Joel A. Garfinkle Collaboration and support are critical for effective teamwork. Or, how they’re able to travel thousands of miles so efficiently and productively with the entire group still intact? Leadership is about helping others, not just yourself When the Canada geese travel in V-formation, the lead bird’s job is not simply to guide the other birds as to which direction to fly. As leaders, we can learn a lot from the goose. When birds fly in the classic V … Fact 1. What’s the lesson here? High-functioning teams are more productive than going at it alone. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. You may opt-out by. High-functioning teams are more productive than going at it alone. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. Lesson 1: Sharing the same direction and working as a team, get us to the destination quicker and easier. Rather, the lead bird’s primary role is to help reduce air drag so that the flock can fly for greater distances without expending more energy. Managing Partner, Accendo Leadership Advisory Group, providing executive leadership and team coaching services.…. Contact Joel at Garfinkle Executive Coaching today! 1. As you consider these fascinating facts, think about how you could apply these lessons to incorporate a bit of goose behavior into developing leadership skills to create your own style. On the contrary. Migrating geese share the leadership position. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock increases the flight efficiency by 71% compared to just one bird flying alone. Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves two important purposes: First, it conserves their energy. Here are four critical lessons: 1. Next time you see geese migrating overhead, remember that the way of nature can also be your team’s way: flying together, supporting one another and reaching the destination more productively and successfully. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. The most effective teams produce their own updraft by bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences, which, when allowed to play out, can collectively produce better outcomes. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. Regular communication regarding progress, challenges, solutions and the general status of things are key conditions for team productivity and progress. When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help or protect it. When a goose weakens for some reason and cannot keep pace or continue flying, another one always drops out of formation with them. There are several theories of why this is. When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock has 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. It’s estimated that their formation flying is 70 percent more efficient than flying alone. This was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network, based on the work of Milton Olson. Subscribe to his Fulfillment@Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, 40 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now! If you reprint this article, please advise us that you have done so and forward a copy of the article, or a link to the web page where the article can be viewed, to Joel Garfinkle. Email Now! By helping ourselves, the accomplishments are greater!. Scientists have determined that the V-shaped formation that geese use when migrating serves two important purposes: First, it conserves their energy. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. Have you ever tried to go at it alone, only to realize that you’re more successful when you tap into the power of a productive team? Target Audience for Career Advancement Coaching, Target Audience: Women Leaders & High Potentials, Management, Work Issues & Career Advancement Articles, Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level, Business Intelligence and Company Strategy, Self-Promotion: Spread the Word about You, Utilize Executive Coaching for Career Success. It boosts performance and … A flock of great northern geese will fly thousands of miles in a perfect V formation.