What could you learn about leadership and teamwork from geese?

By Carol / June 9, 2014 /
Out visitors were similar to this gaggle.

Out visitors were similar to this gaggle.

Unexpected visitors to our home last night brought the delights of nature and deeper lessons in leadership and teamwork.

As darkness fell, a gaggle of Canadian geese came walking up our drive. Four adults and six goslings who could not yet fly made up the troupe.

An adult led the way, followed by three young, another adult, and three more young. Two adults brought up the rear. They kept a straight line. No one broke rank.

We expect the geese were headed for the pond on the next property, but they were stymied by the woven wire fence that marks the border between our land and the horse pasture behind us.

The leader led his cadre up to the fence, surveyed the situation, and turned right. They followed the fence only to be stopped by the north fence. They returned and followed the fence in the other direction. Dogs in the next yard caused them to reconsider. They tried the north route again, as though the leader thought perhaps they missed something on the first try.

Soon they were back. They stood by the fence for a few moments. The adults could easily have flown over the fence, but their young could not. And they would not leave them.

Watching these geese, I could not help but think of the lessons in leadership and teamwork this little group demonstrated.


  • Decide a course and lead your team with confidence
  • Adapt the plan if you run into obstacles
  • Watch out for the team and take into account their capabilities
  • Don’t be afraid to chose another course of action if the first doesn’t work out

Team members:

  • Have confidence in your leader
  • Know your own limits
  • Don’t go wandering off

Finally, everyone stay calm.

Unable to find a path to the pond on our property, the leader turned and led the group back down our driveway the way they’d come. I had no doubt the leader would eventually find a way to the pond. If it took all night.

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  1. Elfrieda Schroeder on June 10, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Just last night on our evening walk my husband and I observed a similar gaggle of geese. I was wishing I had my camera along! When I read your points on leadership I thought of our church situation and how that might apply there.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on June 10, 2014 at 8:41 am

      I learn so much from observing nature. If one of the geese had wandered off, there would have been other lessons to take away. I can only imagine what circumstances your church may be facing. You’ve left me speculating.

      It’s the time of year for these geese to be on the move. A gaggle even made our news last night when they tried to cross the Interstate. Thank goodness the story had a happy ending.

  2. Paulette Mahurin on June 10, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Oh you know I love this one. If we can learn from anyone/anything it’s an animal. For me, they’re the best teachers. Such a great photo, they look mauve color which surprised me. Happy day to you.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on June 10, 2014 at 8:56 am

      Nature in any form does it for me, Paulette. My prairie is a great teacher, too. Their color is actually a soft gray. The mauve might come from time of day or a camera/computer glitch. Not sure. A good day to you, too. Thanks for commenting.

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