we’re in favor of the concepts like day dreaming, meditation, regular breaks and relaxation. Gameplaying, including the online or electronic variety, can be very therapeutic and frequently helps in developing leaders.

This may be a difficult concept for you to grasp. This is because we’ve been trained to see someone who is idle (or goofing around) to be wasting time. Time wasters of course are not particularly productive, but when they get reengaged, many of them are extremely good producers.

Many role-playing and other types of games have a significant amount of leadership (and management) levels which are very instructive. Here is a trailer for a Sony game that hit that illustrates this point:

Of course, this is not to say that you should be encouraging people to take significant time during their workday to play games. On the other hand, I’m familiar with several companies who have concepts such as “joyfulness”, “frivolity”, and “fun-loving” as part of their core value system. As it turns out every one of the ones I know are highly successful business enterprises.

Here is a Stanford professor, Byron Reeves, talking about how leadership game playing can influence leadership in a positive way based on considerable research.

What’s the lesson in this? Simply, don’t be so quick to judge those who take the time to play games for hours. Turns out that there could be a considerable amount of leadership development going on at the same time.