The mindset of geese is that of teamwork and constant cooperation; they understand the importance of working together; accepting that their individual weakness, they understand that there is strength in togetherness. This reminds me of the admonishment given to us when we were kids; Some Nigerian parents often use the broomstick analogy to teach their children the importance of togetherness. According to them;
The broomstick can break easily whereas, when lots of broomsticks are tied together in a bunch, they become stronger.
They often asked, “can a broomstick clean the floor?” The answer is definitely no. There is power in unity, they often say. Those who share a common goal, direction and sense of community can get to their destination more quickly and easily.
So what lessons can we learn from the Geese mindset?
It must have been a eureka moment when Geese discovered that they can reach their destination quicker with less energy when they fly together in V-formation.
During Geese migration, each bird flaps its wings, creating uplift for the bird following. By flying in V-formation, the geese flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one bird flies alone.
Wow. What a lesson on teamwork. They have a common goal; they work together to achieve that goal. Hence, by working together synergistically, teams can achieve their common goals quicker and easier. No goose feels out of place; they collaborate effectively; they feed off each other’s positive energy. Each goose understands the warning signs when they wander off; when a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
If only we had their wisdom, we will stay in formation with those who are headed our way.
Another interesting lesson we could learn from Geese is leadership. Geese travel in V-formation, they will definitely have a lead goose (the leader). The goose in front expends more energy because it must first break the airflow to provide additional lift for the other following behind. However, a switch in position occurs when the lead goose becomes tired. And when this happens, another goose takes over the reins.
For a team to function effectively, members of the team should take leadership roles for a while because of a particular capability, skill, knowledge or experience. Leadership shouldn’t be fixed or taken as an opportunity to lord it over others. Leaders are servants; they serve a purpose. Therefore, in ensuring your team becomes efficient, highly creative and innovative, every team member should have the opportunity to function as a leader. While those in supporting roles must support effectively.
During their flight formation, the geese behind honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.
The lesson here is communication. It is crucial that every team member communicates regularly and effectively. Constant and effective communication is essential for moving the team towards achieving a common goal. It is also crucial that team members encourage each other. Leaders should also learn to encourage their teams.
“Leadership is the ability to guide others without force into a direction or decision that leaves them still feeling empowered and accomplished.”– Lisa Cash Hanson
Empathy and support
In a situation where a goose during their flight formation gets injured or sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect their comrade. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out to meet their flock or form a new formation.
This is indeed a great lesson on empathy and support. It is essential that team members realise that without each other, there is no team. It is imperative that team members cultivate the habit of helping each other. There is no reward for putting others down. However, there are great rewards for helping others up. Teams work best when team members genuinely care for each other.
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