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Potluck Math

Okay, I need to be honest with myself.  This will not work.  I tried to tie-down a crockpot to the rack on my bike.   There is no way I would make it to work without spilling the contents stored in the crockpot.

Alas, today I need to drive the car into work – it is potluck day.  A serious workday indeed.

You have to understand, I work with professional potluck folks who know how to plan and execute on a great department potluck.  I love to cook and always contribute to these potlucks.

Yet truth be told … I love to eat more than cook and a well put together potluck is a dream.

As usual there was more food than we could eat today.   It was enough food for an army.  It got me thinking … how can we look at a typical potluck mathematically.   We should be able to plan our potluck to have just enough food.

Here is how I work out the numbers:

  • Start with 50 people bringing in food for the potluck

  • Each person generally makes enough for 10 people

  • As such we have 500 portions

  • Yet as we line up to grab food to fill our plate, each person takes maybe 5 servings

  • So we use 250 servings or half of the total available

As such we planned for a one time department potluck and finish with enough food for a second day.  Maybe it is just good food with good people.  Maybe it is more and a lesson for each of us.

Contribute more than you consume. 

We Move Together

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Filed under: Leadership, Teamwork

About the Author

Posted by

Hi from Michael. I have been thinking and living leadership for many years. With this blog I present my thoughts, ideas, and random musings along with the best on leadership from business, sports, great thinkers, history, and society in general. I will blur the line and write about teamwork too. Hey, all leaders need a team. My dearest hope is that I will connect with others as we discuss leadership and teamwork. We Move Together and just maybe we find our way to influence the larger world.


  1. And day two is here – time to eat. Good food with the people I work with is a great time. Oh yea, birthday cake later today too.
    – Michael

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