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Bees, while small, are one of the most hard-working insects there are. For example, a beehive can fly 90,000 miles, which is as long as three orbits of the earth only to collect one kilogram of honey. Bees have always been able to uniquely fit themselves in all aspects of education like literature, philosophy, art, and more.
Albert Einstein once famously said, “If the bee disappears from the earth, man would only have four more years to live.” This statement alone expresses the importance of this tiny insect in the life of the Earth. Among all characteristics of bees that one can learn from, leadership is one of the most important ones. We can also learn all about leadership by observing a wise bee leader. Here are a few lessons we can learn from bees:
1. Distributing Authority
The queen bee is the generic heart and soul of a hive. Although she is popularly known as the only leader, it is generally not the case. Most honeybee colonies work with the concept of decentralization, which means the transfer of authority from the main queen bee to more categorized groups and their local bee leader. By dividing the decisions, the different groups of bees can focus on their job, leading to a more efficient work.
As a leader, one can learn to divide work to conquer more. If a leader gives authority to people in smaller groups, the team members can get encouraged to do better.
2. Leadership Changes
Although the queen bee heads a hive, the workers of the beehive still keep close attention to the work done by her. They understand and study the decline in her performance, along with the evaluation of her ability. It makes the workers play a vital role in determining the queen’s ability to lead. In the presence of unsatisfactory work from the queen, they stay ready with the successors in advance.
Leadership depends on those who follow. A leader should not just expect from their teammates. He/She needs to learn accountability and serve the members with extra attention so that the entire group turns into a dedicated workforce.
3. All Ages of Bees are Important
In a beehive, for example, there are bees of different ages that play unique roles to contribute to the community’s overall health. This equilibrium ensures a balance that prevents it from collapsing. Older bees play a crucial role in teaching younger bees through their experiences.
Hence, leadership is not just about staying updated and modern but also about learning from various age groups and backgrounds. Each age group has unique forms of contribution to the healthy functioning of the hive. The concept of having an inclusive bee leader can help one understand how important it is to take insights from those who might no longer seem relevant. Hence, a leader should not discriminate between people of different age groups, but instead should welcome the different perspectives that each member gives.
4. Sustainable Thoughts
While one might think that bees only focus on the most productive flower, they are wrong about this for the time being. There are unique bees that do not rush into the most productive flower patches for short-term benefits. Instead, they follow a rule which focuses on the idea of sustainability with the nectar of that region. They prepare themselves for any unforeseen decline in the nectar of the currently productive location by relocating resources to other sites as well.
It shows how being a leader is not just about the short term benefits. If one can aim for long term benefits, they can achieve immediate goals. A successful leader understands the idea of over-exploitation and replaces it with the concept of sustainability.
Bees are known to keep the temperature of their hives in a balance. They maintain heat by contracting two sets of flight muscles and keep the hive cool by flapping their wings. Because different bees have a unique sensitivity to different climatic conditions, they work in groups to ensure that the hive is in decent conditions.
It is a great lesson to learn from bees for leaders in the professional platform and for college writing groups. When a leader brings people who can provide unique perspectives and worldviews, they can make a conscious effort to keep the system in balance.
6. Finding the Constants
One might wonder how bees figure out their direction back to their hive after a long hard day. The directional characteristics of bees can be dedicated to their calibrated constants. The calibrated constants do an excellent job of preventing a form of the disorder.
A leadership lesson that bees teach us with this, is that constants make originality possible. When an organization or project brings in new initiations, thinking or experimentation, constants help you keep track of things as a leader.
7. Protecting your Group
Bees do a great job of following the concept of the 4Rs that includes: Research, Report, Respond, and Recover. There can be many fights and battles inside a beehive that can make one forget its associated risks. Many robber bees can take the opportunity of this internal conflict. Bees exhibit a unique mentality by leaving the task to help another bee that can be in trouble.
As a leader, one can react based on the research, and devote their time during recovery. A leader needs to learn to help those in need and encourage other teammates to do the same when in demand. It is a great lesson to make the team efficient and robust to ensure support from one another.
We can learn something new from almost all aspects of our lives. Bees happen to be the best ones from whom we can understand wisdom, authority, hard work, leadership, and collaboration. No one is born with the quality of leadership. We learn and mold our leadership styles from different experiences and lessons. Sometimes, doing something as simple as watching a bee at work can give you the best approach to make your team feel comfortable and worthy.