Chances are that sometime over the last few weeks, you’ve seen a gaggle of geese flying south for the winter. (And yes, “gaggle” is the correct term – we looked it up to make sure!)
But have you wondered why geese fly in a V formation? We recently looked that up, too – and the answer was both interesting and inspiring. Particularly now, just before the holidays. In fact, it made us realize what we’re most grateful for as we prepare for a new Thanksgiving.
You see, as each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird were to fly on its own.1
As we look at the faces gathered around the Thanksgiving table, we’ll think to ourselves that it’s because of them – family, friends, neighbors, colleagues – that we’ve been able to make it this far in life. Their support, their friendship, their time, their talents, their love – all of it has lifted us up and helped us get to where we want to be.
The V formation has other advantages, too. Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone – and quickly gets back into the V, to take advantage of the lifting power of the birds in front.1
As we share our home and food with those gathered around the Thanksgiving table, we’ll think to ourselves how much harder life would be without them. The things we’ve done, the places we’ve been, the goals we’ve accomplished…it simply would not have been possible alone. Because none of us can get to where we want to be solely on our own.
By the way, the same is true for you. In fact, without you and our other clients, we wouldn’t even have a business!
Of course, the V formation starts with a lead goose. The one who sets the pace, chooses the direction, and flies without the benefit of other geese in front of it. But when the head goose gets tired, it rotates back into the wing and allows another goose to fly point.1
As we sit at the Thanksgiving table and give thanks for all the things our business has enabled us to afford, we’ll also give thanks to our amazing team. As financial advisors, we strive to be the “lead goose” in the gaggle – setting the pace and choosing the direction. But it’s our team that keeps the business aloft. They do what we cannot, take point when we cannot, bear the burdens we cannot. We rely on them, depend on them, need them, and treasure them.
You may often hear geese honking as they fly in a V formation. That’s because geese in the rear honk to urge those in front to keep up their speed.1 But they don’t honk in anger – they honk in encouragement!
As we listen to the voices laughing and chatting around the Thanksgiving table, we’ll think how often they have encouraged us. How often they’ve told us, “You can do this,” or “We believe in you.” How often they’ve pushed us to fly just a little longer, a little faster, a little further.
And we’ll think, too: What do we say to the people that we stand behind? How can we communicate in a way that helps those in front of us to do all they can and be all they can be?
Finally, when a goose gets sick or injured and falls out of formation, two other geese will also drop out and follow it down to help and protect it. They will stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they return to the rest of the group.1
As we hold hands, break bread, and count blessings with the people around the Thanksgiving table, we’ll think how we all should stand by each other like that, in good times and bad, for better or for worse…if we but have the sense of a goose.
As you can see, there is so much to learn from geese. By following their example, we can fly higher, faster, and further…together. And that is what we’re truly thankful for, «Salutation». We’re thankful for all those in our gaggle, in our flock. Thankful for the lift they provide, the support they give, and the love they share.
We’re thankful for our family, our friends, our team…and for you.
On behalf of everyone at Hudock Capital Group, we wish you a happy Thanksgiving! May your holiday be filled with good friends, good food, and good cheer…with great memories the result.
And may we always continue to fly in a V formation!
Barbara B. Hudock CIMA®, CPM®
Chief Executive Officer
Michael J. Hudock, Jr., CPM®
President and Founding Partner
1 All my goose facts taken from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organization Development Network, based on the work of Milton Olson. https://med.fsu.edu/sites/default/files/uploads/files/FacultyDevelopment_LessonsGeese.pdf