We have the privilege of living near a large reservoir, where Canadian geese are flying in and taking off continuously. Most every morning, we can hear them flying over our house- noisily honking as they go.
“Birds of a feather flock together.” Nothing could be more accurate of that statement than Canadian geese. They do everything together.
Geese are migrating birds, and they migrate every spring and fall. In autumn, they migrate from the north to the south to avoid the cold temperatures and scarcity of food and return when the temperatures warm. Did you know that Canadian geese can travel more than 1000 miles a day, usually flying at an altitude of 3000 feet? Canadian geese will follow the same flight route for the whole of their lives.
Did you know that geese can make ten different sounds to communicate with one another? The males and females both produce various kinds of sounds distinct to their gender. We best know them for their loud honking call. I have recently learned that the main reason that geese honk when in flight is to encourage the goose in front of them to keep up their speed.
Why do geese fly in a V-formation?
When a goose flaps its wings, it pushes the air directly behind downward. We call this a downwash. The downwash pushes air to the sides, which causes the responding air to move upward, creating an upwash. The V-shape formation places a bird directly in the updraft of the bird in front of it. This updraft gives an 11–14% saving on energy to the trailing bird and even causes them to fly with a lower heart rate. When a goose suddenly falls out of formation, it instantly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It then quickly moves back in line, entering back into the updraft of the bird in front. Incredible!
When flying as a group, the geese add 70% greater flying range instead of a goose flying alone.
The point goose, at the tip of the V, is doing the hard work. They are not flying in anyone’s updraft but are taking the full assault of headwind head-on force. When they get tired, they will rotate back into the flock, and another goose will immediately fly into that vacated place, step up and take the lead.
The geese’s compassionate side is noteworthy to me and is when one goose falters, becomes ill or wounded, and falls from the sky. Usually, two geese will follow it down and protect it. They will stay with it until it dies, or it heals and can fly again. At that time, they launch out as a newly created flock in their own little V-formation to catch up with the rest of the community on that flight path.
Geese are one of the most outstanding examples we have of working as a team. What can we learn?
Let’s be “honking”! We are going somewhere where few have ever arrived! We can encourage our leaders, those ahead of us, who take the contrary headwinds’ full brunt! Speaking words of support and inspiration cannot but help to energize those on the front lines. Our “honking” needs to strengthen, not drain!
Let’s welcome and implement a valuable and practical lesson from the Canadian geese into our active Compumatrix community. Let’s stand beside each other and use our talents and skills to work as a team towards our common goal, respecting the formation with those going in the same direction that we desire to go. Working as a team, geese reach their desired destination quicker, with much less effort, and with greater ease than they could ever attain flying solo. When we trust one another, encourage one another, and lift one another, we give each other needed and additional strength for the long journey.
Our leader, or leaders, need their rest from time to time. If we can take on any hard jobs that could provide help or relief to them, we might consider volunteering to do it.
The geese depend on teamwork for their life’s journey. We are no different, and integration yields greatened and satisfying rewards. I believe that these present journeying days of “flight time” will be viewed retrospectively very soon. Soon we will be at our destination as a company. When we look back on some of our most significant victories, many of them will have undeniably come from being a vital part of this “V-for Victory-formatted group”! Our successes shared are victories multiplied! Honk if you agree!
Originally published by Jeffrey Phelps at https://www.compumatrix.ph on November 16, 2020.