Seminar Leader Sabra Brock typically uses this exercise in a training module on understanding and appreciating power as a source of influence. It uses the mnemonic of the name GARY to facilitate memory of 6 Power Bases that effective managers use to influence others.

Sabra suggests that this activity can tie in with any concepts you, the seminar leader, want trainees to remember. It requires arranging the first letters of key words in such a way as to spell a name, like Gary, and she congratulates trainees who master the remembering trick for being "GARIED". She uses it to reinforce the 6 Power Bases of G oodwill, A uthority, R eward, I nformation, E xpertise, and D iscipline.


Influencing others


The activity is fun and lends itself to teamwork. It involves the seminar participants in a short and easy way to remember important seminar content. Reactions include, "I don't think I'll ever forget being GARIED", and "This exercise was involving and I learned something".


  • To remember the names of the 6 Power Bases that managers use

  • To learn and practice a technique that enables a greater variety of influence strategies on the job


Flipchart and markers

A bag of candy or cookies for the winning team


Flipchart and markers at the front of the seminar room with sufficient space to accommodate 3 spokespersons


15 minutes



The assignment involves forming teams and working together to remember the key points of the seminar content. The example used here is remembering the six power bases that managers use to influence others. Encourage high energy and quick responses.

  1. Ask the trainees to stand up and form three teams, for example, by counting off 1, 2, 3 or by assigning three-person groups.

  2. Ask each team to select one person as its spokesperson.

  3. Choose a team to go first by flipping a coin.

  4. Give all teams five minutes to form a team list of famous persons named Gary. The team going first will name a famous Gary; the team going second will name another famous Gary; the team going third will name yet another famous Gary. Repeat the process, going back to the first team for additional names, and continue for about five minutes or until all teams have had equal opportunity to add to their lists. Trainee teams will typically come up with at least five names.

  5. The ground rules are that there can be no repetitions and anyone can challenge the team spokesperson to tell why a particular Gary is famous. One point is awarded to teams for every famous Gary named. If any name fails to be recognized by the challenger as famous, then that team loses a point.

  6. Ask teams to provide a quick identification or reason why each Gary is famous; for example, Gary Cooper, actor.

  7. Ask each team spokesperson to come to the front of the seminar room. Flip a coin to determine which spokesperson will speak first. Spokespersons will record the names on a flip chart divided into three columns . Challengers can address each spokesperson when the list has been recorded. Spokespersons record points next to the famous names in their column (plus 1 point for each undisputed name and minus 1 point for each dispute lost).

  8. End the competition when no one can think of another famous Gary.

  9. Announce the winner and award a team prize, such as a bag of candy or cookies the team can share.

  10. Bridge back into the course content by saying to the nonwinning teams that "You've been GARIED! ”and that's the mnemonic to help you remember the 6 Power Bases that effective managers use to influence others":

    • G = Goodwill

    • A = Authority

    • R = Reward

    • I = Information

    • E = Expertise

    • D = Discipline

    Continue on with the rest of the lesson on the 6 Power Bases. Use this as an example of a quick, easy, and effective mnemonic device, applicable to many kinds of lessons, but in this case, a lesson on influencing others.

start example


Sabra E. Brock


The Training Advantage


225 East 36 Street, Suite 9N


New York, NY 10016









end example

SABRA BROCK has been working with the American Management Association since 2000. She is President of The Training Advantage, which specializes in designing and delivering training to enhance team building, foster innovation in organizations, and facilitate change management.

Sabra works with multinational corporations in packaged goods, telecommunications, financial services, advertising, executive search, and organizations in the nonprofit sector. She draws on her extensive U.S. and international corporate training and marketing experience, including 12 years as a vice president at Citibank.

Her academic experience includes Adjunct Professor of Management at Pace University, Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institute (graduate level courses in advertising, business strategy, marketing and organizational behavior), Adjunct Professor in Banking Strategy at the French Management Institute, Lecturer in Marketing of Nonprofit Organizations at New York University, and Post Graduate Lecturer in Marketing at Hong Kong University. She lived in Hong Kong for several years while marketing Citicorp Travelers Checks across Asia. She has trained in the United States, Canada, as well as Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. She also rolled out advertising and promotion training to more than 1000 managers in 60 countries .

She is a doctoral student in Business Education at New York University and will be publishing a book in 2004 on change management titled M en H ead E ast ; W omen T urn R ight : H ow to M eet in the M iddle W hen F acing C hange .

Sabra Brock has taught this AMA seminar:


Management Skills and Techniques for New Managers

The AMA Trainers Activity Book. A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
The AMA Trainers Activity Book: A Selection of the Best Learning Exercises from the Worlds Premiere Training Organization
ISBN: 0814408141
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 61

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