The best team building activities create a warm, welcoming environment for all comers–just like a campfire. Remember the good old days as a Boy or Girl Scout? Those cozy evenings encircling a blazing campfire forged friendships that continue to enrich our lives.
They also set many of our hearts ablaze with the desire to become strong leaders. The skills we developed while exploring the world around us and mastering the challenges of roughing it in the great outdoors did more than earn us “badges.” They prepared us to take our place in the wider world and add value to it.
So too should the best team building activities–they should add value to our personal and professional lives, and to our communities. Campfire building is an apt metaphor for leadership development. To build a roaring campfire you need fuel, a heat source, oxygen, a little kindling, and a safe platform or base.
As a leader, you cast a vision that you hope will fuel the future success of your company. Your zeal for the mission; enthusiasm about the prospects for your company’s growth; and your dreams of making a mark in your industry–all of these have provided a ready heat source. I mean, you’re pretty revved up, right?
But it’s your concern for your troops that will provide the breath of fresh–the oxygen, as it were–that will really get your subordinates fired up. And what will really kindle that fire in their bellies is the clear understanding of where and how they fit into the big picture.
If you keep an open mind, an open door, and open opportunities for your staff to retool their skills as needed, they’ll be stoked to excel every day. In the business world, the word “safe” doesn’t mean static. It means that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. It means that even when things seem volatile, your staffers don’t have to feel insecure about their jobs. Safe means stability, and stability is carte blanche to create and innovate.
One of the best team-building tools in the marketplace today is the DiSC personality profile. Leaders use these profiles to develop team building strategies with laser precision by identifying the character traits and personality quirks of each team member. It helps managers hone in on those skills and gifts that should be showcased and fully exploited by the company, and it also helps identify those attributes that need to be strengthened.
Campfire building don’t help managers weed out and discard people. They help them tap into the best in each worker and maximize these strengths; while supporting efforts to improve in areas of weakness. That’s the thing about the best team building experiences: they continue to inspire you for many years to come.