Justin Nutt, BSW, LMSW

Justin Nutt, BSW, LMSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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Lessons From Geese

Geese are often viewed as loudly honking birds who make a mess of the walking trails around the lake. They can, however, teach us a great deal about teamwork, compassion, and life.

As each goose flaps it’s wings, it creates an “uplift” for the bird which is following it. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71% more flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson:People who share a common direction and sense of community can go further and get where they are going more quickly and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

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


Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.

When the lead goose gets tired it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the lead point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing hard tasks and sharing leadership roles; people, as with geese, interdependent upon each other.

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

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging—not something less than helpful.


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

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese we will stand by each other like that.


Written by, Justin Nutt, LMSW, SJS contributing author


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One Response

  1. Courtney Kidd LMSW Courtney Kidd LMSW January 25, 2013

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