top of page

It’s OK to Play In Leadership Positions!

As a consultant, facilitator, and speaker who uses Play as her "secret weapon," I'm always amazed at how many people still dismiss its value. They say things like, "It will never catch on," "Employees will lose focus from their work," or simply, "Play and work don't mix!" I've even encountered the misconception that play for adults is unprofessional—clearly, they haven't seen it in action!

Play, as a science-backed approach, is a powerful tool for team building, transforming corporate culture, and boosting creativity. It's been shown to foster collaboration and alleviate stress. And it's not just for entry-level employees; it's effective at every tier, including top leadership.

Recently, I led a multi-day Women's Leadership seminar for 12 high-level managers and C-suite executives. Initially skeptical about integrating play, they soon found themselves immersed in laughter and learning, their doubts forgotten.

We kicked off with a 'Yes, And' round robin, an improv-inspired activity that fosters a generative mindset, encouraging a flow of ideas and, invariably, a lot of laughter. We told a story as a group. The first woman started the story with one sentence, “Today I saw a unicorn driving a convertible!” The next woman continued the story, starting her sentence with ‘Yes, and…” “Yes, and its mane was blowing wildly in the wind…”, and so on. They each offered a part of the story, one sentence at a time. We went around the room until we got back to the first person. It was the perfect way to start the class!

The seminar culminated in a challenging "pretend" exercise, where participants navigated a conversation based on a case study, incorporating communication and personality style tools they'd learned. To keep them on their toes, I introduced unexpected "monkey wrenches" into the scenario….extra issues that they had to incorporate into their conversation. Things like breaking machinery, illness, goats in the lobby (don’t ask) and more. By now, they were ready for anything and giggled through it, getting the solutions needed.

In the realm of leadership, play is not frivolous—it's a strategic tool that unlocks creativity, sharpens critical thinking, and ignites curiosity. It creates a safe space for innovation and forges strong team bonds. When play is purposeful, it becomes a catalyst for growth and change, equipping leaders to navigate the complexities of their roles with agility and insight.

So, if you're looking to elevate your organization's leadership and learning, why not embrace play? It's more than just fun; it's a pathway to unlocking potential and achieving excellence. Give play a chance and watch your team's dynamics transform. After all, the most successful leaders know that play is not just okay—it's essential.


bottom of page