On Sunday afternoon, I was in the garden with my two daughters enjoying the splendid Autumnal sunshine when, as in previous years, Jenny drew our attention to a sight that has always make me stop what I'm doing and gaze in amazement at the skies above. I was reminded of a blog I wrote a few yers ago.
I am referring to
the wonderful and awesome sight that is a skein of geese. Seeing the geese in their
familiar 'V' formation reminded me of a lecture delivered by Dr Richard
Holloway at the 2008 Summer international conference in Edinburgh on
School Leadership, in which he suggested that humans had much to learn
from nature as far as good examples of leadership is concerned.
The first lesson
is: work as a team. Geese migrate long distances flying in V-formation.
This formation results in reduced wind resistance, which allows the
whole flock to add around 70 percent greater flying range than if each
bird flew alone. Geese find out quickly that it pays handsomely to be
team players. Second, wise leadership: when the leader at the apex of
the V gets tired, it is relieved by another goose. Leaders rotate,
empower, delegate, and even step down when it's in the best interest of
the team. How often do we see this taking place among organisational
leaders? Wise leaders ensure that their followers are well trained and
developed in order to achieve true empowerment and smooth succession
processes. Third, humane behaviour: if a goose drops to the ground when
it gets hurt or sick, two of its colleagues go down with it to take care
of it until it either gets healthier or dies. In this fast-paced and
competitive age, how often do we see managers going out of their way to
help colleagues who are in trouble? I am in no doubt that in
organisations, morale, productivity, and loyalty increase when employees
look after each other and are treated humanely.