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Quark, quark, quark…

Geese are interesting creatures. One particular aspect recently was brought to my attention, as an example of team leadership. Have you ever wondered why geese fly in V-shapes?

It is very straightforward. They do so because it gives them better aerodynamics and allows them to fly longer distances while spending less energy. It requires one goose to step up and become the head goose. What is appealing, is that this role switches all the time. Even indication of altruistic behaviour can be observed (E.g. when one goose drops out V-shape due to health, 2 geese will stay with the sick to ensure it will have a V-shape formation to fly in).

It is a compelling analogy giving insight in how a group can rotate leadership. As one steps up and toils away the others will ride along – now you might say they feel peer pressure and obliged to follow or motivated and willing to follow. The underlying condition is that it gives us a few things to consider

– Can teams leverage this for their performance?

– If leadership becomes distributed this way, would everyone become managers?

– How can you ensure this is a motivational factor and not a stress factor?

– How can this be communicated if at all?

– Is this type only suitable for introverts or extroverts?

More of these questions has already been raised in the Leaders Everywhere Challenge.