Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dunk your leader

Many companies have team building or charity fund raising events that include a dunk tank. There are typically all different kinds of people sitting on the dunk board. People pay small fees for the opportunity to throw a couple of balls at the target, resulting in the person dropping into the tank of water. It is always a fun undertaking, particularly if you are the one on the dry side of the tank!

My sister recently had the opportunity to dunk her boss in one of the events and posted some pretty funny pictures on our family web page. That started an interesting dialog on “boss dunking.” Many comments revolved around the idea of dunking the boss to gain some sort of equity for the way the boss treats others. Others thought the idea of boss dunking was all in fun.

I was asked if I would allow myself to be boss dunked if I knew the dunking was because I was not liked. Wow! That was hard to consider. While I know it is not reasonable to be liked by everyone, a leader has certain hopes they are at least respected. Having participated in dunk tanks in the past, I know the team building value. My guess is that managers that are generally not liked would not volunteer for this potential embarrassment.

Are you the leader that gets dunked for fun or pay-back?


Human Energy Programmes said...

This does open up a huge challenge to bosses. Just like a tea bag, the true character will come out once dunked in water. It is a good leader who can take a dunking for what ever reason and still smile and enjoy the process. It would be good to take a snap shot of the dunker's face as they throw the ball, this too could show some interesting attitudes and opportunities for leadership consultation.

Albert McGovern said...


I'm afraid the only real answer to your latest question, "Are you the leader that gets dunked for fun or pay-back?" will come from the "dunker" and not the "dunkee"! Either way, you'll get wet!

Anonymous said...

If a leader is striving for popularity over accountability, they are already headed down the wrong road. That being said, A good leader should not be so egotistical to think that a little humiliation in the name of team-building is a bad thing.

Tim Engel said...

I volunteered for the pie in the face fund raiser at our annual United Way kick off. Generally all went well - I think there was only one guy who really wanted to "rub it in."
I think it's part of a good leader - to be able to have a sense of humor and to take the risk.

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