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Creative Leadership: Discover New Training Games

The brilliant thing about leadership is that it’s creativity is only limited by the means in which it’s lived out in your life. We’ve moved into a period of history where it’s unacceptable to be black and white or dare I say it – beige!

So, looking forward into new methods of leadership and utilizing creativity, how can we change?

On Opening Hearts

Lance Secretan once said this:

“Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.”

Creative leadership means thinking outside of the box of mundane. Where it once was OK to stand in front of a group of people and talk for an hour or two, now you’re thought of as old fashioned, boring and irrelevant. People need different types of stimulant and communication to learn and be open to hear what you have to say.

Leadership Training Games

Leadership games and icebreakers have become more important, not in the traditional sense of just facilitating icebreakers in a group scenario but also teaching valuable leadership techniques. They’re not just fun and awkward 10 minutes during a training session, but can become a bigger learning adventure than any subject matter that can be created.

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I’ve seen business simulation games really open up ideas and creativity in teams which lacked both ideas and creativity. The work that comes out of it is innovative and sticks with the participants. Further than that though, the concepts which have come from these leadership games often get applied to businesses and organizations.

Opening Up Creativity

These training games open up creativity in three particular ways;

1. Putting groups of people in a creative environment stimulates personal innovation.

2. Stimulating creativity among two or more people help to bring an idea into reality.

3. Opening people up to new ideas and reality prompts people to grow and be creative with future endeavors.

Obviously the expectation isn’t that you completely transform the ways in which you teach and lead in one instance, but rather why not take an opportunity this year to do something different. Be creative and open your eyes to new possibilities in a team leadership environment.

So what are you doing to open up people and help them discover new ways to be creative in their leadership development? what steps can you take in the future to start to investigate clever ways to open up their minds? What types of successes have you had in the past with training games? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

James Baldock

James Baldock is Creator of Leadership Lime
He develops Leadership Culture, Trains People and Empowers Leaders
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Leading in 2013: Innovate and Move

Leading in 2013: Innovate and Move


Whilst everyone around me takes on new reading plans and find new years resolutions, I find myself asking what are the main areas which will define innovative leadership in 2013.

Ways to Innovate

There will never be one way to lead or a normative set of skills to be ‘a leader,’ but each year there become new revelations about what the cutting edge of great leadership will be like.

Steve Jobs once said this:

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Defining Leadership :: 2013

So, what defines an innovative leader in 2013?

Of course there will be similarities of previous leadership ideology, but I believe there will be three main areas to which we should look to for growth and development.

These three areas of:

  • Personal Development
  • Entrepreneurial Principles
  • Creative innovation

need to be an area of focus for modern leaders to excel and compete this year.

Of course, traditional leadership traits, skills, habits, and execution strategies need to be employed, but these three areas will help leaders innovate and move ahead in 2013

How to Innovate and Move in 2013

Personal Development

Leaders often look at the outer-circumstances of their lives, but the foundations of our leading come from the choices we should make everyday to be better leaders. Maybe a good place to start is taking up a personal development plan to work on an area of our leadership which could do with strengthening.

If you’re invested in leadership; then this will never be a bad decision.

Focus on your foundations to build greater produce and growth from them.

Entrepreneurial Principles

Entrepreneurship has been loosely associated with leadership theory for many years, but more and more I find that these principles will bridge the gap between innovation and leadership.

The open-mindedness of entrepreneurs helps to develop creativity and lays the framework for new opportunities and innovating into new grounds which have previously been thought of as a waste of time.

Developing an entrepreneurial mindset will help us as leaders to look past mere management and give us forward thinking into new leadership.

Creative Innovations

Engaging in creativity and new dimensions of leading will help us stay open to what might be thrown at us.

Increasingly I’ve seen old warlord-leaders want to hold onto the principles of the past and hold fast to things that worked once but are less effective in today’s world.

