Be a goose
When you think about geese, there may not be a lot of positive things that come to mind. They can be mean, very territorial, and leave a mess everywhere.
Many years ago when I lived in Birmingham, AL, I would go on runs around these beautiful little lakes in a large business complex. The only problem was that geese also loved hanging out there. Between doing the endless amounts of goose poop and the geese themselves at times, running started to be a little bit of a chore.
Despite all their flaws, there are a few things that we can learn from geese
Everyone has time to shine and lead
Geese fly in the class V formation while migrating from one place to another. They are well known in North America and the idea of the V formation can be found in many different leadership courses and discussions. When asked where a leader saw themselves in the formation, some would say the front. They wanted to be the person leading the team. Others would argue that they wanted to be in the back, letting others shine on the team.
The truth is that each of the perspectives is right when they are put together. Sometimes you need to be in the font, and sometimes you need to be in the back. That’s exactly how geese lead each other. They rotate who is in front to give each other rest and time to take a break.
Geese share the load and step in and lead when it’s appropriate.
They are very loyal to each other
Geese are extremely loyal to one another. If one becomes injured or sick during one of their flights together, the hurt goose will drop out of the formation while two other geese will stay behind to protect the hurt goose until it can fly again. Mother geese are famously protective of their little ones and will chase humans and other perceived predators away if they sense that they are getting too close. In both examples, the goose is willing to give up its own security in order to protect another goose in the group.
While we may not need to yell at every human who gets near a hurting friend, we are better friends, family members, and co-workers when we do life together and look out for one another.
- Keep in good contact with your peers and other co-workers so that you know when something is off. Oftentimes people could use some help and don’t communicate it to others. Be a helping hand or a hero for someone when they are down.
- As family members, it’s important to protect each other as we grow in our life journey. It may be by physical protection or helping someone younger (or older) navigate the internet in a safe way. Help guide your family with your unique skills and abilities.
- Good friends are often times where we are the most loyal, especially for those that are younger. As life continues to change the dynamic that you have with other friends, be intentional in staying connected and in each other lives. You may be the perfect ear for someone as they share the hardships that they are going through.
They communicate…. a lot.
Sometimes you can hear the geese overhead before you can see them. They honk, a lot and loudly! Scientists believe that geese honk so much when they fly together in order to communicate with one another mid-flight. Get too close to a goose on the ground and it will likely start honking at you and maybe even open up its wings and start flapping them at you. Even in the mundane, it seems like geese are constantly communicating with each other and those around them.
People love their routines. Once we get into a great groove and routine, we can often drop off our level of communication. People should know what to do and how to do it, right? It’s important to stay engaged and keep the communication going across all parties even in the small things. This keeps informed and gives you both an opportunity to share any changes that may have larger implications later.
Despite their flaws, we can learn a thing or two about teamwork from geese. Give others a chance to step out of their comfort zone and bask in the spotlight, communicate well and often and hold true to your loyalty to others. Just be sure not to leave a mess wherever you go.
Make a better tomorrow.