Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Activity Overview

A manager brings many positive attributes to the new role of a leader. There are some competencies that the manager must leave behind when assuming the leadership role. This card sort helps the participants think through this important growth process.


  • To clarify the difference between the role of a manager and a leader.
  • To identify which traits are still appropriate or expected as an individual move from one role to another.
  • To define which duties and responsibilities can be passed to others as one proceeds from a manager to a leader.
  • To motivate participants to think through which key competencies they still have to achieve as they shift from manager to leader.
  • To celebrate the talent individuals have developed or enhanced as a manager or as leader.

Training Methods

  • Discussion 
  • Card-sort activity
  • Reflection

Materials Needed

  • A deck of cards for each participant, on which are written the competencies are shown on Job Aid 19.1: Manager vs. Leader Competencies.
  • Two flipcharts
  • Markers
  • Stick-on dots and stars
  • Paper and pen/pencil for each participant

Room Set-up

Enough open space for participants to spread out their cards on the floor.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Divide participants into pairs. Ask each person to identify several competencies they believe leaders must have and competencies that are necessary for managers.
  2. Regroup and share the findings with the entire team. List the competencies on two separate flipchart sheets (one for leaders and one for managers). 
  3. Pass out one deck of cards for each pair of participants (but have enough for each person, so that when the exercise is completed, each person can leave with one deck). Ask each pair to spread the cards on the floor in two columns: one for leadership competencies and one for manager competencies. Participants may add new competencies that are not in
    the deck or eliminate any that do not seem to fit either category. Have blank cards ready for this. 
  4. Compare lists when every pair has finished. Ask everyone to move around to see what choices others have made.
  5. Compare Manager competencies and Leader competencies by posting these questions on the flipchart and discussing participant responses:
    – What manager competencies do we agree on?
    – What leadership competencies do we agree on?
    – What are the competencies you respect most in the leaders with whom you work?
  6. Pass out the handout Manager vs. Leader Competencies and a sheet of small stick-on stars. Ask participants to read the handout and place a star on the items they feel they ready to do well. Ask them to use the small dots to mark 3 to 5 areas that they want to focus on as part of their professional development. [7–10 minutes]
  7. Summarize and bring the activity to a close. Pose these questions for discussion:
    What holds back a manager from becoming a leader?
    What do you think your greatest challenge will be as you make the transition?

Activity Review

Take time shortly after conducting this activity to reflect on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Takedown some notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.

Manage Vs Leader Team Building Activity

Basic Details
Property Type : Team Building
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Team Building
Focus On : Having Fun, Leadership
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor
Props Required : Minor
Duration : 26+ minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30
Age : Adults