Learning new innovative techniques and engaging with new creative methods of leading and finding success will set you apart from those who are less interested in forward-thinking and more interested in standards management.

So, how do we take these three leadership skills and grow in the new year?

On Knowledge and Courage

We can invest ourselves in knowledge development and be courageous this year. Burst our from your previous comfort zones and make a few decisions that are a little shocking or different to open the doors to innovation and new successes.

The truth is that the future is in your hands to either move forward or stay in 2012.

So how are you doing in investing in new skills for 2013? How are you doing in building your personal development, entrepreneurial principles, and creative innovation? How can you change your game plan to increase your personal leadership effectiveness? I would love to hear your thoughts!


Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

James Baldock

James Baldock is Creator of Leadership Lime
He develops Leadership Culture, Trains People and Empowers Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

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Leadership Success: The Culmination of Those Beside You


I heard it said once that…

“If you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.”


When I heard this, I was doubtful because it sounded too ‘hokey’ and ridiculous that the people around you would have such an influence on one’s future state. To test the concept, later that day I sat around with my friends and bought up this quote.

As expected, I was ridiculed. And being told that it was nonsense, I piped now and brushed it off.

Later that night I noticed that all my friends were being negative, bitter and at times down-right rude! But being a relatively easy-going guy, I just chalked this up to “they were just that way.”

But it was later that night something came to mind to make me wonder if my assumptions were correct. The “Show me your friends…” phrase came up in my mind again and compelled me to do my own little “friends assessment” while hanging out with them.

Lifestyle Double Check

In thinking more closely about my friends and those I chose to be around, I saw things differently than I had previously envisioned. For example, my room-mate was a weird drummer who had gotten on my bad side often by pulling stupid pranks.

I thought about it and finally admitted to myself that his guy was going nowhere fast.

His life was to epitomize the definition of “loser” and he seemed to hate everything and everyone that he knew. Likewise, a group of 3-4 other friends found solace in doing nothing and regularly had in-door wrestling matches to express their male dominance.

They had a talent in showing disrespect and rejection of the good people I respected and qualities I held close.

Contrary to my goals, these folks were not measuring up to where I wanted to be.

Time to Recalibrate

Was I to become like this group of misfits?

The very possibility scared me into change and an immediate search for people who would be of benefit to my life and more importantly; my destiny. I started off by spending as little time as possible with this group of guys, which made me one lonely man for awhile.

I did another friends assessment on my friends who were on the fringes of my social circle and identified several people who were doing something valuable with their lives, were driven and made a conscious decision to be positive and people of action rather than my previous counterparts who were slowly flushing every part of their lives down the toilet.

The Honest Truth

The truth is that I really did notice their negative effects on my life and would choose life over death, like I’d choose positivity over negativity most days of the week. I moved house and completely changed my circle of friends, which was very difficult at the time for me personally but I don’t regret it for a moment.

So, who are the 5 closest people in your life and how do they influence you? Are they friends to your destiny and how well do you think your life will end up because of them?

I now pride myself on the people I allow into my life and can boast of the brilliant leadership character they bring into my life. These people are the quality and depth of my own life and destiny.

It may not be your friends circle that is most important in this scenario, it could involve your management team, leadership team or people working alongside you at work.

If you assessed those closest to you based on their potential, character and value then would they benefit your life and leadership or pull you away from a more beneficial destiny?

Learning Leadership Up Close

A leader who I respect greatly once told me about how he accomplished his mission to bring John Stott into his life. John Stott is a well-thought-of author and began the evangelical Christian movement, which is a great accomplishment even by itself!

The leader told me of how he didn’t have a way to be introduced to this man Stott but was determined to meet with him and add his value into the destiny of his own life. He actually managed it a year before Stott’s death, but he told of how much of a friend he was to his destiny, a friend who gave and had such value in his own life that it spilled over into the lives around him.

We should all be so lucky to have people like this in our lives.

