Posted by Grant Paice on Oct 02, 2019
Lessons We Can Learn from Geese
Geese are fascinating creatures. Things we can learn from them include:
Sharing a common goal
As each goose flaps its wings it creates “uplift”, an aerodynamics orientation that reduces air friction, for the birds that follow. By flying in a V-formation, the whole flock achieves a 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
The lesson is that people who share a common direction and goal can get where they are going quicker and with less effort because they benefit from the momentum of the group moving around them.
 Increasing visibility
Flying in V-formation increases the visibility as every goose can see what’s happening in front of them.
The lesson is to make our organizations visible in both directions. Having top-down visibility enables leaders to stay connected with the edges while bottom-up visibility enables members to see the bigger picture, engages them, and empowers them to better align themselves with organisational objectives.
Having humility to seek help
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the friction of flying alone. It then quickly adjusts its mistake and moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
The lesson is to be humble to admit the challenges we face and to seek help as soon as we get stuck. This enables us to move faster and achieve more.
Empowering others to lead
When the lead goose in the front gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to take the leadership position.
The lesson is to empower others to also lead. Micro-managing and keeping tight control will burn you out. It will also disengage and demotivate others around you. People have gifts to offer. Give them autonomy, trust and a chance to shine.
Always recognizing great work
The geese honk to recognize each other and encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
The lesson is to make sure we praise people and give them the recognition they deserve. Lack of recognition is one of the main reasons people are unsatisfied with their activities. It’s very common for efforts to go unnoticed in a busy and fast-moving work environment. Providing recognition and encouragement keeps teams motivated to achieve their goals.
Offering support in challenging times
When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
The lesson is to stand by each other in difficult times. When things get difficult and people are facing challenges, that’s when your teammates need you the most.