Gaming and leadership may seem an unlikely pair. However, more and more studies point to games being beneficial tools in making leaders better at their job.
While we often play games for fun – and leadership is serious business – is there something leaders could learn by taking gaming on as a hobby?
Gaming often requires memorizing situations, so it can be quite beneficial for our brains in terms of expanding our memory capacity.
Learning to memorize is healthy for the brain and keeps leaders productive.
2. Strategic Thinking and Problem Solving
Games can help people strategize better and solve problems with ease. Most games are focused on building a strategy that can help the players survive or pass levels. They can’t just jump in and win, but rather develop a sense of what they should do if they want to win.
There are also unexpected problems throughout most games, and every player has to come up with a way to solve these issues.
They might have to do it several times before they win, but the main point is that their minds are evolving towards being more open to creative solutions and smart strategies.
3. Becoming Absorbed
When we play games, time flies by. We could play for hours and it would feel like playing for minutes. It creates a flow which appeals to our minds and it makes it seem as though no time has passed by when in fact, hours have passed.
Imagine applying that focus to leadership.
4. Failure Makes Us Want to Try Again
One of the biggest issues people have is that when they fail, they don’t want to give it another go.
And yet, in the gaming world, we try and try as much as we possibly can until we win. Now apply that determination to leadership and innovations – it makes a huge difference.
5. It’s Gratifying
“Gaming is not only rewarding but also gratifying. When we learn and gain new knowledge, our brains release dopamine which makes us happier and makes what we are learning that much more interesting.”, says Dana Thompson.
Case Study: Deloitte
Deloitte has an online leadership academy. Prospective students get missions, badges, leaderboards and a super user-friendly platform which has video lectures, courses, tests and quizzes.
It’s designed to promote the most important leadership skills. Their first mission is the on boarding mission. It includes watching a video tutorial on using the platform and personalizing the site.
When they complete this, they get a badge and have an opportunity of connecting Twitter or LinkedIn with their profile so that it’s easier to upload information.
Deloitte applies gamification everywhere. Users get a badge for each program they complete, each achievement, and so on.
There are some surprise badges which the users can get only if they achieve certain goals. These seem to be great motivators.
The leaderboard is another great gamification element which allows the users to see where they rank in comparison to others.
Gamification can be an excellent strategy for improving leadership skills – whether it’s through playing existing games or creating a gamified experience for prospective leaders so that they can learn better. As you can see, it works pretty well.
How Can Games Help Leaders?
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