Dynamic Duos

Dynamic Duos

Mary Cooper

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An activity created in the spirit of our fabulous duo, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, it can be used as an ice breaker or an example of effective collaboration to introduce the practice of Enable Others to Act.


Any size group

Time Required

10-15 minutes (including debrief)

Materials Needed/Setup

Worksheet for each participant (have them work as pairs or table teams)

Answer sheet for the facilitator


  1. Distribute one copy to each participant, instructing the group to keep it turned face down until you give them the signal to begin.
  2. Explain that their task, as a pair or table team, is to identify the dynamic duo based on deciphering the clue. If there are no questions from the group, instruct them to begin.
  3. At the conclusion of 10 minutes, quickly go through the questions, allowing the group to supply the answers.

Facilitator Tips

Debrief questions:

  1. How did you do?
  2. What were the benefits of working with someone else?
  3. How can you develop cooperative relationships with the people with whom you work?
  4. How can you better listen to diverse points of view?

Key Points:

As leaders, we don't have all the answers which is why it's so important to focus on fostering collaboration, and utilizing different points of view and strengths to maximize the effectiveness and productivity of our teams.

As the complexity of challenges and projects increase, it becomes more important to build trust and facilitate relationships within our teams and with other parts of the organization.


Clues can be modified to be more relevant to a specific group; the examples provided here are multi-generational and multi-cultural. You also can modify how the group begins this exercise, e.g., have everyone start out working as individuals for 5 minutes before allowing them to work with someone else or the rest of their table to illustrate the benefit of collaboration more clearly.

Mary Cooper is a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge®, based in Orlando, Florida. A former consultant with the Disney Institute and a retired instructor of the Dale Carnegie Course, Mary's vision is to make a positive difference by helping leaders leave a personal and organizational legacy. She can be reached at mcooper@EngagingOutcomes.com.



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