In class today, we had the choice to play Pandemic or Forbidden Island. I have played Pandemic before and am the cousin to Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert. When I arrived, the Pandemic was the game that stood out to me. This is a cooperative game where the team wins together or loses together. Key word: together. At the end of the class, we discussed different areas of leadership like seeing the bigger picture, leading by example, initiating conflict, thinking of all the possible outcomes, encouraging the team, sharing a common goal, and more.
These leadership concepts were very important to the game as they all contribute to how a group, organization, or team functions, hopefully in an effective way. When I play with my family I feel like I have a completely different function on the team than when I played in class. Because of this, I considered how my own experience and leadership impacted the game. I tried to lead by example but I also provided input which hopefully did not seem like I was too controlling. I probably could have improved in encouraging the team as we went but I do think they all did a good job contributing to our efforts.
We were able to play through the game twice and start the third game of Pandemic as well. I had a good feeling about the last game because we were all more comfortable and confident with the game. I felt like this led to more contribution and shared leadership overall. We also all had a better understanding of the process. Unfortunately, we lost the first two games. We lost when we ran out of black disease cubes during the first game. During the second game, we lost when we were no longer able to draw playing cards. This helped us learn the game as well as each other personalities and styles when it came to the cooperative format.
I disliked being the most comfortable with the game to start because I felt like I was overbearing at times, but this can also be helpful for others when they are just learning for the first time (I have been in that situation before). I did like how our teamwork improved every game we played. I also think we each paid attention to ways we could improve our gaming strategy as a whole.
I felt like this connected to the ideas we discussed in the class of how an organization may have either an executive team or a leadership team. The way this difference was described from our instructor’s perspective was intriguing to me. I felt as though our first round was built with more of an executive team or top individuals who took on the most work or ran things with more control. However, I feel like we transitioned to a leadership team as we all got more confident and were able to bounce ideas off of each other.
I like cooperative leadership teams better. In teams with executive boards, a small group of people controlling everything and seemingly doing the most, I either feel like I am not contributing enough or that I am overpowering the opinions of others in the group. By our third game, we had figured out how our personalities worked together to improve our success in the board game Pandemic.