One of my volunteer teams at church caters food for large crowds as an outreach. Frankly, it has been one of my most difficult teams, mainly because I felt totally unqualified. Furthermore, I found the whole experience stressful and exhausting until I did one easy thing that changed everything, a one page diagram.

The Diagram

  • Set a clear goal
  • Empowered my team
  • Made my job easy and fun

The Goal: Get food on the tables, ready to serve

There were tasks other than food distribution that needed attention, but they were not our responsibility. Other teams’ goals often rob my team members and lead to failure especially when our goal is not clear. An unclear goal causes confusion and frustration.

This diagram illustrated everything my team needed to know for them to get to work. It empowered them.


What I did not anticipate that the diagram would instruct the team on what to unload from the trailer and where to put it.

  • In the past I would stand in the trailer, point at a box, and they would unload it.
  • Then, if I did not tell them where it went, they would wander to a common spot and build a pile, waiting to be moved again.
  • The diagram did it for me.

Made My Job Easy and Fun

Sure, without the diagram, we would have gotten the job done. People would be fed, probably on time, but with the goal clearly defined, everything was easier, volunteers were fulfilled and honored, and we had an amazing time.

When the team is successful and happy, so is the leader.

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