When you see geese flying along in ‘V’ formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an up-lift for the bird immediately following. By flying in ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. (Similarly, people who share a common direction and sense of purpose can get where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.)

When 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 in front. (If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are headed in the same direction that we are; we will also be willing to accept their help and give of ourselves to others.)

When the head goose gets tired, it goes to the back of the ‘V’ and another goose flies point. (It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether you’re a person or a goose flying south.)

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. (We need to make sure that when we honk from behind it is offer encouragement and not something else!)

Finally – and this is important – when a goose gets sick or wounded, or shot down, other geese fall out of formation and follow it down to offer support and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group. (If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.)

“TEAMWORK” Attributed to T. J. Watson (adapted)