Friday Fresh #36: Escape Room Training Example (Leadership and Management)

Hello and welcome to another incredible Friday Fresh!

Imagine you’re tasked with designing a leadership and management training module inspired by the dynamics of an escape room. Here’s how you could structure it.


The session is called “Leadership Lockdown.” The premise is that the team is locked in the boardroom of a fictitious company facing a major crisis. The only way out is to successfully navigate through a series of challenges that test their leadership qualities and management skills.


The goal is to rescue the company from the crisis by applying effective leadership and management strategies within a 90-minute time limit.


  1. Communication Breakdown Puzzle: Participants find a scrambled set of communications from various departments. They must decipher these messages, prioritise their importance, and draft a clear, concise action plan. This tests their ability to communicate under pressure and lead through chaos.
  2. Stakeholder Satisfaction: Different cards around the room represent various stakeholders, each with their own concerns and needs. Participants must strategise how to address these concerns in a way that satisfies all parties, simulating stakeholder management and conflict resolution skills.
  3. Resource Allocation Challenge: With limited resources and time, the team must decide how to best allocate their ‘budget’ to different departments to ensure the company survives the crisis. This involves critical thinking and decision-making under pressure.
  4. Leadership Swap: At random intervals, the ‘leader’ role is swapped among team members, challenging them to adapt to sudden leadership responsibilities and ensuring everyone engages with leading the group.
Tools and Clues
  • Leadership Guides: Provide brief guides on leadership theories and strategies that can be consulted during the game.
  • Hint Cards: Participants can use limited hint cards to get advice on navigating the challenges, simulating mentorship and external consulting.
Debrief and Reflection

After the escape challenge, lead a reflection session where participants discuss what strategies led to successful outcomes and how the skills they used can be transferred to their real-life roles. Discuss various leadership styles and management theories in light of the challenges faced.

Wrap up

This “Leadership Lockdown” makes the learning process engaging and interactive, and deeply embeds leadership competencies in a memorable and experiential way. It ensures that participants can directly see the impact of their decisions and interactions in a controlled, high-stakes environment.

Final Thoughts

By turning a leadership training session into an engaging, problem-solving escape room experience, you cater to adult learning preferences and equip your trainees with hands-on skills in an unforgettable format.

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