When you see geese heading south for the winter flying in a “V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered about why they fly that way.
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds a 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
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 in front.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents and resources.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
It helps the leader and the entire flock to “find” the energy and motivation to continue when we honk encouragement. In groups where there is encouragement, the productivity is much greater.
Finally, when a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out with another formation or catch up with their original group.
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong.