Friday, December 05, 2008

Lessons from Geese

I just got this email from a co-worker and liked the lessons.

Fact 1:
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.


Lesson 1:
People who share a common direction and a sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.


Fact 2:
When a goose fails out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.


Lesson 2:
If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.


Fact 3:
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies to the point position.


Lesson 3:
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other's skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.


Fact 4:
The geese in formation honk to encourage those-up front to keep up their speed.


Lesson 4:
We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.


Fact 5:
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, 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.


Lesson 5:
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.


UPDATE: I just received an email from another co-worker about these lessons that made me laugh so I thought I would share that as well.

Here's a little trivia to go along with the good lessons:
Bicyclists copy the V formation to a T when they want to work together to go faster. In the cycling world (a.k.a. the land of crazy-colored Spandex), the formation is called a peloton. And a cyclist who drafts behind others in the peloton, but never takes their pull at the front is called a wheel-sucker and/or a poser.