By Marcella McGee Ph.D.

                               (Inspired by the Black Leadership Forum)

When you see geese heading back north for the summer flying along in "V" formation, you might reflect on what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in "V" formation, the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Teamwork Principle: People sharing a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they travel on the thrust of one another.

If a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.

Teamwork Principle There is strength, power and safety in numbers when traveling in the same direction as others with whom we share a common goal.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

Teamwork Principle: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs-with people or with geese flying north.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Teamwork Principle: Those who exercise leadership need to be remembered with our active support and praise.

Finally, if a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay until he is either able to fly or until he is dead. Then they launch out on their own or join with another formation to catch up with their group.

Teamwork Principle: We must stand by those among us in their times of need.

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