Mar 19, 2013 / by Alisa Hafen / No Comments

Ants are some of the most diligent creatures on earth. Aspiring leaders can learn a thing or two from ants – how to work hard for what they want and how best to lead their followers in simple ways.

We as humans are obsessed with leadership. Ants don’t have any leaders. We build huge inefficient organizations. Ants are very efficient, and their organizations are thousands of times larger than those of ours. We learn management, performance, quality, and productivity. Ants don’t worry about it but perform better than humans. Maybe it’s time we learn from ants!

Nature can teach us a lot about ourselves and the world around us. The next time you walk by an ant hill, stop for a few minutes and observe their unique social behavior. Take some time to consider the ant and the things we can learn from their example.

Ants work as a team: We must form a team, bringing professionals together.

Ants trust one another: We must do away with the notion that only by working alone can we ensure quality.

Ants are partners and of different sizes: We must bring help and make the task our project, not mine. As much as possible, each team member will get assignment based on his capability.

Ants are diligent and focused: The team must keep working, even slowly. Deadlines will give us focus.

Ants regroup: We must be open to try new ideas if present ones are not working.

Ants focus more on the needs of the colony than their own individual needs. We should adopt a similar approach. Working for a benefit of self can be detrimental to the overall performance of the team or the entire organization. We should focus on the team, rather them ourselves.

So, what is the bottom line? We can improve our organizations by focusing more on teams and less on leaders. Teams should form based on the right people in the right positions. We should approach our work and communications naturally, but we shouldn’t forget our team goals and always do the right thing. We should coach and motivate each other. We should help each other with anything that may help get the job done more efficient.

If we were to build highly productive teams and program these teams to do the job a leader typically does, we wouldn’t need leaders, or at least the leader’s role will be diminished.

Another way to look at this solution is this: create a culture of people that lead themselves and create a team environment that reduces mistakes and ensures success.

If we consider and learn from the ways of the ant, we can grow wise.