5 Life Lessons from the Geese on Teamwork

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
–Andrew Carnegie

“That exam screwed me over.” Is that a nod? A grin, from the familiarity. The feeling is mutual. At some point through our school life we have all used that phrase. Even the geniuses (you in doubt? There are Maths questions that are yet to be solved. Think they are smiling about it?).

Let me digress. I am in Molo (the place is an icebox. What are up to over there? That is a story for another day). We have a host mum (the world will never get enough of them. Is that a smile? I know, their love just melts away hearts). Now imagine those words (in a more modest language) came from her. Wait! Don’t jump the gun yet. She is a teacher. I see you. I also had this evil grin. I was going on in my mind like “Yah! Serves you right” (Father forgive me for my evil thoughts. Amen! Don’t laugh say the prayer also to save your soul). She even brought out the papers just to prove it.

Even in the desert you still find an oasis. Life among the lifeless. In the paper she did there was a question that had Milton Olson’s lessons on the geese. They made so much sense because currently we are working as a team. The following are the five lessons that you can use to improve your teamwork :

1. Lesson one.
By flying in a V formation, a flock of geese add 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone. Thus, people who share a common vision and direction can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

2. Lesson two.
When a goose falls from formation; it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. Hence, if we have such a sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we are going. We should be willing to accept and give help to others.

3. Lesson three.
When a goose tires, it rotates back into formation and another goose takes the front position. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing responsibilities. Just as with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts and resources.

4. Lesson four.
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those upfront to keep up the speed. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. The power of encouragement allows one to stand by one’s core values and encourage the core values of others.

5. Lesson five.
When a goose falls sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation to help and protect until it dies or flies again. They launch another V formation to catch up with the flock. If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Teiya Oloilole


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