As Leaders, we can learn alot from Geese
It is a well known fact that Geese have an incredibly strong sense of family and group loyalty.
Probably one of the most phenomenal facts about our feathered friends is that their desire to return to their birth place every year is so strong that they will often fly up to 3,000 miles to ‘come home’. As you consider these facts, think about how you might apply these 5 Lessons to incorporating a bit of goose behavior into your own leadership style.
Fact: As each goose flap its wings it creates an“uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson 1: The power of a Mastermind Alliance lifts your abilities higher than any single individual.
It has been said that people who share a common sense of direction and community as found in a Mastermind Alliance can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
Fact: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson 2: The Importance of Team Work
If we have as much sense as a goose we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. By unifying our goals, we are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
Fact: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and allows another goose to move into to the ‘point position’.
Lesson 3: The Power of Shared Leadership
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing the ‘point position’ of leadership, as with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skill, capabilities and unique arrangement of gifts, talents and resources.
Fact: While flying in formation, the geese honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson 4: The Importance of Encouragement
We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the productivity is much greater. The power of encouragement and a sense of empowerment (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: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. The geese stay with the wounded until it dies or can fly again. They then launch out with a new formation or catch up with the original flock.
Lesson 5: The power of Empathy
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong. Source: “Lessons from Geese” was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network. It is based on the work of Milton Olson. We would love to invite you to fly with us in a very powerful Mastermind Group called Chart Your Course Leadership for Women MasterClass™.