There are so many lessons and parallels in the world of nature from which to draw inspiration. I have recently been inspired by the reflection of ants and how we can learn so much from observing them and understanding how they live.I was walking with a friend one sunny afternoon and we were talking about the qualities of a good leader and sharing our experiences about this, when we were interrupted and brought to a stop by some bull ants crossing the walking path.
They were a team of 3 that I couldn’t ignore, and no accident that they were crossing at this moment given the subject we were talking about. What they showed me as I observed them crossing was nothing short of extraordinary… I was shown in symbolism the qualities of a true leader.
I watched in amazement as these ants displayed a variety of qualities:
- They supported each other every step of the way
- Two of the ants were carrying the 3rd ant who was held in the middle, constantly sharing the load and the lead as they crossed the path
- The ant leading the way was always changing – they were sharing leadership so there was never one leader
- The equality and teamwork between each ant was very much felt
- Their movements were swift and performed with care
- Their purpose felt strong and unwavering
What a joy it was to behold and to witness. All of this in just one minute… an extraordinary and timely experience that left quite an impression on me, so I did some research on ants.
Did you know…?
- Even though an ant is smaller than your finger nail, it can lift 20 times its own body weight and carry it for long distances back to its colony.
- Ants live in colonies in large numbers consisting of millions.
- The queen ant lays approx. 30,000 eggs per day – her role is to produce for the colony.
- Ant colonies don’t have leaders – yes there is the queen ant, but she doesn’t tell the other ants what to do and yet they are an extremely organised and productive species.
- Ants use sounds and pheromones to communicate.
- Every ant knows its role and carries out its task with commitment and without hesitation.
- The role of an ant may change with age and depending upon the needs of the colony they simply do what is needed and thus do not consider any role as less.
What most impresses me about ants is their ability to work together as a team. What they can achieve is quite extraordinary. They are able to work together harmoniously for the good and unity of the colony because this is their common goal and purpose. Wow – ants are so inspiring!
So it got me to thinking – what if our work and home environments functioned from the same selfless quality of leadership and teamwork that ants do?
This experience on my walk was a gift from nature, reflecting to me the next evolutionary step of true leadership. It was exactly what I needed to see and observe that day given what had been unfolding in my life and the challenges I was experiencing in teamwork.
I knew what I had to do – to stay focused on purpose, to bring everyone with me in my team as equal leaders, and to support a way of working together where everyone was evolving.
This revelation from nature is a wonderful new way for me to look at true leadership and teamwork. I now have the opportunity to integrate this new awareness into my relationships … at home, at work, or wherever I am in the world.
I now have a whole new level of respect for the humble ant and the deepest respect for Serge Benhayon and the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom.
by Marika Cominos, Director Playful Creations
Working Together – Group Work On Earth: Part 1
A Leader and A Role Model: Learning how to Truly Lead
1,080 thoughts on “True Leadership & Teamwork – Talk to an Ant”
It was great to read this again and observing the games playing out in my work environment. We are far from being like an ant colony as our emotions get in the way. They are every where and everyone brings their issues to work and project that to one another.
I agree that everyone can lead, it only requires someone to direct them and empower them to be leaders too. That’s often the missing ingredient. However, in each situation their’s also a sense of everyone’s responsibility too, so equally everyone has their part to play.
We have much to learn about working together and it only requires one to break the barriers of what has been passed or projected onto them. Then observe how your team functions.
The list of qualities you listed is what I would love to see in my work environment as inequality exists. Because there is a ranking system, support of one another doesn’t exist, so if your pay grade is higher than you are expected to earn it. The purpose is a goal, and it must be achieved come what may.
I feel the world is an ant colony, that is addicted to something, in disarray, drive and harmony seldom exists. We have so much to learn from our animal kingdom and yet we are thought to be the intelligent species. We can send man to the moon, or discover a new star or a planet in our solar system and be excited about that, yet disease, suicide and exhaustion continues to rise.
I love the simplicity and order of how ants live, and no doubt other animals. There is a purpose and we don’t know exactly what it is but it truly can be felt. Humanity has a long way to go. In the meantime, we can make a difference by being us, despite the merry go round we are in. We can reflect our qualities to others, whether they’re inspired or not is also their choice too. We simply continue in our purpose and not to harm anyone.
It is great to have a ranking system and yet that’s all it is, a title that is irrelevant as soon as you walk out the door. Why change when there is a title attached to a badge, you can still be yourself.
Considering how ants communicate, there is much we too can learn from them. They do not use words, and yet they know where to go and what to do – they use body language predominantly with phermones etc. As a humanity we rely hugely on visual cues and lots of talking. What if we relied less on these visual and auditory components but instead allowed ourselves to feel more – to feel our way in relationships and to feel our way in life – how much would this change in our approach but also how much would it change the way we work and relate with each other?
