This Fall, when you see geese
heading south for the winter flying along in "V" formation, you might
consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.
FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it
creates an "uplift" for the bird immediately following. By flying in
a "V" formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range
than if each bird flew on it's own.
LESSON: People who share a common
direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly
and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
FACT: When a goose flies out of
formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it
alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the
lifting power of the bird in front of it.
LESSON: If we have as much common 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. It is harder to do something alone than together.
FACT: When the lead goose gets tired,
it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies to the point
LESSON: It is sensible to take turns
doing the hard and demanding tasks and sharing leadership. As with
geese, people are interdependent of each others skills, capabilities, and
unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.
FACT: The geese flying in formation
honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
LESSON: We need to make sure our honking
is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the
production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by
one's heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is
the quality of honking we seek. We need to make sure our honking is
encouraging and not discouraging.
FACT: When a goose gets sick, wounded,
or shot down, two other geese will drop out of formation with that goose
and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the
fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they
launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their
LESSON: If we have the sense of a goose,
we will stand by our colleagues and each other in difficult times as well
as in good!
~ Written by Angeles Arrien
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