Strategic alliances: The V formation

AS individuals we are just but like a maize morsel. Together, like maize, we add up to make silos. Recognising the importance of people to your success can never be underestimated.

Herman Melville once said: “We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibres, our actions run as causes and return to us as results”

A good example is that of migratory birds. One very interesting discovery I made recently in a daily devotional book, The Word For Today, Page 4 is that these birds fly in a “V” formation for a good reason.

They do not just fly randomly: “Birds know that to complete the long trip of migration they have to fly together. Scientists tell us that flying in formation increases the bird’s flight range by 71%.

Airwaves created each time a bird flaps its wings provide an uplift for the next one in formation, supporting it, decreasing its workload and conserving its energy.

“A solo bird could never complete the trip, but in formation the youngest, the oldest, and even the weakest get there. In other words, they do collectively what they could never do alone.”

There are good lessons that we learn from the migratory birds. Firstly to make long journeys you have to have people that can help you. You are born among people and you live with people and so to make it you have to lean on the shoulders of others.

Respect people on your way up, so that if by any chance your ladder falls, you will get people to help you land safely down and help in your second climb.

Lessons in working with others:
Team work
If you want to go far, a team is very important for you. A team is usually different from a group. In a team, people in it want to see the whole team winning, whereas a group may focus on individual victory. For example, in a football team what wins is the team not a single scorer.

In a study group we just want to help each other for individual victory which is through passing the examination. An individual cannot make a complete team.

So, when you are alone you are just a drop, but when combined you are much bigger and much stronger.  The famous Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”

Are you a preacher? You need a team of prayers! Are you in soccer? Success is possible if you team up with the other 10 players! Are you a relay athlete? When the baton comes, remember its team work! Are you a leader? You need a league called: United Team!

Rub shoulders with the great
These are the people that will help us to aim high, think great and strive for new things. If you stick around with mediocre minded folks they will only fill your mind with words of failure, discouragement and resentment.

These are the people who see disaster out of a dark cloud, instead of rain. These are the people who hate the heat from the sun and fail to acknowledge that photosynthesis occurs because of the same sun. Negative people will never take a risk when an opportunity has presented itself.

These are the people that have feared failure to an extent of never trying to invent a new thing. This is an evolving world which needs minds that are progressive, positive and proactive. This globe is too vast for small minds. Learn from the great, they will groom you how to be captivated for success!

As I walk through life I have realised that: If you want to take a short route to success, it is by asking those who have known the route’s highs and lows, its curves and straight paths.

A better mentor is someone who has experience concerning the course that you are taking. A mentor will tell you of the potholes and loopholes of a particular path, be it your career, business or marriage.

Advisers or coaches
Advisers are needed especially to those who aspire for leadership. An adviser forecasts, advises, instructs and gives you choices on any course of action. I love advisers that do not want to please me but who want me to pass. A winning team has a good coach, better hunt for one!

The law of unity
Unity is a powerful force and it is the idea of God. The Bible talks of unity in many contexts. Scripture references: Psalms 133vs 1- 3. We need each other. Yes, we possess different qualities, gifts, but we can work together in harmony.

Our diverse capabilities need to complement each other. Difference does not mean enmity, but diversity. It means we can work in our different capacities to complement each other’s visions and missions.

For more tips and advice go to, WhatsApp: 0772 581 918, e-mail: Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and motivational speaker.

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