Learning from Geese
St Paul writes to the Galatians: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
A few evenings ago I was driving home from work and I witnessed a most beautiful sight—geese flying in formation. I always marvel at this sight because nature is so beautiful and I always wonder whether the geese know that they are forming a ‘V’ while flying.
Witnessing this beautiful sight reminded me of a work retreat I once attended where I heard about the Story of the Geese. The story focuses on lessons we can learn from how geese work together when they fly and how important team work is in order for them to successfully reach their destination. I particularly remember the lesson about carrying each other’s burdens, or loving and supporting each other, even when it is difficult to do so.
The principles of these five lessons can have a profound and powerful effect on any part of our personal or business endeavours. When we use these five principles in our personal and business life it will help us to foster and encourage a level of passion and energy in ourselves, as well as those who are our friends, associates or team members.
I share with you the five lessons:
Lesson 1: The importance of achieving goals
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 to the flying range.
Therefore, when we have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and can help each other to achieve our goals.
Lesson 2: The importance of team work
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. Therefore, if we had as much sense as geese we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
Lesson 3: The importance of sharing
When a goose tires of flying up front it drops back into formation and another goose flies to the point position. Therefore, 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.
Lesson 4: The importance of empathy and understanding
When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to the ground 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.
Lesson 5: The importance of encouragement
Geese flying in formation “honk” to encourage those up front to keep up with their speed. Therefore, we need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups and teams where there is encouragement, production is much greater.
Let us be reminded by these lessons from geese of how we can support, love each other and carry each other’s burdens, even when it is difficult to do so.