The Goose Story: A Perspective on Teamwork

The next time you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in a “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned, that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds a least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. People who share come direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the draft and resistance of trying to go it alone, and quickly gets into formation to take advantage of 6the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.  A high performing team has members who are all headed in the same direction, and complement and collaborate with one another. When the leader gets tired, he rotates back in the wing, and another goose flies to take point.

Great teams share the leadership role when different skills are needed. The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Recognition of effort and accomplishment is the ultimate motivational tool.

Finally, when one goose gets sick, or is wounded by a gun shot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him until he is able to fly, or until he is dead, then hey launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with the group. On all successful teams, members support and protect one another at all times. We are stronger when we know our teammates are there for us.

* * * *

Yes! You may use this article in your blog, newsletter or website as long as you include the following bio box:

Geoff Grenert (Leadership Solutions LLC), the son of a two-sport professional athlete and Hall of Fame basketball coach, brought the lessons of teamwork and coaching into both his own athletic career and his business life. An entrepreneur, Geoff founded two package delivery companies and an investment partnership, and heco-founded a leadership and team development consulting firm and a not-for-profit community service group. Geoff’s executive coaching, leadership and team development work includes individual coaching through programs at Duke University Fuqua School of Business and the Center for Creative Leadership. The team development exercises and assessment instruments he co-designed are used throughout the U.S. and Europe.You can find Geoff’s profile on The Coaching Assocation.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply