The article below was posted to my personal FB page several years ago and popped up in my memories app today. Thank you Rhiannon Grahame for this lovely find!!
January 21, 2010
Moving as One
Leadership and Responsiveness
If you have ever seen a flock of geese fly overhead, you know how difficult it is to tell who is leading whom. The geese move in swift syncopation as if they are all responding instantaneously to the same cues, tapped into an unseen force that directs and guides their movement as one. It is the same way with wild horses or a herd of buffalo. Yet in all these cases, there is a leader who has established his position through demonstrations of strength, ability, and dominance. The total cohesiveness of these groups is a symbol both of excellent leadership and an excellent ability to follow. It takes both of these qualities for any group or system to work well.
In human communities, it is not always easy to establish who should be leading and who following. There are many reasons for this, including but not limited to the fact that our ways of determining leadership are less instinctual and therefore less clear. It is very rare that everyone is in complete agreement as to who should lead. In the big picture, of course, competition is a positive factor, preventing stagnation and entrenchment. However, in smaller groups, when a leader is truly called to the position and her constituency is responsive to her leadership, an enormous amount of work can be accomplished. This tends to work only if the individuals in the group share a powerful, heartfelt common goal. This goal is the unseen force that directs and guides the group so that they can move as one.
A flock of geese winging in unison across the sky can serve to remind us of what we can accomplish when we surrender to the greater good. When any group of people moves as one, there is a leader at the helm who has sacrificed his or her individual ego to the larger vision of the group and followers who have done the same. When the ego is subdued, it is easier to sense the right way to go and correctly choose the leader who can best take us there. Like a flock of geese, we move swiftly and harmoniously toward our shared vision.