Lego Mansion: an Experiential Exercise for Understanding Leadership Styles

Celeste M. Grimard


This paper describes an experiential exercise that helps learners understand the impact of various leadership styles and answer the question, “What is the best way to lead?” The exercise invites groups of learners to build a house for an “important person” such as a president or prime minister under the guidance of leaders with varying styles. When groups fire a leader (as they inevitably do), another leader steps in who, in turn, is fired and replaced. This exercise is debriefed using concepts from Blake and Mouton’s (1974) leadership grid, Kerr and Jermier’s (1978) substitutes for leadership theory, and Hersey and Blanchard’s (1972) situational leadership theory. Also, this exercise explores additional insights concerning learners’ perceptions and preferences regarding leadership styles.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Celeste M. Grimard

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