Leadership Development with The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine

The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine Exercise
tightly links to themes of engagement, collaboration, planning and optimizing results
with a variety of measurable behavioral outcomes that create a solid platform
for Leadership Development Skills.

 Leadership is a key component of Dutchman on two levels:

1. The Expedition Leader (Game Facilitator) models supportive behavior and aligns to the overall game objective, which is “to Mine as much gold as We can,” explaining to participants that he/she is there to “help teams be successful” in their goal of achieving the best ROI possible. Then, through the powerful Debriefing, the EL guides the participants through the processes and behaviors that occurred during play and links them to desired organizational outcomes and workplace performance, issues and opportunities. 

2. The Team Leader for each team helps facilitate the team’s choices to develop and execute their plan. Assumptions, strategies and decisions of the team are critical to overall success which links to the challenges any leader faces in organizational improvement. Tabletops must focus on planning and inter-organizational (inter-team) collaboration to optimize overall results.

collaboration and Lost Dutchman game


Using an experiential learning activity, such as The Search for The Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine, is supported by learning theory and brain research because it helps to energize learning sessions and is structured to address critical issues or strategies that participants face in their work environment. The EL/facilitator leads the participants to see, through the debriefing, how their play of the game links to personal and organizational performance in the workplace.

How Dutchman works as a powerful leadership game:

1) The exercise models a variety of good leadership skills and practices:ldgm-testimonial-bubble-c.-hartung-100.jpg

  • Sharing goals and missions
  • Aligning teams for optimizing results
  • Offering opportunities for coaching
  • Providing feedback and measurement of game activities

2) The facilitator is "The Expedition Leader," whose role is helping teams be successful by offering teams support and information if they ask for it. 

  • Thus, the exercise focuses on success--each team’s success as well as the success of the group. The reality of play, however, finds that teams will most likely not ask for help and will choose to compete versus collaborate, thus, measurably limiting the optimal Return on Investment (ROI) because of the choices they make.

3) This is a game of challenges. Tabletops are given sufficient but limited resources with a goal of optimizing results. They have a variety of decisions to make and have opportunities to change their plan as new information becomes available. The team leader plays a critical role in how the team and all the teams work together.

  •  How do they react, for example, when a team viewed as their competition, approaches them with  shared resources?
  •  How do they respond when they discover that they have resources that can be shared and that will  help improve another team’s results?

4) The Debriefing possibilities are what make this exercise truly unique and extremely powerful as a tool for leadership, change and improvement. The game includes a wide variety of Debriefing materials.

  • The Expedition Leader/Facilitator has many choices as to the focus of the Debriefing and can readily link the behaviors in the exercise to situations for workplace improvement. The Debriefing's flexibility to address various outcomes and then link to organizational issues and examine opportunities is a most solid benefit of the exercise.


5) Many users integrate Dutchman into other training content on leadership, team building, personality styles, quality improvement and other organizational concerns.

  • A complete training package, for instance, is available focused on project management. The exercise is metaphor-driven and these metaphors link beautifully to all sorts of training and learning paradigms.

6) Dutchman comes as a ready-to-play exercise that includes complete instructions, game materials and extensive Debriefing ideas. It’s designed for flexible use and offers specific ideas for use as a Leadership Game. It is designed to be used repeatedly with no additional costs or fees.

  • For example, in leadership training programs, the exercise is often played with tables of 4 people instead of 6. This allows all the players to be more heavily involved and important to the overall outcomes. More tables in play increase the amount of information in the exercise that could be shared as well as the amount of competition between tables that is common to play.

The game is a one-time cost and offers several versions based on the number of session participants.

Generally, the exercise models:                                                                                            mine-more-gold-image.jpg                                 

  • Teamwork, Communications
  • Collaboration, Planning
  • Organizational Profitability
  • The Pivotal Role of Leadership

Lastly, unlike many other games, the Expedition Leader in this exercise is placed in the pivotal position of modeling good leadership behaviors as the role is to "help teams be successful" and to act congruently with the mission of maximizing ROI and "mining as much Gold as WE can." 



There are four versions of Dutchman based on the number of participants:

• LD-3 ($995) for 3 teams of up to 18 people 

• LD-4 ($1,695) for 4 teams up to 24 people

• LD-6 ($2,895) for 6 teams up to 36 people

• LD-Pro ($6,995) is for unlimited number of players and comes with more options for play than the smaller versions

All versions come with all the materials needed for play. 
Dutchman is a one-time cost for unlimited use
and has no per-participant fees nor certification fees

Another option is to Rent Dutchman for a one-time use.


Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back!