On The Ball: An Experiential Exercise for Developing Awareness About Self-Leadership

Celeste M. Grimard


A fundamental prerequisite for becoming an effective leader is being able to lead oneself. This paper presents an experiential exercise that helps individuals become aware of fundamental elements of self-leadership such as managing one’s emotions and attitudes; dealing with time constraints, priorities and stress; effective delegation; and working in a team context. In addition, students develop insights regarding their personal orientation towards self-leadership based on their performance during a brief interactive ball tossing activity. At first glance, this exercise appears to be deceptively simple in nature. However, students quickly realize that, as the workload increases exponentially, they must find a way to work together, manage their feelings of stress and anxiety, and establish boundaries in relation to accepting work that doesn’t belong to them or that represents an overload of work.

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