“Discipline, in essence, is consistency of action.” – Jim Collins, in the book Great By Choice
Isn’t it funny how all the critics know exactly what they would have done. As leaders WE are the ones who have the beauty and the burden of being in the Arena.
There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. -Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter 6Let’s think about the idea of “The Wisdom of Flying Geese” as we lead our teams and also as we follow others. So many animals have great instincts. I really like basic truth #4.
The Wisdom of Flying Geese
In the Spring, when you see geese heading North for the Summer or South in the Fall, flying along in “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what scientists have discovered about why they fly that way. It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.
By flying in “V ” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Basic Truth #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 go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
Basic Truth #2- If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same direction as we are.
When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
Basic Truth #3– It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.
These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Basic Truth #4– We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.
Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group.
Final Truth– If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.
“Great moments, are born from great opportunity.” – Coach Herb Brooks, USA Men’s Hockey Team Coach that defeated the Russian Hockey team in the 1980 Winter Olympics.As leaders we must put ourselves in situations where opportunity is. We cannot be seen standing passive.Great locker room material with Victorious Leader.Also, if you get a two minute break watch the following youtube clip. This is really good stuff.Victorious LeaderI do not choose to be a common man.
It is my right to be uncommon…if I can.
I seek opportunity – not security.
I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk: to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dollar.
I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence: the thrill of fulfillment to the state calm of Utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence, not my dignity for a handout.
I will never cover before any master or bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand tall, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefits of my creations, to face the world boldly and say:
“This is what I have done.”
“The only single thing we have that is equal with all our opponents is time. So you better win today.” – Hugh Freeze
How much do you make an hour?
SON: “Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
DAD: “Yeah sure, what is it?”
SON: “Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?”
SON: “I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?”
DAD: “If you must know, I make $100 an hour.”
SON: “Oh! (With his head down).
SON: “Daddy, may I please borrow $50?”
The father was furious.
DAD: “If the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior.”
The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.
DAD: “Are you asleep, son?”
SON: “No daddy, I’m awake”.
DAD: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.”
The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: “Oh, thank you daddy!”
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.
DAD: “Why do you want more money if you already have some?”
SON: “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do.
“Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love?
If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.