One of the most common examples of team effectiveness can be seen on a cool day in the fall. As you look up into the sky, you can see a flock of geese embarking on their southern sojourn. The “V” formation that they fly in as a group actually benefits each individual bird. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an updraft for the bird immediately behind it. By flying in a “V” formation, the entire flock can fly 71% farther than each member of the flock could alone.
When the lead goose gets tired, he or she rotates back into the “V” and another goose flies the point. The geese honking from behind are believed to be cheering the point goose to keep going and to maintain speed. If a goose falls out of formation from weakness or wounds, two other geese will follow to help and provide protection. They will stay until the goose is either able to fly again or dies. Then they set out on their own to catch up with the original flock or find another formation.
People have the same advantage when they are a part of a winning team. On any given day the strong take over the leadership while others, perhaps those who have already made major contributions or who are not feeling well, take a rest. The momentum of the team keeps a project going so the probability of success is enhanced. Their collective power is much greater than that of any one individual.
~ Excerpt from Executive Leadership, RAC – SA