Lessons from Geese: A Lesson Learned, a Foundation for Life

Posted By: Angela Fletcher Leadership,

As we start the 2021 New Year and put 2020 behind us, I want everyone to reflect on leadership and teamwork to help make the upcoming year fantastic. “Lessons from Geese” is a lesson learned. A Foundation for life.

We can learn about leadership and teamwork from looking at the way geese lead and help each other. Lessons from geese can help us achieve goals, understand the importance of leadership, teamwork, sharing, encouragement, empathy and understanding.

Lessons from geese provides a perfect example of the importance of leadership and teamwork and how it can have a powerful effect on any form of a personal or business endeavor. It is important to remember that leadership and teamwork happen inside and outside of business when it is continuously nurtured.
You all have a flock, whether it is a family flock or a work flock, those are the people that keep you grounded. I have been on this housing journey for 33 years and I have had many flocks.

Sometimes I have been led by others and sometimes I have to lead others, but what’s important is teamwork. Teamwork has carried me through the ups and down and the good times and bad times.

As each goose flaps its wings it creates uplift for the birds that follow. By flying at a V formation, the whole flock add 7 percent extra to the flying range. When we have a sense of community and focus, we create trust and it can help us to achieve our goals. When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. Then it quickly moves back to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.

The following is what we all should embrace going into this New Year as geese do.

  • Encouragement. If we had as much sense as geese, we would stay in formation with those ahead of where we want to go. We should be willing to accept their help and give others help as needed.
  • Challenge. We should challenge ourselves to help one another on a daily basis and also give help to each other.
  • Opportunity. Make sure we take the opportunities presented to us each day. To grow, to learn, to teach, and to support, not only in our work life, but in our personal/home life as well.
  • Heart. It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks. We should respect and protect each other’s unique arrangement of skills, capabilities, talents and resources.
  • Delegate. Delegation is a sign of strength, not weakness. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. If you need the help, take the help as well.
  • Collaboration. We should collaborate and work with our teams on a daily basis because it will make us stronger. Just as we have ideas, others have ideas too that we should embrace.
  • Transformation. Empower others to lead. People have unique skills, capabilities, and gifts to offer. Give others autonomy, trust, and a chance to shine and you will be surprised with the outcomes.
  • Taking the lead. Offer support in challenging times. You should step up and take the lead. It will empower others to also take the lead.
  • Listen. Always listen. Sometimes that is all that is needed for someone to just listen, so that others may be heard.
  • Be Present. Always be present. Learn your leadership lessons from anyone with something to teach. Every opportunity, every circumstance, every story has a lesson to impart.
  • Inclusion. Leadership is best shared. We can excel if we stay in formation with those that lead us where we want to go.
  • Invest. Invest in your flock, whether it is a professional flock or a personal flock. Give your flock praise and recognition they deserve. This will help keep your flock motivated to achieve their goals and help you whenever you need them.

Lastly, I ask you, who are the geese in your life? If we had as much sense as geese, we would stand by each other in difficult times, as well as when we are strong. This past year, we all have been through some difficult times and we are all much stronger. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging to the “geese” in our life. So, can I get a “Honk Honk”?

Angela Fletcher is the Regional Vice President at Denver Housing Authority and President-Elect of AAMD.