Sunday, 22 July 2012

Lessons from Geese

Our feathered friends bring inspiration today. This particular goose is called Cedric. He likes worms, chasing toddlers and honking really loudly.

My post today comes from an interesting piece of work based on the work of Milton Olson. It really resonates both with the work I'm doing for my creative business and being a part of this online tribe in Bloglandia.

What we can learn from geese:

Fact 1

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

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are travelling on the thrust of each other. Taking lessons together and sharing your experiences and work offers just the support that many need to take them from 'thinking about' to actually 'doing'. Thank you to everyone that takes the time to comment on my work and a huge hug of gratitude to all the online art teachers who have helped me grow in ways I never thought possible.

Fact 2

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.

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 3

When the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.

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 arrangement of gifts, talents, or resources. In other words, the teacher doesn't always know everything! We learn from each other.

My heart is constantly wrapped in a warm blanket of love and support from fellow bloggers and those I have met through online courses.

Fact 4

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


We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and to encourage the heart and core values of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5

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 to catch up with the flock.


We all have tough days. We will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we’re strong.

That’s exactly what my creative business is about. I'm building a flock to give you all extra uplift. You don’t need to fly alone.

Across our tribe I've found some very specialised geese – that will not only keep you moving forward but ensure that you’re in the best shape to take advantage of current conditions. Once again I want to thank everyone for their support and helping me believe in myself.

Note 1: Lessons from Geese was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network. It was based on the work of Milton Olson. It circulated to Outward Bound staff throughout the United States.

Note 2: Cedric was drawn using oil pastels while under the influence of a couple of glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.


  1. Well all I can say is I hope that Sauvignon Blanc from from the New Zealand region.;)

  2. your art and words are great, we could all learn from the geese.

  3. Lisa, Though we are across the waters, our brains are connected with a golden thread. A little zany, wonderfully wild, witty and wise, you always manage to post something that is resonating with me at the very moment. You are almost like a guidepost to my soul. Geese have been showing up in my art work since my very first day of painting (ever) 6 months ago. This month I am just beginning a collaboration a our new spa with two other women, so this post is timely and meaningful to me in so many ways. Thanks for being the messenger. I'm passing this blog on to my cohorts! Wendy Sullivan (Wind Gypsy)

  4. love your geese Lisa!!!! well done!!!!

  5. Fantastic your story and your painting. Marvelous. Thanks for the lessons.
    Lovely greet

  6. I did a little sav blanc sketching last night with rather disastrous consequences... love the post today and the lessons are perfect... honk on baby... thinking my little goose might need a honk as she gets out of the car this morning for school... how much fun would that be ... and I get to blame you for embarrassing her!!!! xx

  7. aw what a great art work and story it!

  8. A fab post girl.
    I am now hoping I am allowed to fly with those geese. I am a little dove, do you think they will look after me too?

  9. flapping my wings and honking my support. love Cedric and the lessons he has to share.

  10. We are so lucky here in living close to the wildfowl centre and having the pleasure of thousands of geese of all kinds and swans flying in and out of the centre every day. I love to hear the geese calling as they fly overhead, and to see the swans flap their wings on such an apparently lazy slow way. Enjoyed the post. I think Cedric is telling you it's feeding time from the look in his eyes.

  11. Beautiful post with a beautyful meaning.

  12. Hi Lisa, love this post...hip hip hooray for Geese, for lovely bloggers and thank goodness for the effect it had on your goose... :)

  13. Here, here! Who knew geese had all the answers?

    Cedric is a handsome honker, too :)


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...