Leading your business—keeping it aloft and profitable as you navigate the distance—is often a solitary responsibility. You're in the lead and only you know the direction, right? So you don't dare let anyone else guide the ship. Perhaps it's time to change course.
Human leaders might do well to take a lesson from the birds. A new study of migratory birds flying in a 'v' formation reveals that even when the going gets toughest, the birds swap the lead. The research, from an international team led by Oxford University scientists, followed 14 northern bald ibis migrating from Austria to Italy. Migration is risky, and previous research suggests up to 35 percent of juveniles can die of exhaustion during their first migration. Flying in formation, taking turns in the lead and constantly switching places conserves vital energy for the long haul.
"Our study shows that the 'building blocks' of reciprocal cooperative behavior can be very simple: Ibis often travel in pairs, with one bird leading and a 'wingman' benefiting by following in the leader's updraft," said the study's lead author, Dr. Bernhard Voelkl of Oxford University's Department of Zoology, in 2015. "We found that in these pairs, individuals take turns, precisely matching the amount of time they spend in the energy-sapping lead position and the energy-saving following position."
Being willing to let others take the lead may reduce unnecessary pressure. And while you're coasting on the efforts of your flock, you can use that energy to study the ever-shifting organizational change going on around you—and reap the benefits! (Manta.com)
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