Every since I was a child I have had a hatred of ants. For some reason just seeing them walking along in a line gives me a cold shiver up my spine and then I get the feeling that they are crawling all over me.
It really is a terrible feeling and I will totally wig out if they come into my house. I must have at least 10 cans of ant spray place strategically in drawers and cupboards all around my house and my exterminator is on speed dial.
As much as I hate these little critters, I realize they were created for a purpose and one of them is to show us lessons on how to be a great team and work to the best of our ability for the common cause.
An article by Brad Isaac (link below) has 10 great traits we can learn from ants, here are four that we can apply to building a great work team.
1. Ants are determined – You never see ants give up if they are going after water, they will find it and nothing stops them.
2. Ants see defeat as only temporary – I know this one all to well. I have an exterminator who sprays for ants on a regular schedule, but it seems the ants always seem to come back just before my exterminator is scheduled to spray. Why don’t they just go away for good? Nothing seems to really defeat them; if they have to climb to the top of the house and go down the chimney to get in they do it, because it is what they have to do. If only we could think this way, all too many times we are totally defeated by defeat. Instead we need to work together like ants and allow nothing to stand in our way of being successful.
3. Ants work together – They find a dead cricket or other bug hundreds of times their size, they just team up and all pitch in to move it to the nest. No complaints and no one walks off the job they just do it. All for one…and one for all!
4. They stay focused until they succeed – When ants are working they work, nothing else. They take no breaks, no wandering off, they know what is expected from them and they are focused on it until it is done. I remember in grammar school when my teacher brought in an ant farm for us to watch over the year. It really was amazing that they always had something to do and were never idle and each day the farm grew as they stayed focused on building their home. Imagine what we could accomplish if we stayed as focused.
The link below will take you to the article in full that I recommend that you read, as it is good food for thought. We really can learn a lot from those pesky ants.