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Five Learned Lessons from Feathered Friends

September 17, 2012

geeseIn building a positive corporate culture, great insights are gained through the study of the migratory habits of geese.  Anthropologist Angeles Arrien uncovered the following facts about how geese survive the long journey South in the Fall and North in the Spring.  The facts of their migration translate into important lessons in how to enhance corporate culture.

Fact #1:

As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow.  By flying in a “V” formation, the entire flock has 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson:  People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the strength of each other.

Fact #2:

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone.  It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Lesson:  If we have as much sense as geese, we should stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.

Fact #3:

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.  It takes advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

Lesson:  It pays to take turns doing hard tasks and sharing leadership.  Like geese, people are dependent on each others’ skills, capabilities, and unique arrangement of gifts, talents and resources.

Fact #4:

The geese flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up in front to keep up their speed.

Lesson:  We need to make sure that our honking from behind is encouraging and not something else.  The power of encouragement is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact #5:

When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help or protect it.  They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again.  Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.

Lesson:  If we have as much sense as geese, we too will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

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Scott AddisThe author, Scott Addis is the President and CEO of The Addis Group and Addis Intellectual Capital, LLC (AIC). AIC is a coaching and consulting company whose purpose is to transform the process that insurance agents, brokers and carriers use when working with clients. Scott is recognized as an industry leader having been awarded the Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award as well as “25 Most Innovative Agents in America”. Scott can be reached or 610-945-1019.

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