7 Team Building Activities for CEOs & Senior Executives

Whether they’re entry-level staff, mid-management, or senior leadership, team building activities offer important benefits to employees at every level. From enhancing communication and collaboration to increasing problem-solving and critical thinking skills, the right team building activities for CEOs and senior executives can provide big benefits for the entire organization.

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Whether they’re entry-level staff, mid-management, or senior leadership, team building activities offer important benefits to employees at every level. From enhancing communication and collaboration to increasing problem-solving and critical thinking skills, the right team building activities for CEOs and senior executives can provide big benefits for the entire organization. 

When you think of team building activities, you might get the idea that they are mainly intended to benefit employees ranging from entry level to mid-management and are less of a priority for senior executives and C-Suite professionals. But you’d be mistaken – team building activities for senior executives offer a ton of benefits which in turn have a positive trickle-down effect on the rest of the organization. This fact is backed up by stats from a Gallup survey which indicated that a highly engaged leadership team can boost employee engagement by as much as 39% -- in turn creating a happier and more productive team. 

For senior leadership, team building activities serve a number of valuable purposes, including helping them to: 

  • Get aligned by creating something together 
  • Improvcollaboration and communication 
  • Develop their coaching skills  
  • Learn to work together on strategic planning 
  • Hone their decision-making abilities  
  • Build leadership team trust and decrease resistance and barriers 
  • Focus on active listening and problem-solving skills  
  • Connect in a different way by seeing each other in a different light 
  • Break down silos (for more on this topic, read our blog post that provides five tips for breaking down silos and creating cross-departmental collaboration) 

At Outback Team Building and Training, we work extensively with leadership of all levels to facilitate group activities that help achieve specific business goals (for an interesting case study on the topic, read our article: How Kickstart Seed Fund Engaged 110 CEOs with the Right Team Building Event). As a result, we’ve identified common trends in the types of team building activities that business leaders find most appealing – and why. 

When it comes to senior leadership and CEO team building activities, we find that our customers often opt for events that are some combination of the following criteria: 

  • More serious than light-hearted 
  • Hyper-focused on smaller groups 
  • Tailored to incorporate some form of learning 
  • Include a philanthropic element 
  • Focus on helping people get to know each other, compete, and break down barriers 

Based on these factors, here is our list of the top seven best team building activities for senior executives. 

  1. Domino Effect Challenge– Silos in business occur as a result of teams and departments failing to communicate and collaborate. That’s why, for senior leadership, team building activities that focus on breaking down silos and integrating multiple departments can be tremendously valuable. With an activity like Domino Effect Challenge, your group will split into teams that will need to complete their own respective section of a chain reaction machine. But then, they will also need to come together as a full group to collaboratively assemble their sections into a fully functioning device.   
  2. CI: The Crime Investigators Clear communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills are among the most critical points of focus for any leadership team. With a team building activity like CI: The Crime Investigators, you’ll need to think analytically and work together to collect evidence, decipher clues, and solve a mysterious and deadly crime.  
  3. Wheelchairs for Charity – Doing good deeds has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and make people feel better. That’s why philanthropic team building activities are a big hit among senior executives. Our Wheelchairs for Charity activity fuses philanthropy with real-world learning outcomes to help participants give back while sharpening their business skills. Together, teams will build and test fully functional wheelchairs before donating them to those in need. This exercise is great for helping leadership team members increase their empathy while enhancing their communication and collaboration skills.  
  4. Code Break– As a senior leadership team, you’re constantly faced with complex and outside-the-box challenges. That’s why it’s so important to continually and proactively develop your collaboration and problem-solving skills. With a team building activity like Code Break, you’ll become even better equipped to tackle real-world issues by communicating and working together to complete brainteasers and mental exercises. 
  5. Team Pursuit– Healthy competition can have big benefits in business (for more on this, check out our blog post on the topic: How to Create Healthy and Beneficial Workplace Competition). With Team Pursuit, senior-level executives can get to know each other, compete, and break down barriers in a low-pressure environmentIn this activity, your group will break out into teams that will earn points by tackling physical, mental, skill, and mystery challenges as they compete to be crowned the champions.  
  6. Clue Murder Mystery – When it comes to building collaboration, communication, and problem-solving skills, Clue Murder Mystery is a perfect team building activity for senior executives. It will allow your group to exercise these key skills in a relaxed environment – a welcome change to the high-stakes, high-pressure real-world business challenges you face on a daily basis! With this app-based activity, your leadership team will need to put their heads together to use clues, case files, and logic to crack the case of a mysterious murder. 
  7. Eagle Glider Construction Challenge – The best team building activities for senior executives often require a blend of competitiveness and collaboration. Eagle Glider Construction Challenge fits the bill, giving your group the right balance of both. In this hands-on activity, they will break into teams to take the pilot’s seat as they design, build, and fly cardboard glider planes. Each team will need to present their plane to the greater group for evaluation before testing their glider to see if it will fly – or crash! 

Many of the leadership groups we work with also like to pair their team building activities with a training and development program. Doing so allows them to gain in-depth insights, knowledge, and skills, and then put them to work in a fun, engaging, and practical way. If you’re looking for a great training and development program to pair with team building activities for senior executives, you might like:  

  • Confident Decision Making - Each day, leaders are faced with dozens of decisions, ranging from minor to major. That means the ability to make effective decisions quickly and confidently is of paramount importance. With the Confident Decision Making training and development program, your leadership team will learn best practices for tackling complex choices, avoiding common decision-making traps, and becoming more accountable. You can bring this to life with a team building activity like Domino Effect Challenge. 
  • Clear Communication - Strong communication skills are vital to the success of any leadership team, but they aren’t always intuitive. With a training and development program like Clear Communication, your senior executives can learn to hone their verbal and written communication skills, learn to interpret and understand non-verbal communication signals, and enhance the way they communicate during conflicts and decision-making. These skills can be seamlessly exercised in a team building activity such as Code Break or Clue Murder Mystery. 
  • Positive Team Dynamics - The most successful teams have one thing in common: a positive team dynamic. In order to create this, it’s important for leaders to be able to build a framework for what a successful team looks like, enhance the way their employees work together, and, most importantly, the way they contribute to the team. With the Positive Team Dynamics training and development program, your leadership team will learn to get aligned, create increased productivity, build trust, collaborate effectively, and take on greater ownership and accountability. You can compliment this with a team building activity like Charity Bike Buildathon which makes for the perfect way to apply these skills in a real-world setting.  


Learn More About Team Building Activities for Your Senior Leadership Team 

For more information about how team building activities can benefit your senior leadership team, just reach out to our Employee Engagement Consultants. 

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