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Declaring Your Interdependence

Geese take turns leading. Each bird flies a bit higher than the bird in front for optimum drafting.

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance the productivity of your teamwork. Reading time: 3:02

          Geese flying in formation honk at each other to keep themselves in a more efficient flying formation. They spell each other when the front-flier tires.

The followers do all the talking (honking). They honk encouragement to their leader to keep fighting that headwind.

        Intermittently, the follower becomes the leader.

         And interdependently, the leader becomes the follower.

        The metaphor of-all-for-one and one-for-all is the crux of teamwork and the essence of leadership. The most effective leaders not only stay in touch with their followers but intermittently climb down from the lofty ivory tower to see the world as their followers see it.

       And intermittently these most effective leaders even fly in formation alongside their followers. The leaders know the importance of that perspective to keep their vision real and their zeal authentic. Without it,  making headway against the winds of change is more difficult.

      No matter how tough the going is in any team situation — and there is always friction — you can  take solace when you see the flying geese, knowing that your team too could be more productive-if. If you are willing to rely -more than try-  each other. If you are willing to share the lead — and the load. If you are willing to pull together  –not pull each other apart. If you are willing to share  the  credit and the  blame. If you are willing to work together more than simply together work.

Leadership is a Job Not a Position

     The flying geese seem like parts of a well-oiled machine RELYING on each other for their own personal well-being let alone the productivity of the team.           Flying in formation, the geese teach us a lot about leadership.  The geese flying information teach us what Max DePree, the former Fortune 500 company CEO, writes in his book Leadership Jazz that leadership is a “job not a position.” And your staff “the people who work with you are not your people; you are theirs.” And when leaders do their jobs they do it better  RELYING others, trusting in others, and investing in others.

            Relying on each other, the geese are more productive.  Researchers say geese can fly 70 percent farther in formation. The geese know they fly farther with less effort. They can feel it in their wings.  They can feel it in their connection to and focus on each other.

I Love You For What I Am With You

       Leaders, in step with that dynamic dance of interdependence, know that it takes two to tango Every bell has its clapper. Every bow its arrow. Every pen its ink. Together, interdependently, they bring out the best in each other.

  •       Interdependently, they expand synergy more than simply expend energy.
  •       Interdependently, they reach out to stimulate each other.
  •       Interdependently, they rely on each other to become more personally engaged , more professionally enhanced and more creatively enriched.
  •       Interdependently, they understand the meaning of Mary Carolyn Davis’s poem This is Friendship: that paradoxically we reach out to others to enrich ourselves.

I love you, not only for what you are

But for what I am with you.

I love you not for what you have made of yourself.

But for what you are making of me.

       Okay, maybe love is too strong a word for the relationship between and his or her followers. Or is it?  I look forward to your thoughts. Use the Comments section below.

Today’s ImproveMINT
Rely on each other on your team to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Teamwork:

SCORE Don’t Get Sore

Throw ’em a Life Line

Beware of Spraying Praise Like Perfume

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When REPLYing, send TO PeterJeff@charter.net.

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