Lessons from Geese

The Importance of Working Together

Inspiration and encouragement have always formed the foundation of our retirement community in Worcester, Pennsylvania, which is why we chose the goose as our symbol. Geese behaviors have taught us the importance of coming together to enrich and empower each other – and from those lessons, we’ve learned that the strength of our senior living community comes from taking care of one another.

FACT: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, there’s a 71% greater flying range for the whole flock than if each bird flew alone.

LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are sharing the momentum they generate with one another.

FACT: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

FACT: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique combinations of gifts, talents or resources.

FACT: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.

LESSON: We need to make sure our “honking” is encouraging. In groups where most interaction takes the form of supporting one another, the productiveness of the whole is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and influence the heart and core values of others) is the type of “honking” we seek.

FACT: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

LESSON: If we have as much loyalty as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.