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Learning Teamwork From A Goose.


Learning Teamwork from a Goose

Last weekend as I was swinging in my hammock under a cottonwood tree in my back yard I saw a flock of geese fly over. It reminded of me of a wonderful reading entitled “Do We Have as Much Sense as a Goose?” that offers some wonderful metaphors on cohesion in teams.

Lesson 1: the flock of geese is all flying in the same direction. When we form a team, it is vital that everyone has a shared sense of purpose and direction. Yes, it takes time to get everyone on board and to get all the feedback on where the project is heading and reaching agreement on the end objective. However, it’s time well spent. That shared focus and the intention behind it will keep the project on task, on time and hopefully on budget.

Lesson 2: geese fly in a "V" formation. Scientists have learned that each bird flapping its wings creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 70% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. By building consensus and using the talents and gifts of each member of the team, you get creativity and innovation that is greater than the sum of the individual thinking. It’s what we call the MasterMind concept. Members of our Masterful Intention Peer groups are experiencing amazing results ranging from complete business turnarounds to personal breakthroughs. They attribute it to the accountability and shared intention that is created by the group process.

Lesson 3: whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it. The same can apply to the cohesion formed by a team. Usually when I am called in to deal with conflict, the problem is a disagreement about “how” things are being done. If you’re experiencing a breakdown in the project, it’s important to re-engage each member, resolve the issues and try to find a way to meet the underlying needs that are causing the upset, lack of enthusiasm or participation. If necessary, revisit the purpose and shared agreement on the outcomes. Ask if there is any evidence that the project cannot proceed as planned or any way to make it more effective and efficient.    

Lesson 4: As I watched, the lead goose flew back and another took its place. They know the value of having each other’s back, of sharing the load, of knowing that they can count on each other. We often see this in a project where a specific skill, talent, or expertise is required to overcome a challenge or get things back on track. If there is a sense of shared purpose a respect for each member, and recognition of the individual contributions, the project will thrive. 

Let’s learn from the geese: 

1.  Define a common, shared purpose every time, every project.

2.  Build cohesion and agreement on the shared values you will operate by and processes you will use to reach the goal and to resolve any challenges along the way.

3.  Utilize the gifts, talents, and contributions of each member in an environment of collaboration and innovation.


Think about the biggest challenge you or your business is facing right now. Perhaps this challenge centers on revenue, or employee retention, or even expanding your market share. Now imagine how much more quickly you will accomplish your intentions with the support of a committed and talented group of peers. Masterful Intentions Program brings together a small group of individuals that would all like to see progress, growth and more profitability in their business or organization.

Our next Group launches October 18. Learn More at:



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