“Leadership is the ability to establish standards and manage a creative climate where people are self-motivated toward the mastery of long-term constructive goals, in a participatory environment of mutual respect, compatible with personal values.” ~ Mike Vance

Upcoming Destiny

Coming up to the Christmas period and New Year, I thought to myself this:

“What are the special leadership lessons at this time of year?”

I’m still not sure exactly what should be different at this stage of the year, but maybe look at those beside you in your leadership and life.

So ask yourself this:

“Are these people who are friends to your destiny?” and even “Are these people possessing qualities I would actually like or do they have poisonous leadership characteristics?” It could be the right time and opportunity to make a few great refining decisions to your circle of influences.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

James Baldock

James Baldock is Creator of Leadership Lime
He develops Leadership Culture, Trains People and Empowers Leaders
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Leadership Perspective: Something Big or Something Small?

Something Big or Small

Sometimes, our plans as leaders for grandeur and accomplishment get lost in one question that often passes us by. It blinds us from who we really could become because we end up not understanding the difference between the trees and the forest.

That important clarifying question is this:

Do you want to be a small part of something big or a big part of something small?

Growing Your Influence

I think that often we have the mindset that defines us in the second category by default. We have an idea that is small but has the hope to be something big one day and therefore we will be big.

It’s nothing to be ashamed about as by definition we want to influence people and by development and growth the circle of influence should grow and be more effective.

This is commendable but often the small thing goes absolutely nowhere or carries on being very small.

Going Small

For instance, Bob has a passion for coffee and has always wanted to run his own cafe, so he opens “Bob’s Specialty Coffees.”

And to be honest there’s nothing special about Bob’s coffee but he keeps making ends meet to keep his dream open.

Now, Bob isn’t stupid so before he opened his cafe he looked at franchise options with Starbucks and every other major coffee chain, rejecting this idea as he wanted his own brand of coffee to get out there in the market place.

Going Big

However, if he had gone with a franchise, could he have gotten vital experience to make his coffee special? Could the bigger brand name bring in more business and give him a 10x bigger customer base?

The truth is that objectively it’s not wrong to want to be a big part of something small but have you thought about this?

I’ve known some brilliant leaders, innovators and cultural architects who instead of striking out on their own have decided to completely be under the vision of someone else. I believe this is admirable and if more people were like this, all of us leaders would have more influence to outwork ideas and be backed up by leaders were fantastic core ideals.

Defining Leadership

“Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” ~ Peter F. Drucker

The leadership I believe in is honest, practical, hard-working and gritty. This doesn’t have to be your ideology too, but the world needs great “second in command” leaders and more importantly leaders who are willing to submit and grow under other great leaders.

Leave the out-dated thinking behind you and don’t always strive to be number 1.

A Small Part of Something Big

How can we change our thinking on being a small part of something big?

1. Realize you can get more opportunity and influence when you’re a small part of something big.

Sure, you’re not the the big boss of all but if you find the right vision to get behind, you’ll get more of a chance to impact the lives of many more people.

2. You can achieve more as part of a core team of leaders than by yourself. Teamwork will always produce greater ideas and more thought through plans than a singular person.

3. The likelihood is that you’ll have more resource being part of something big. You can do more by having more, you can have bigger and better ideas which you will see come to fruition.

A Big part of Something Small

How can we change our thinking on being a big part of something small?

1. It’s not all about You and what you want. When you limit a venture to the limitations that you put on it with a small vision, you end up like Bob. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with Bob, but due to his applied limitations that coffee shop will never grow or succeed like he wants.

2. Have a big business mentality by having a greater vision than the something small you have right now. Only a very limited leader will want to keep something the same, most of us want to excel and grow. To do this you must have a bit idea and mentality to achieve all that you want to.

3. Focus on building and strengthening yourself to be strong enough to build the something small into what you want it to be. Developing key leadership characteristics should be fundamental to your personal program of leadership development.

