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Motivating a Team - Leadership Compass

Page history last edited by samuel olson 12 years, 10 months ago

Leadership Compass

(Downloadable Version: Leadership Compass)


This is a great exercise for building a collaborative work environment. 

Your team will learn about each others' leadership styles, and learn to work more efficiently with one another.


- Flip chart and markers or print-off of Leadership Compass handouts


-    Copy the Leadership Directions onto a flip chart (or print copies).  Each direction requires two pages, one for “Approach” and one for “Overuse.” 

-    Mark four different areas of the room as: “North,” “South,” “East,” and “West.”

-    Formulate a scenario based on your Big Idea.

Action Plan


Step One: Self Identify

Begin by introducing the Four-Fold Way and the different directions/leadership styles (for a thorough explanation see the full training module: Leadership Compass.pdf).  Explain that we all have strengths and weaknesses in each of these different styles, but that we all have one direction that is primary.  Ask participants identify their primary direction and to go to that area of the room. 

Step Two: Discussing our Strengths

In small groups, ask participants to discuss what they perceive to be the qualities of their direction.  After a few minutes, have groups report back.  After each group shares, handout the “APPROACH” page (or reveal it on the flip chart) corresponding to their direction.  Ask if there is anything that they do not resonate with, or if there is anything that they did not think of that does rings true.  Then move on to the next group.  You could allow for a couple clarifying questions after each group.

Step Three: Discussing Weaknesses

Next, return to small groups and talk through what individuals perceive as weaknesses of their direction.  After a few minutes have groups report back.  After every group has reported back hand out the “OVERUSE” page (or display it on the flip chart).  Discuss what groups had noted and what they had not thought of.  Allow every group to share.

Step Four: Finding your Weakest Strength

Ask everyone to think about which style they identify with the least; their weakest direction – the style of leading that they would be least likely to use when given a position of leadership.  When they have identified that direction, have them move to that area of the room.  Instruct them to look around and take a few comments about who moved where.  Then tell everyone to take a seat in their weakest direction.

Step Five: Scenario

Introduce the Scenario that you have come up with related to your Big Idea, and ask people to attempt solving it using the strategies and strengths of their weakest Direction.  If you have a small team you could discuss it all together.  If you have a larger group you could discuss it in direction-based groups.  Give groups a sufficient amount of time to come up with a response to the scenario.  Then ask for volunteers to report back on how each group approached solving the scenario.


Conclude this session by inviting individuals to share what strengths they have seen in themselves and other members of the team.  You might ask them:  “What have you learned about your strengths and weaknesses in this session?  What strengths or leadership qualities have you seen in others?”  Finish by thanking them for their active participation and encouraging them with what you have seen in their work as a group.

<-  Back to Motivating a Team - Valuing Each Others' Contributions


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