Posted by Laura Elmore
Silly as a goose or not?
The saying “silly as a goose” is one we’ve all heard, but this week I learned some things about geese that cause me to wonder how accurate that statement may be.  Here are some things we can learn from geese:
  1. As geese fly in formation, the aerodynamics orientation reduces air friction, and as a result, the whole flock achieves a 70-75% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.  I use the acronym for team of Together Everyone Achieves More which is the principle the geese illustrate.   Our club makes more of a difference if we work together than any of us can achieve individually.  
  2. The lead goose focuses on setting the pace and navigating for the group.  The position rotates periodically, and the lead drops back into the formation.  As in every good organization, responsibility is shared and rotates from time to time.  It is important to empower others to lead, providing opportunities to mentor those who will lead in the future.  No one in our organization should be indispensable; we should each be seeking others to replace us.  Our club is fortunate to have a group of past and current leaders who support one another.  Stefanie, Josh, Mark, Dawn and I try to meet monthly, which provides input from 2 past Presidents, current President, President elect and President nominee for continuity in leadership.  I benefit from Stefanie's and Josh’s input and hopefully provide similar help to Mark and Dawn as they prepare for their year as President.
  3. The honking you hear as they fly comes not from the leader but from the geese in formation.  It lets the leader know they are following, and maybe provides encouragement to the leader to continue the pace.  Praise and encouragement are things we all benefit from receiving; let’s not forget to thank those around us for the efforts they expend to benefit our Club. 
  4. When a goose is sick or wounded, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to help and protect it, remaining with the injured goose until death or the ability to fly again. Then, they join another formation or re-join their flock. That's a beautiful  picture of the help we all need during difficult times, whether short or long term.  One of our club's goals is to provide that help to our members and extended families.  
  5. The geese migration routes never vary from year to year.  The flock members may change, but the basic route remains.  Our core purpose—service above self—is constant and has been for the 32 years of this club’s existence.  How that purpose is fulfilled; for and with whom, may change, but the core purpose and values remain constant.
All told, I find encouraging reminders of how we can best form our club to reach our intended destination--making a difference.