Potlucks and Leadership

Potlucks are generally used as a team building activity or to celebrate small wins. However, not all potlucks are a blast. The success of a potluck depends on three major components: a theme, specific dishes, and a sense of belonging.

The same principles apply to leadership and the success of a team.

Theme
Great potlucks are centered on a specific topic. When every dish relates directly to the theme everything flows smoothly.

A vision serves a similar purpose. A vision gives purpose, describes the picture of the future, and sets the values that guide the team’s actions.

Specific Dishes
Each participant brings a specific dish related to the party’s theme. The quality of the dishes are directly related to the success of the gathering. This equates to each individual bringing the right strengths and skills to the workplace. Everyone has a specific place at the table.

Sense of Belonging
Every experience is better when shared with those considered family.

The combination of the family-like environment, the vision, and the need for each individual to play their part is what creates a sense of belonging. It’s what lets people understand they play an important part on the success of the team. It allows them to see their place in the big picture.

As leaders, we are responsible for setting the vision of the team, set expectations for each player, and build a community by showing we care.

Ultimately, a potluck’s success is a result of great teamwork.

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

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