Secrets of Geese

Denise Hedges, Business BreakThrough Institute, recently included an article on this topic in her newsletter; it inspired me. Thank you, Denise, for reminding me that geese have so much to offer our human species; they are amazing!

The “V” formation is efficient and taps the talents of all members of the flock. Whose talent on your team has been overlooked? Inviting that team member to fully participate will benefit the entire team (never mind encouraging the person invited!).

The “V” formation also ensures that ALL team members equally share the workload. Each goose in turn takes the lead; sharing the lead [and the updraft] allows the flock to travel 70% farther than any single bird could travel in the same time. Where are the places that shared leadership would create an environment of collaboration and support? None of us can truly do it alone! Notice places where an updraft would create efficiency!

When a member of the flock is injured or ill, others stay with her until she is healed and ready to resume flight. What a lesson for each of us. Who needs support and tending on your team? In so many places in our lives, the task is the “holy grail”; we forget that it is only due to the relationships that we accomplish the tasks. Think back to a time when you realized that together we can accomplish far more than one individual alone.

Denise ended her article with a particularly poignant story I’d like to share here …

And finally, geese mate for life, looking out for each other no matter what, for a lifetime.

There’s a story I’ve never forgotten about a hunter who shot down a goose along a windy beach. As the goose lies dying, her mate comes down and nestles beside her, covering her with his wing in a way that seemed almost human in its tenderness and loving protectiveness.

The hunter was so affected by the sight and mortified by what he’d done that he just stood there in silence, his shoulders drooped.  After a few minutes, overcome with emotion, he flung his shotgun in the water and walked away. He never hunted again.

An unbreakable bond … what’s that worth? How does knowing that you’ll always have someone by your side no matter what happens change things for you?

I’d echo Denise’s observation … we can learn a lot from geese.


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