Teamwork – Lessons from the Geese


‘Team’ is an age-old term and phrases like, ‘team work’, ‘team spirit’, ‘team player’, ‘team building’ etc. have been in common parlance for years. We spend money, energy and time to learn about the many concepts of team playing that man has defined till now. But we somehow forget that nature always has solutions to almost all of our problems. We just need to observe (and not just look) with curiosity and creativity. Trust me, we’d realize that the solution lay right under our nose and still we’ve been looking for it all over the universe.

Now, coming back to the context of ‘Team’; in nature the geese flocks are the best example of effective team work and they define the true meaning of the word.

Have you ever observed a geese flock flying past? They will always fly in an arrowhead, ever wondered why so? Well, they do so because this formation is scientifically proven to reduce the air resistance for the entire group, creating a conducive environment for the smooth working of the whole group. Here we learn a very important lesson that for smooth functioning of a group, the group environment should be highly conducive and the group should move together reducing individual resistances and obstacles.

Second lesson is that all the actions by the team members should be in sync and every member’s activity should complement the fellow members, just like the geese. When they fly in a flock, each and every goose’s wing movement is complementing the goose next to it while flying by reducing the flight drag stream for it.

Third lesson is of communication and attachment. The team members at all times keep faith in their leader and show it to him by motivating and encouraging him. As per experts, geese flocks make encouraging and boosting cries to keep up the spirits of their leader so that their journey of migration is completed on time and with ease. This boosts the morale and productivity of the leader and is reflected manifolds in the performance of every team member and the team as a whole.

Fourth lesson is Geese’s habit of ‘all for one and one for all’. When their current leader is tired, he/she slows down and reaches the end of the arrow head formation and the second in line takes up the position of flock leader. This way every member is a leader at some point or other and hence, gets a chance to effectively contribute to progress of the entire team. So it is essential for a team to have members contributing effectively and as individual leaders for an all-round performance of the team. It is important for a team that the leader acts as just another member of the group with an added responsibility of guiding the team.

Fifth and the last lesson is to value each and every team member as well as your peer from another team. Geese slow down if any of the members is unable to keep up. If one is left out, the other group takes him/her in and makes sure that he/she reaches to the destination and is able to meet his/her group once again. Respecting and valuing all your team members and peers is as necessary as respecting yourself.

I had always heard about this but got a chance to personally observe this while I was on an exploratory trip with my friends in the outskirts and coasts of Australia. Applying these lessons to real life situations have been really fruitful to me! Hope it proves as useful to you too. Cheers!

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About author : Mahadevan Iyer is a 3rd year Biotechnology student of Integrated M.Tech program at Apeejay Stya University

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