Bird Sense by Terri Levine

Terri LevineIn a team, there is no more important or less important person or task. Some people are natural loners and people who work best on their own, but even for these people, learning to cultivate a team spirit and work together with others is a powerful way to reach success. Some people are born leaders and like to have their own way. Some are even so determined to ‘lead the crowd’ that they cannot see any other view but their own. These people also need to learn to cultivate a team spirit. Some people are born followers and are hesitant to have a unique thought or opinion. They may not want to rock the boat. They may lack confidence. They, too, need to cultivate a team spirit.  NULL Being team spirited is not just about working together in harmony.

It’s about pulling your weight, helping others, allowing yourself to be helped, doing whatever needs to be done to assist the whole, taking turns, being open minded, and always remembering that you are all working for a common goal.

Being team spirited means leaving your ego at home. It means sharing and caring about the other members of your team and allowing them to share and care for you. It means sometimes you are asked to lead the team and the next day you might be asked to fetch the lunch orders! – Both very important tasks.

In a team, there is no more important or less important person or task.

It means the stronger personalities tone it down and offer respect and help to the weaker personalities. It means the weaker personalities rise to the fore when required and follow the example of their stronger team members when called upon. (It is unfair to place heavy burdens always on one person, just because they appear to be stronger or more capable. And it is unfair to always expect the same person to fetch lunch orders!) It means combining all your strengths and talents and using it all for the benefit of the team. Team members neither lord it over others, nor cower in fear. Team members are equals. They work as one even though each of them are totally different individuals. And what does this have to do with bird sense? Glad you asked. Some of you may be familiar with the following, but for those who are not, it describes perfectly what being a member of a team and having a team spirit is all about. Five Lessons From Geese by Milton Olson As each bird flaps its wings, it creates “uplift” for the bird following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds 71 percent greater flying range than if one bird flew alone. Lesson 1: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker 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 into formation to take advantage of the “lifting power” of the bird immediately in front. Lesson 2: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go (and be willing to accept their help as well as give ours to the others). When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another flies at the point position. Lesson 3: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership— with people, as with geese, we are interdependent of each other. The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Lesson 4: We need to make sure our honking from behind is encouraging— and not something else. When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay until it is able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own, with another formation, or catch up with the flock. Lesson 5: If we have as much sense as geese we too will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strongest. Honk! Honk! To that!


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