Lessons from Geese
This very inspiring videoclip (2:17) was made by Saatchi&Saatchi. Lessons from the Geese” has been attributed to a number of authors. The research that I have done, however, seems to indicate that the original text for this piece was penned by Dr. Robert McNeish in 1972. The primary source that brought me to this conclusion was this comprehensive article.
below you see the text from the video.
“Leadership Lessons from Geese”
To show the importance of teamwork, we can take examples from the lives of geese.
Fact: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock gains 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson 1: People who share a common direction and sense of community 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: 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: 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 skill, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, and resources.
Fact: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up in front to keep up their speed.
Lesson 4: We need to make sure that our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s core values, and to encourage the core values of others) is the quality of honking we seek.
Fact: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot, 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.