the blog Synergy

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Lessons of the Geese

Rosa's posting on Will you lead or will you follow? got me to draw upon something I now realize I should have brought forward here before. Ah, but no idea before it's time or something like that is in effect I guess.
Anyway, I found the Lessons of the Geese somewhere along the way (2001/2002) before blogging anyway. Also before rediscovering a piece of it in Gung Ho! by Ken Blanchard, although it was written in 1997, I did not read it until it was referenced by a manager at work as we went through a re-organizational team building activity early in 2003.
Here are the Lessons of the Geese:

In the fall when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in the "V" formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Quite similar to people who are part of a team and share a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way. Whenever a Goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.

If we have as much sense as a Goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed in the same way that we are going. When the lead Goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wings and another Goose takes over. It pays to share leadership and take turns doing hard jobs.

The Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed. Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. It is important that our honking be encouraging. Otherwise it's just - well .. honking!

Finally, when a Goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two Geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group. When one of us is down, it's up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble.

If we have the sense of a Goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough we will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. The next time you see a formation of Geese, remember their message that: "IT IS INDEED A REWARD, A CHALLENGE AND A PRIVILEGE TO BE A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF A TEAM"

Author Unknown

Google helped me find a site that actually proves out most of this scientifically as well as identifies the author as Dr. Robert McNeish.
So in the spirit of the geese, Honk! Honk! for Team Synergy.
For a musical rendition of the lessons of the geese, check this out!
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