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  • Kick Ass Zombie Hunter

Tetris Leadership

Close up of the controls on an arcade game.

In a recent conversation with a leader, we talked about how leadership can be compared to playing a game of Tetris. If you remember the good old game of Tetris, you’ll know that you have to strategically arrange falling blocks to create solid lines that would then disappear and free up space. You are rewarded for removing blocks on the bottom. And you continue to eliminate blocks so the game continues on. But suddenly, once you can’t make any more moves, all you have is blocks that pile up, you panic, and the big Game Over text appears across the screen.

Think about this game of Tetris as a leader’s approach to supporting their team. Some leaders, if not careful, do an occasional appreciation or recognition of their team members but they spend more time on criticism where the blocks pile up in the game and then the game is over, no more moves left. You can’t play anymore. As a leader, if all you spend time focusing on is the bad news, your Tetris game won’t last long.

We have to be aware of how we script our moves. Leaders are constantly faced with different challenges, opportunities and team dynamics that require maneuvering. Leaders have to consider how their actions and decisions today will impact the performance, motivation and collaboration of their teams to produce any desired results.

Successful leaders master the art of balancing blocks so their game continues.


A Team Human Conversation

Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. In your environment, which actions do you do that can be identified as building blocks or hindering blocks?

  2. What can you do to increase the building block actions in your environment?

  3. What can you do to ensure that your team doesn’t feel the pressure of Tetris?


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