The Holiday Season has embraced us and the end of the year is not far ahead. The winds of uncertainty and change have certainly buffeted us these recent years, have they not? At IRC we have been doing our end of year clean up throwing out many old paper records and, for me, some nostalgia, too. One of the founders of our firm and mentor to me was Bill Rhame, a man of many talents and accomplishments. He passed in about 1995. Every year he would write a Christmas letter to friends and business acquaintances, seeking to pass along wit, humor and wisdom. The very last letter he wrote was the story of why geese fly in formation. I offer it to you here, this Season of remembrance with hope that it will provide you some “lift.”
When you see geese flying along in ‘V’ formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly in that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in the ‘V’ formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if the bird in front flew on its own.
LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they’re travelling on the thrust of another.
Have As Much Sense As A Goose
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone, and quickly gets back in formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front.
LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go, and be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to others.
Share the Load
When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into formation and another goose flies at the point position.
LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the tasks and sharing leadership.
Encourage Each Other
The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
LESSON: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging and not something else.
Support One Another
When a goose gets sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to protect it. They stay with it until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own starting another formation, or catch up with the flock.
LESSON: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.
Very best wishes to you and your family for a bright Christmas Season,
and a very Happy New Year!