When I was out driving the other day, I noticed a gaggle of geese flying around up in the air. They were not flying in the normal “V” formation; they seemed to be just flying around looking rather unorganized. There was clearly a lead goose, one that was in front of the others, but the rest of the group was all over the place, appearing to not have any clear direction, just managing to stay together up in the air.
While I found this to be odd, I also found this fascinating. Why were the geese so disorganized? Was the lead goose trying to get the group back on track, while being ignored by the others? Or, was the lead goose responsible for throwing the rest of the group into a tailspin?
How many times have we worked with a group and wondered why they could not just pull it together and perform as a well-oiled machine? Have we considered our leadership role in this dilemma? We may be responsible for creating chaos within our organizations by not communicating a clear direction. Yes, you may be trying to lead, but are they following you in the right direction? Do you continue to follow up with your staff to ensure that chaos has not erupted behind you?
In this example, I wonder if the lead goose knew the others were struggling to follow, or did he just continue to fly, confident that the others were back there doing what they were supposed to do? Do you continue to fly, assuming that your staff is behind you moving in the right direction? Sometimes it is necessary to steer from the back – help them find their way by working with them instead of dragging them along for the ride.
You continue to move forward – does your staff follow your direction or are they behind you just flying around in circles?