• Antonio Pagano

Shifting Leadership: learning from Rugby and Geese


If I ask you what commonalities a rugby player and a goose have, you will probably think it is a cheesy joke.

If I ask ten different people, I will probably receive ten different answers, most of them probably funny. I strongly doubt anybody would answer anything close toleadership or team work.

I grew up with sports and nature both being important components in my life. Sports taught me values, sacrifice, commitment, respect for the opponent and the importance of wins and losses. Nature taught me, respect for every living being; plants, animals, insects, water: because on our Earth every living thing is interconnected.

I was in the boy scouts and my Dad was a gamekeeper, both taught me to respect all birds and animals, which I have always loved, especially dogs and cats. My fascination with migratory birds, especially the larger ones such as geese and wild ducks, began when I was a kid. Observing these flocks of birds moving fast and in perfect coordination, coupled with the knowledge they travel thousands of miles, from continent to continent, led me to believe in the perfection of Mother Nature. Despite being fascinated with these large flocks of different birds filling the sky, in practice I had never paid much attention to or studied the birds’ migration. I consider their migration almost a magic phenomenon. A few years ago I decided it was time to better understand this wonder of migration and I began paying attention to every single detail, including what seemed to be the most evident fact, the birds change of position in flight.

Everybody is leader in a specific moment, the leader in a flock of geese or in a rugby team, is the one in the best position to achieve the result. When tired, injured, or in any way prevented to be in the best possible position for the entire group, the old leader leaves this responsibility and privilege to someone else. There is a natural and organic shifting in the position, this is what I call “shifting leadership”.

A flock of geese exactly like a rugby team, share the same goals, to work and support each other, empower each other to lead, communicate effectively and offer support in challenging times. A rugby team and a flock of geese are united and fully committed to achieve their goals: no individualism are allowed, talents for the entire team and shifting leadership are the keywords.

Are you ready to be a good leader and also a good supporter?

In life, in corporate environments, in sports, and in nature, there are moments to lead and moments to support, moments to talk and moments to listen, moments to teach and moments to learn. Let’s learn from the geese and from rugby to live our lives in perfect harmony with the Universe and each other, considering we can determine our own destiny and at the same time influence others or be influenced by others in our existence.

In a nutshell:

We can learn a lot from a flock of geese and a rugby team especially in terms of:

  • shifting leadership

  • teamwork

  • communication

  • team building

  • support

  • supporters and not followers

  • problem solving and decision making

  • empowerment of the leader and trust

  • crisis management and fast thinking

  • respect for the rules (written and unwritten)

How can I support you?



In my journey to find my purpose, I realized that my vision is actually helping others find their vision. That’s why I am working as a coach and sharing with others my learnings, knowledge, and tools to achieve happiness, wealth, and freedom.

I feel blessed when I am helping someone to clarify their vision and find their purpose. I am available to anybody is interested in knowing more about personal development, self-improvement, and coaching.

Please contact me if you want to know more about this and other topics.

Antonio Pagano

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© 2020 by Antonio Pagano - Pagano Consulting LLC