‘Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect £200’

This week’s blog is a guest post from our Director of Executive & Leadership Development Programmes, Helena Clayton.

Are you old enough to remember Monopoly? ‘Do Not Pass Go: Do Not Collect £200’– you couldn’t continue with the game until you’d achieved something specific. In similar way, a team can’t do real work together until they’ve done something specific, and that one thing is to develop a foundation of trust.

A recent client group was a team made up of functional specialists, yet responsible for the leadership of the function across a large organisation.  But they were working as singletons and making no headway with their collective task of leadership. They spent barely any time together and rarely ‘leant in’ to find the expertise and support within the team.

But something we did with them helped them to make a significant shift. As part of an AwayDay they each presented a short storyboard of their life including: who or what influenced me to become the leader I am today? What legacy did my parents leave me? What’s important to me outside of work? Each took a risk to share, to be open, vulnerable…

And they listened to each other, rapt at the stories of other people’s lives – these people they had worked alongside for some years yet had never really known. They were curious about particular decisions; they empathised at descriptions of tough times; they exclaimed at things they had in common; there was a lot of laughter.

They left the session just that bit closer, with a new appreciation of each other and what each brought, amazed at how something so simple had changed the way they saw each other. They said they felt more connected and that something significant had changed in the way they related to each other. The building blocks of a trust had been put in place. They were getting ready to pass Go…

Helena Clayton
Director of Executive & Leadership Development Programmes