Ever seen geese flying in a ‘V’ formation during their migration? Grace apart, there are two strategies at work.
First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of it, bringing about a reduction in wind resistance.
Lesson: A good leader makes life easier for the followers.
Second, the birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.
Lesson: A good follower makes life easier for the leader.
While the two lessons are catchy, I doubt the birds have the scientific acumen to differentiate between their leadership and followership roles. Instead, the geese act on instinct. Migration is an annual ritual—to get from point A to point B, all together as a team. It’s a mission. And all living beings alike can ill afford chaos when they are on a mission.
The V formation offers visibility and order to the flock. It makes it easy to keep track of every bird. Even fighter pilots use this formation for the same reason.
Org missions are no different. They are team events to move towards a defined target. The leader and the follower roles are merely about optimization to accomplish the overall mission, smoother and faster!