8 Mar 2021  •  Blog, Practice Management  •  3min read By  • Gary Nelson

Brent geese – what can we learn as humans?

Now you might be thinking I have finally lost my marbles (that happened years ago in case you are in any doubt), but if you have ever watched brent geese migrating, it is an extremely impressive sight.

I get to witness the sight each autumn – it’s something that has always fascinated me. So much so, in fact, that I researched it a number of years ago and was surprised by what I found.

It is actually something that Sir Alex Ferguson and those who are successful in business have used often. Sir Alex uses it when explaining teamwork and leadership to his teams before they go out onto the pitch, and he used it often with young players to help them understand the journey ahead.

He also famously used this particular story with the European Ryder Cup team prior to their win on the final day a few years back at Gleneagles. Low and behold, when the team lifted the trophy, there is a photo of brent geese flying overhead and the entire team looking to the sky.

So, what makes brent geese so special?

Brent geese fly in a V-shape formation. By doing this they share the workload, they support each other when they are tired and the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

Share the workload and support each other. Maybe these geese do know a thing or two.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates backwards in the wing and another goose flies point. To encourage each other, the geese honk from behind to help those in front to keep up their speed.

The key lessons we can learn are:

  • Support and how vital it is in achieving common goals
  • Purpose and sense of community can get us to where we’re going more quickly and easily because we travel on the thrust of one another
  • Taking turns doing demanding jobs, which is pretty sensible as it reduces the likelihood of burnout
  • They encourage each other (however, honking is optional).

Hopefully now you can see why I still stand each autumn and watch the brent geese migrating. In a world like the one we find ourselves in right now, we need to remember:

  • Support
  • Purpose
  • Rest

These are all key areas that will help us through the winter months.

I hope you look to the skies next time you see the brent geese migration!

Get all blogs delivered to your inbox

By subscribing to our blog, you agree to receiving our monthly blog update and newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time. The security of your personal data is very important to us and we will never sell your data to other companies. You can read more about how we protect your information and your rights by reading our privacy notice.