A team succeeds where an individual fails

Once upon a time, a disciple asked a monk, “How can I
obtain something, which in spite of all my efforts, I cannot

The monk noticed that in the sky, birds were flying in a

He asked the disciple to look at the birds and
said, “Birds fly in formation. For long distances, birds fly in a
V-formation. In a V-formation, the trailing wing of every bird creates a
partial vacuum, wherein another bird flies without extra
effort. The leading bird fights the headwind and when he is
fatigued, he goes back and another bird comes from the back
to take up the leading position. Each bird becomes a leading
bird in rotation, thereby preventing burnout of any single
bird. As they fly, the birds make sounds to encourage each
other. If any bird is injured or becomes sick, then one or
more birds fall out of the formation along with the injured
bird, and protect it from predators, until the injured bird
recovers or dies. Thereafter, the birds join another group of
birds and proceed their journey. This way birds can safely cover
a large distance, which any bird individually cannot.”

The disciple understood that to obtain something, which
cannot be obtained individually, firstly, a team had to be
formed; secondly, situational leadership may be practiced
with leadership roles temporarily shifting, as per the
demands of the situation; and thirdly, team members should
encourage and help each other.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories” by Rajen Jani

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