Leading a Volunteer Team is Sometimes Like Trying to Nail Jello to a Wall

Before I get started on the leadership lesson you need to know that someone really was interested enough to determine if you could nail Jello to a wall. After trying a number of different additives to strengthen the Jello they determined this:

“Our further investigation into this area leads us to state the following: Jell-O can be effectively nailed to a wall if you increase its density by reducing the proportion of water to gelatin in the recipe, or fortify it by adding more gelatin powder. Molding holes into the Jell-O or attempting to reinforce the holes was not substantially effective in increasing its ability to withstand stress. Apparently you can also nail Jell-O to a wall if you embed plastic mesh in it, or ramen noodles. Sliced fruit may increase Jell-O’s nutritional value, but makes only a minor contribution to its structural integrity when embedded.”

 Here is the link to the site which documents the entire experiment. http://www.myscienceproject.org/j-wall.html

It seems from this experiment that Jello made in the conventional manner is pretty impossible to nail to a wall. To be successful you must change the recipe and reinforce the Jello with other things.

By doing these things you have a greater chance of your Jello looking like this:

Sometimes when leading a team, a leader finds that the original team recipe will not accomplish the goals and the team needs to be supplemented with additional resources. This is what a leader does; he is constantly monitoring progress, adjusting, and when necessary supplementing the team with additional tools or people.

So if you don’t want your team and your project to end up in one messy pile here are some thoughts:

  1. Make sure you pick team members who will complement each other with the necessary skills
  2. Make sure you have properly communicated the vision and it is understood
  3. Make sure you have properly planned the project and anticipated potential roadblocks
  4. When the project seems to be slipping off the wall, react quickly and decisively


Have a Great Masonic Day!


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