So, should you be a big part of something small or a small part of something big? It’s your choice… but whichever you choose, make a decision to break through your limitations and build your vision.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

James Baldock

James Baldock is Creator of Leadership Lime
He develops Leadership Culture, Trains People and Empowers Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

On Leadership and The Power of Great Questions

Great Questions

The people who you lead are so immensely valuable that they deserve to be invested in, empowered, and encouraged to fulfill their own potential. Building up and growing people is how the best organizations continue to thrive and survive.

And this requires a selfless outlook on leadership.

This focus on others is often skipped over by people in positions of leadership as this would mean focusing the spotlight on others instead of themselves, their agenda, or their own platform.

A Key to Success

There are probably a thousand articles that could be written on how to increase one’s personal leadership effectiveness, but rather than providing many examples, I want to focus on one particular aspect of increasing influence with the people you lead: Asking great questions!

You may think this is arbitrary or a non-important topic, but the truth is that as leaders we are often terrible at really coaching those around them. I know I’m often guilty of not spending the time to really build into those I lead, but alas, one cannot do much about the past, instead we should make a mutual choice to better invest into people around us now.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” ~ John Maxwell

This is one of my favorite John Maxwell quotes as it shows the responsibility of the leader to take ownership over people development to point them in the direction of development and empowerment.

So, let’s move into the real grit of why questions are important and how questions should be incorporated into our leadership.

Creating Opportunities for Growth

Have you ever had a great coffee with someone or a deep and meaningful conversation over dinner with a mentor or a great friend? Personally, I can remember some really challenging conversations over coffee that have changed my life and shown me a better direction to send my life.

On the other side of that, I can’t remember about a thousand coffee meetings and dinner’s which I’m sure were great, but never really had a huge impact on me.

Of course it’s idealistic to expect to change every persons life that you have coffee with, but as leaders shouldn’t we invest all we can into new leaders and people that we influence?

A Conversation Journey

There is a great theory behind different types of leadership and coaching questions which are worth a good read to understand how to move conversations along a healthy journey, but what does a journey of a great conversation look like?

Firstly you want to start off with a great platform as a leader. This looks like incorporating lots of leadership qualities into your everyday life to ensure that the people you influence can trust you and admire you for these leadership traits.

The bigger and stronger platform you speak from, the greater influence you have and the bigger voice you can use.

The atmosphere you want to start with is one of competence and openness, competence that you are equipped to lead the conversation a certain way and openness that it’s relaxed in the best environment.

This will depend on what kind of conversation will take place, for instance if it’s more a counseling situation then somewhere quiet and safe or if you just want to encourage someone then your local coffee bar is sufficient.

Creating Powerful Questions

What should your Questions look like?

Your questions need to guide and move the conversation through this journey of development and encouragement. You should be on top of and almost controlling what is being said so that you can show your team member how to move through their own thoughts.

I also can’t stress enough the need to keep the conversation flowing. No one likes awkward silence (unless it’s intentional to get the team member to think about a point that’s been made.)

In preparing for creating powerful questions, you must know what the end-goal is and what the necessary steps are to get to that point. Make sure you are using open language and persuasive questions that will help to move the person into new thinking about their given problems or queries.

Opening Up New Possibilities

Once you’ve opened up their mind to a new ending or direction to move in, use Socratic questions to really push through the boundaries and limitations they’ve put up around their thinking. Throughout this process you don’t want to keep pushing them into something they don’t want but rather open up new possibilities and options.

This is always going to be a process and a lot of work for you as the leader, but it’s immensely worth it.

Often people will put heavy limitations on their own destiny and ability but drawing out the gold from people through great conversations and questions will give you a greater depth of team and stronger, more mature leaders to nurture.

Questions will rule the direction that your leadership destiny faces. Use them to bring people on your journey and value them enough to use your time to build into their lives.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

James Baldock
James Baldock is Creator of Leadership Lime
He develops Leadership Culture, Trains People, and Empowers Leaders
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Web

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