Okay, so I’m about to let the proverbial “cat out of the bag (box?).”
There are a lot of perfectly “normal” and extremely “successful” people who play games. Despite a bit of a social stigma around tabletop (and other forms) gaming, it really has become a mainstream hobby over the years. There are plenty of family games, party games and much denser “gamer” games out there in the market, readily accessible to a wide range of consumers.
I would argue that these games are perhaps the most underutilized professional development tools to be found. Beyond being fun, gaming is a great social tool, and possibly one of the best ways to train leaders on skills such as communication, collaboration and strategic thinking.
As I wrote in my original blog post (edit: no longer accessible) last month, we are living in a very cerebral and social era, where quality leadership is focused more on the ability to think strategically, communicate effectively, adapt quickly and work collaboratively than ever before. We often rely on people who have natural proclivities in these focus areas to lead organizations, movements and innovations, but we have the tools at our disposal to improve these skills in everyone. Games allow us to practice in a controlled, low-stress and fun setting while also developing leadership skills and perfecting leadership talent.
*Photo credit: Seen on Tabletop Tumbler.