by Fred Foxmire and Charles Hosford

Your manager was unexpectedly transferred to another department. Your new leader doesn’t provide the same type of direction. And now, some of your teammates are trying to undermine his efforts. Does this sound like a typical day at work? Hopefully not! The good news is that today, you aren’t at the office. Instead, you’re far away from your everyday environment, participating in a learning experience that will have a profound effect on how you view teams and leaders.

Welcome to Leadout: An Experience in Leadership, an intense and exciting simulation that uses a real-life business scenario to drive home the importance of core leadership and team behaviors. Rooted in the theories developed by top management experts, the challenge is for teams to make quality decisions while confronting typical organizational issues. Never before has there been a more positive way to distill best practices in planning, decision making, communication, conflict resolution, and interpersonal relationships.

How It Works

Working for a land acquisition firm, teams serve as regional offices on a mission to identify and secure land that meets four specific criteria: adequate rainfall, proper drainage, rich soil, and gentle slope. 

Each player is given a map that contains bits and pieces of relevant information. But they can’t keep it – they must quickly memorize what they see before it’s taken away. Then, it’s up to the individual players to decide if they want to share their information or not. What they may not realize right away is that every move the team makes will have an effect on the final outcome. Suspense builds as, one parcel of land at a time, the results of the group’s decisions are revealed. Choosing a non-viable land is costly, fertile real estate is profitable, and that’s the difference between winning and losing. 

Sound simple? Not so fast. The plot thickens, just as it does in everyday organizational life. Interpersonal conflict rots away at trust. Personnel changes crop up out of nowhere. And no one single person has all of the tools. Decisions must be made quickly – and oftentimes there’s risk involved. 

Leadout is a popular favorite among audiences. But the simulation goes beyond just fun. It offers real learning, through the use of midpoint reflection, discussion questions, and a Force Field Analysis exercise. 

Uses for the Game

Leadout can be used as a standalone learning experience, or incorporated into a more comprehensive program that addresses:

  • Leadership
  • Team building
  • Group decision making
  • Communication
  • Planning
  • Motivation
  • Risk taking
  • Conflict resolution
  • Influence

Product Type

To surface team and leader dynamics

Time Required
2-3 hours

Trains up to 4 groups of 9 members each.

Charles Hosford built on Fred Fosmire's initial concept to develop this experiential activity into a unique, exciting and versatile leadership development simulation. With over 35 years of experience in the field, he was one of Behavioral Science's early advocates in the 1960s. He was best recognized for his contributions to leadership development, team-building and conflict management in business and educational settings.

Fred Fosmire's creativity is exemplified by the versatility and richness of his Real Estate game which was the basis for Leadout. After a distinguished career at the University of Oregon and as an independent consultant to a number of major corporations, he retired as Senior Vice President of the Weyerhaeuser Company.