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The Samurai Game®

A 2 day program for corporate warriors

The Samurai Game® is considered by many to be the most unique, intense and challenging leadership and teambuilding experiential simulation available anywhere. Tens of thousands of individuals from around the world have participated in it, through organizational and corporate trainings & retreats, university and school leadership courses, and personal development programs.

After completion of training, you will discover:

  • To what degree am I willing to act decisively and with integrity to get the results I say that I want and need?
  • Upon what principles and core values do I stake my life and success?
  • How well do I function in the face of uncertainty and pressure.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES

The Samurai Game® is considered by many to be the most unique, intense and challenging leadership and teambuilding experiential simulation available anywhere. Tens of thousands of individuals from around the world have participated in it, through organizational and corporate trainings & retreats, university and school leadership courses, and personal development programs.

The Samurai Game® was invented, written, and first performed in 1977 by George Leonard, author, award-winning editor, musician, Aikido instructor and pioneer in the Human Potential movement. The Samurai Game® was copyrighted by George Leonard and is solely owned by The Leonard Family Trust.

The Samurai Game® focuses on these areas:

Commitment, Ownership, Communication, Leadership, Integrity

TRAINING OUTCOME
  • Experience the dilemma of loyalty to both self and team. Each participant must make a choice about the dilemma.
  • Experience being 100% involved in a situation with a commitment to play it out to the end.
  • Gain specific insights about how one makes choices and how the notion of accountability is personally held.
  • Experience the testing of one’s personal sense of integrity.
  • Experience being fully and unconditionally supported no matter what the participant does.
  • Experience, through the process of symbolic death, of being respected, appreciated, and cared for, regardless of whether the participant won or lost during the contest.
  • Experience, on the part of the team leaders, the fear, excitement, pain, and total commitment required to be completely responsible for others.
  • Experience the power of team commitment and synergy.
  • Discover what distracts one and where he or she excuses himself/herself from fully living.
  • Gain sharp new insights on habitual patterns of behavior which may be interfering with the participant’s success and fulfillment.

PURPOSE OF THE SAMURAI GAME®

Place the participants in an unfamiliar realm of relationship and governance. From this perspective they can gain clear understandings about their own habitual life patterns.

Establish an experience of intense competition in an atmosphere that demands honor, dignity, and integrity.

Provide circumstances in which individuals and teams display integrity when no one is watching, support when the going gets tough and rules don’t easily apply, and commitment when there is no certainty of success.

Create a situation in which participants become keenly aware of the vividness and value of life.

Promote the opportunity for participants to deal with loss and recovery.

Promote a deeper awareness of those places inside each participant where they want to stop or are unwilling to be uncomfortable.

Deepen the participants awareness of the total interplay of emotions with beliefs and physical responses.

Push “the envelope” of personal and team integrity by learning when it cracks and when it strengthens.

WHY PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN THE SAMURAI GAME®

The Samurai Game® serves to significantly deepen individual and organizational awareness, leadership effectiveness and team cohesion. It presents a series of unpredictable and fascinating situations that reflect the pressures of business, organizational dynamics and politics, professional competition, family and individual daily life. It invites participants to honestly observe themselves and reflect on…

To what degree am I willing to act decisively and with integrity to get the results I say that I want and need?

Upon what principles and core values do I stake my life and success?

How well do I function in the face of uncertainty and pressure.

For these reasons individuals and organizations often repeatedly participate in The Samurai Game® experience.

HOW LONG DOES THE SAMURAI GAME® TAKE, AND WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED SIZE OF A PROGRAM INVOLVING THE SAMURAI GAME®?

The actual length of the simulation is approximately 8 hours. This includes preparation, introduction, establishment of context, rules and role selection, formation of teams, meal break and contests. Because the simulation is experiential in nature and intense, a period of reflection (often overnight) is highly recommended. A debrief session of from 1 to 2 hours is also highly recommended involving The Dialogue Method. The “effects” of the simulation and lessons learned really only begin after the initial debrief is complete. Most institutions, integrate extended reflection periods including reflection writing. The minimum number of participants is 16. The creator of The Samurai Game® advises against running a program larger than 80. Ideal size is between 24 and 60 participants. Most workshop programs involving The Samurai Game® take 1.5 to 2.5 days.  Some training organizations include the simulation as part of a larger seminar experience.

WHO FACILITATES TEH SAMURAI GAME®?

The Samurai Game® may only be facilitated by individuals who have been trained and certified by George Leonard and/or the training and certifying representatives of the Leonard Family Trust. Please click here for a  listing of currently Certified Facilitators. Lance Giroux and Grayson James are the sole facilitator training and certification representatives for The Samurai Game® simulation worldwide.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SAMURAI GAME®

Participants in The Samurai Game® cross a psychological line and step into the unfamiliar simulated world of the medieval Japanese Samurai.  They form two competing samurai armies and engage with their teammates and opponents in symbolic battles that eventually determine the simulation’s finale. These battles call upon participants to exercise resourcefulness, decisiveness, honor, dignity, integrity, respect, compassion and personal commitment. The pace is fast and unpredictable, and the outcomes are highly uncertain. No two productions of the simulation are ever quite the same, making each learning experience unique! While involving no significant physical contact, The Samurai Game® demands much in the way of centeredness and teamwork. Participants are encouraged to summon forth their “warrior” spirit with courage and determination.

WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE OF THE SAMURAI GAME®?

Very empowering. It assisted me to revisit leadership concepts and perspectives with which I am very familiar – but in a fresh and clear way. It also provided a number of openings for me to understand how to improve my listening and communications skills. - C. A. Gonzalez, H.R. Manager, Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority

This was the BEST experience I have had at University of San Francisco. There are so many things I took away. Here are a few: (1) A much more complete and realistic perspective about leadership; (2) A clear understanding of areas I need to work on to become a better person/leader; and (3) A great opportunity to experience close connections with a diversified group of people. - C. Douglas, MBA, University of San Francisco Alumna

Just what we wanted! Specifically, how to listen, how to deal with change and how to approach situations involving ego and conflict. We deepened our bond as an effective company and team, we practiced making decisions under stress and very importantly we strengthened leadership at all levels. - J. Forster, CEO, Pridemark Paramedics

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