Leadership Inspirations Activities

Twenty One

Follow the rules as your group tries to count together to 21


10-20 minutes

Team Stage

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Icebreaker, Energizer





This brain teaser allows groups members to have some fun while thinking outside the box.



  • Have all group members stand in a circle so that everyone can see each other.


  • The rules for every round of 21 are different. Start the game by having all the participants count off. One participants say “1” and then the person to the right of them says “2”, the person to the right of them says “3”, etc.
  • The very first rule of 21 is: instead of saying “7”, the participant says “14”, and instead of saying “14”, the participant says “7”. Other than that, all other numbers are numerically correct. This counting continues until you get to “21”.
  • The person who says “21” gets to make up the next rule. A rule can be anything the rest of the participants are willing to agree to. For example, count backwards, say quatro instead of 4, name a US state on 12 with no repeats, or jump on 6.
  • When a rule is not followed properly, the group must go back to 1 and start over. The person who made the mistake  must start by saying “1”. The game officially ends when all number are occupied by a rule and one complete round to 21 is accomplished with no mistakes.


  • Decrease the number from 21 to save on time, increase the number from 21 to a higher number to make it more challenging. 
  • Give the group a time limit for them to complete the activity.


  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?


  • What are you currently accountable for as an individual and a group? Who holds you accountable?
  • What is effective accountability? Are our methods as a group effective?
  • What role do you play in your own accountability and the group accountability?


  • When has your group worked well together in the past? When have they not worked well together?
  • When has (something that happened in the activity) happened in the past with your group?
  • What habits or actions make a successful or effective team? What are your group’s opportunities for growth when working together?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?