THE ANT LEADERSHIP PHILOSHOPY-8 Habits of Highly Successful 21st Century Businesses Leaders Displayed by Ants
In life, many people tend to overlook or just take for granted little things that count the most. Many missed seeing or learning big lessons from small things, often infamous things in life. Take Ants for instance. I have developed early liking for this creature when mum use to take me to our gardens back in the village. Even without science knowledge, I knew already ants were hard working creatures.
Many will say, ants suck. Ants are nuisance. Ants are invasive and are dangerous. Most of these statements are perfectly true and scientifically justifiable. I have no intent to argue or disqualify these statements. Ant haters, you are safe now from my attack. Please keep your opinion about Ants.
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A simple question that prompted me to write this article is
“How on earth did the Ants manage to colonized EVERY landmass on earth”.
Note: Except for Antartica
Research shows that ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25 % of the terrestrial animal biomass. Not bad a percentage for a tiny often taken for granted organism. To me, this is success.
What made them Successful is the question I asked myself. So again we ask; Are there lessons to be learnt from Ants?
These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study. Avoiding being overly technical, I will discuss each of the 8 habits using plain everyday language.
8 Habits of Highly Successful 21st Century Business Leaders Displayed by Ants
- Who sould use this information
- Habit# 1 Socialize
- Habit# 2 Specialize
- Habit# 3 Organize
- Habit# 4 Divide labor
- Habit# 5 Effective communication between individuals
- Habit# 6 Ability to solve complex problems
- Habit# 7 Security conscious
- Habit# 8 Learning
Stop and watch this video before you read on. You can order the book following link above
Who will need this information
- Science students
- Parents to teach their ever curious kid like myself
- Business people
- Business leaders
- Religions and political leaders
Note: The discussions are brief, yet practical to ensure you grasp the points easily and above all use it to better your own self and your organization
Habit # 1: Ants Socialize
Firstly, ants are social insects. From the top of my head, social means living together in communities. Of or relating to communal living. Of or relating to human society and its modes of organization: Ants live together in group and closely relate to each other socially to meet all their other needs such as food, shelter and security. The 21st century successful business are those that tend to encourage more social interactions in business, through effective use of vital global resources namely; People, Relationships and Culture. Such a business strategically positions themselves to colonize, as the ants do and monopolies market segments at the global market.
Habit # 2: Ants Specialize but use principle of collectivism
Individual ants perform specific tasks in the colony. It may be under one of these categories; Security, food gathering, nest building or reproduction. The fact that the ants are very successful in colonizing almost the whole face of earth is because every single ant in the colony works hard for the common goal. e.i colony survival and species existence. No talk about it, but the vision is clearly written in their simple minds. That every individual must work not just hard but smart for the colony to survive. No Ifs and BUTs. Just do it.
If the ants are able to speak, they would probably be one of the less talking and more doing species that exist on earth. Leaders of successful 21st century business draw picture in the minds of their workers about the vision of the company. They encourage a flexible corporate culture for the individuals to realize their full potentials and bring out the best to maximize production. Individuals specialize in what they do best and business leaders guide them to contribute individually to achieve the collective goals of the organization.
Habit # 3. Ants are highly organized
Just sit down and watch how they work. They follow a single track. Those moving out of the colony follow a single line and those coming into the colony follow a different track. That is to ensure that there is no confusion that may affect their daily activities. Even the colony is compartmentalized for food storage, mating and big compound for everyone.
Successful 21st century business have clear defined goals and they mobilize their resources and organize themselves to capture their market segments. Proper organization forms the foundation for business to profit and expand and stay in business.
Habit # 4: Ants divide labor
Almost similar to Habit # 2, ants divide labor according to their specialty. Some concentrate on gathering food. Others on maintaining security for the colony and others on building the nest. Colonies sometimes are described as super organisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony
Task delegation is a very effective management tool managers use to maximize productivity. As a manager, you can’t always double responsibilities. Learn to delegate tasks.
Habit # 5: Effective communication between individuals
High level of organization is a result of effective communication and job delegation. If you asked me how ants communicate, I’d simply tell you to take an afternoon off from your business daily schedule and watch an ant colony for 20 minutes with total concentration. Ants communicate with each other using pheromones, sounds, and touch.
Effective communication is crucial for 21st century business to survive in this highly volatile economic environment. If the CEO can’t get his idea down to his general labor via means of effective communication, the vision of the organization is lost and the business is bound to crumble before the business owner (s) realizes. The opposite is through, if the general workers, can’t get their ideas up to the top management level, then break-down in communication can cause monetary loss for the business, or even injury or death.
Habit # 6: Ability to solve complex problems
Fossil evidence indicates that ants were present in the Late Jurassic, 150 million years ago. To date, about 12, 0000 species of ants are recorded throughout the world. How did they manage to survive for million years? The answer is simple. They manage to solve easy as well as complex problems nature and man threw at them. They effectively solve reproduction, food, defense, and shelter related problems. Do you think they would have survived if they were not able to solve those problems they encountered over million years on earth? No. They would be extinct just like the dinosaurs.
Highly successful 21st century businesses are successful because they are able to effectively communicate and solve their own individual and organizational problems. Learning to solve problems raises their level of confidence and motivation to strive in a highly volatile business environment.
Habit # 8: Ants Never Stop Learning
Ants have a learning system that is different from other animals. Many animals can learn behaviors by imitation, but ants may be the only group apart from mammals where interactive teaching has been observed. A knowledgeable forager of Temnothorax albipennis will lead a naïve nest-mate to newly discovered food by the process of tandem running. The follower obtains knowledge through its leading tutor. Both leader and follower are acutely sensitive to the progress of their partner with the leader slowing down when the follower lags, and speeding up when the follower gets too close.
This is leadership skills at its best. Dr. Myles Munroe said Leaders are readers. And leaders never stop learning. 21st century business leaders know this well and follow the interactive teaching. They grow with their employers.
Habit # 7: Ants Are Security conscious
A grown man will literary cry for help if he mistakenly steps into an ant colony. If you don’t believe me, try place your whole feet into an ant colony and hold it there for 10 minutes. Ants defend vigorously when threatened. Ants attack and defend themselves by biting and, in many species, by stinging, often injecting or spraying chemicals such as formic acid. Bullet ants (Paraponera), located in Central and South America, are considered to have the most painful sting of any insect, although it is usually not fatal to humans.
With human, this concept takes a twist. But is still the same habit. Highly successful 21st century business guide their reputation and brand at all cost. Business leaders watch closely how global market trend is moving and strategically position themselves to beat their opponents. This is security. If you don’t watch your backyard, someone might still from you or even worse, injure you. In business, attacks from competitors comes in various form, direct and indirect and successful 21st century business know, watch and take strategic actions to stay ahead of their competitors.
Fossil evidence indicates that ants were present in the Late Jurassic, 150 million years ago. To date, about 12, 0000 species of ants are recorded throughout the world. How they were able to survived and colonize every part of the earth? We just answered that question by discussing 8 habits of ants the 21st century business leaders portrays.