What Wild Canadian Geese Can Teach Us About Teamwork


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

People who share a common direction and sense of synergy can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are travelling on the trust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it 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 of it.

If we had as much sense as a goose, we would stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We would be willing to accept their help and to give help to others.

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Great teamwork involves sharing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills and capabilities, and unique talents or resources.

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

In groups where there is encouragement, productivity and effectiveness is greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s core values and encourage the spirit of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

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

Great teams have people that stand by each other in difficult times.

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