Legend of the Geese

In the fall, you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in the “V” formation. Scientists have made an amazing discovery about why they fly that way.

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

In the same way, people who are part of a team that shares a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier because they travel on the trust of one another and lift each other up along the way.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way that we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wings, and another goose takes over. It pays to share leadership and take turns doing hard jobs.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed. Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the front line, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue. Of course, our honking should be encouraging. Otherwise, it’s just—well—honking!

Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese drop out of the formation and follow the injured one to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead. Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group. When one of us is down, it’s up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough. We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.

The next time you see a formation of geese, remember their message that…

“It is indeed a reward, a challenge, and a privilege to be a contributing member of a team.”