Some years, not too long ago, I was in an HR training in Poland. This training was an eye opener for me in many ways, there were nationals from over 50 countries all over the world, and beyond the training, we had opportunities to network and fraternize. I learnt about other cultures, saw different types of people, learnt about different weather conditions, enjoyed myself and reaffirmed my belief in the fact that east or west, home is the best. I can travel far and wide, but staying away from Nigeria I have discovered will not work for me. Maybe it’s my destiny. I remember coming out of my hotel room 2pm one day to see that the sun had set. Believe me, I didn’t know whether to ask for lunch or for dinner 🙂
In this training however, I learnt about the geese (Now in case you are wondering that I traveled all the way to Poland to learn about the geese – No!). When I listened back then to the story and the video that had been developed with it, I desired so much to own a copy of it, take it home and watch it again and again. Today, I have decided to let us all benefit from the interesting true life story, of the flying geese.
“In the Spring, when you see geese heading North for the Summer or South in the Fall, flying along in “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.
By flying in “V ” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group.”
1. Forming a community and moving in tandem with people who share a common sense of purpose and direction will lessen the pain of your forward thrust, make the ride more pleasurable, hasten the pace and lighten the burden. You’ll be able to go further too, by at least 71%.
2. It’s common sense to stay in formation. The people who break away from their communities find it a lot more difficult to achieve their goals. That song that says “I can make it all aloooooone”, remember? The reason why the “o” was stressed so much could be because it isn’t easy. Once you leave formation, you experience a drag, the struggle to stay adrift is more. Whatever it is you want to achieve, a good goal is to get a community of people looking flying in the same direction. As I type this article for example I’m in a car on the way to Ibadan, I’m on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, I have a program I’m speaking in tomorrow, but I’m using the opportunity to visit one of my mentors and see him a day before. I’m staying in formation.
3. We can all be leaders in an organization. We can all take turns to be the point man. The greater the leadership potential of the team, the greater their thrust and success potential. It’s okay and perfectly natural to get tired. Who you surround yourself with will become clear when you get tired. It is in our moments of desperation that we know who our true friends are, or who our friends truly are.
4. Check yourself, is what you are saying encouraging others to continue or to stop. Are you honking encouragements or are you honking complaints. A good team deliberately looks for the best in team members. What do you say about your team members from behind?
5. Great teams appoint members to rally around their wounded and support them to get back up. They never give up until things improve or become completely hopeless.
The geese are birds, hence very small brains. Are you demonstrating greater wisdom that these geese? Or are you about to start? 🙂