Lessons from Geese

Do you have as much sense as a Goose? I first read this little piece of writing many years ago and thought it was wonderful…

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds 71% extra flying range. People who share a sense of community can help each other get where they are going more easily… because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front. If we have as much sense as geese, 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.

When the lead goose tires, it drops back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other’s unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, production is much greater. Individual empowerment results from quality honking.

When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.

Today I stumbled across a video version of it on YouTube, made by advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi. I recall seeing it years ago, but had completely forgotten about it. It has some beautiful slo-mo footage of Canada Geese as the words float in and out over the images… I’d love to know where the music comes from too…

I shared the video with a group of students today, so I thought I’d share it with you here on the blog as well. Enjoy.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Lessons from Geese by Chris Betcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.