How important is it that we all play the role of a leader when it is needed. We often can shy away from this as a responsibility and play it small but in the end this serves no one and actually ends up causing delay for all. From reading this blog I get to reflect on those moments when I don’t choose to step up in leadership when really there is a call for it – and so being more aware of this now allows me to make a change and feel when it is needed in order to activate the leadership that is within me simply waiting to be ‘let out’ when the time is right.
Henrietta spot on. If only humanity stopped relying on their physical senses as our other senses are there, just dominant and then we wonder why we react or are affected by what’s going around us.
Our children need to be brought up cherishing their senses, and trusting what they feel is supported so they don’t shut it down. Then our lives will be different…
Marika, I have really enjoyed reading this blog and the wonderful analogies offered by nature that allow us to learn, grow, live and love more. Thank you so much for sharing about the research on ants – as a humanity we have much to learn and implement from the way they live.
Ants are inspiring in many ways, ‘What most impresses me about ants is their ability to work together as a team. What they can achieve is quite extraordinary. They are able to work together harmoniously for the good and unity of the colony because this is their common goal and purpose.’
Marika what if someone from space was looking down on earth and seeing all the humans as ants. Observing that we swam around the planet going nowhere as the earth spins round the sun; so you could say we are just like Ants. But unlike the ants that work together as a collective, the observer of our planet would immediately see that we do not get on with each other we fight and squabble over the resources, they would discover a mindset of what’s mine is mine and what is yours is mine too if I want to take it. Basically they would see disharmony where there should be harmony, so is it possible that the ants and the bees are a reflection back to humanity that this is a true way to live in harmony with each other in true team work and brotherhood.
I have started to wonder if my need to squash any ant I found on a surface that I deemed ‘my space’ is a clear indication that I was not willing to see the reflection they were offering me… awkward silence and apologies to all the ants I mushed to learn this lesson :-(!
Love this response Lucy : -)
Purpose and teamwork, I love that. If we work with others to make us all leaders, then everyone knows their role. They may not actually be leading, but they know their role is equally important to the success of the project.
Well said Lucy and as mentioned the key word is ‘purpose’ – when we know the purpose then there is no question on what needs to be done for everyone is on the same page anyways.
We learn so much from nature, I love what you share here.
Marika, I loved reading about ants in this article and really enjoyed the simplicity of this; ‘The role of an ant may change with age and depending upon the needs of the colony they simply do what is needed and thus do not consider any role as less.’
“The role of an ant may change with age and depending upon the needs of the colony they simply do what is needed and thus do not consider any role as less.” It is often the little things in life that are important and ants living in harmony with each other have much to teach humanity.
So true and as humans, our role may need to adapt to the needs of the colony but our commitment to purpose remains the same regardless of our age.
Ants a great example of what can come about if we all work together and it wouldn’t hurt for us to take a leaf or two out of their book.
The ants have much we can learn about, especially in regards to brotherhood, true leadership and teamwork .
Ants are a reflection of how we could live, and possibly did many thousands of years ago. No leaders or followers, that working together in brotherhood is how we can achieve amazing feats that seem impossible these days, and that we did not need words to communicate. One day we will respect and honour what this tiniest of God’s creatures is reflecting to us.
It is so important for us to remain open and learning as Marika did in the blog ‘ to stay focused on purpose, to bring everyone with me in my team as equal leaders, and to support a way of working together where everyone was evolving.’
This blog has just reminded me of the importance of the part I play in any group work. Whilst I may not be the focaliser or leader, if I am a part of it then I need to hold the group as equally as the one who initiated it. To do anything less feels irresponsible.
I have worked with many teams and have been exposed to many different leadership skills and styles. The ones I love the most are the leaders who lead a team that inspires true teamwork, where every team member loves being a part of the team and everyone pulls their weight and working with a common purpose and love is what fuels them all the way.
A true team does not allow comparison nor criticism to interfere, they all pitch in to the best of their ability and know to call out for assistance as needed – no one tries to soldier on nor compromise themselves in any way, no one feels isolated nor alone nor feeling like they are doing all the work. True teams require connection and communication and solidarity.
‘Every ant knows its role and carries out its task with commitment and without hesitation.’ … the ultimate in commitment and no individuality at play, as each one knows they have a role to play and that no one role is greater or lesser than any other … what an amazing way to live and what a reminder for us as a humanity that we too can live this way.
There is so much for us to learn from and be inspired by in the natural world, from the tiniest creature to the largest. And all because every creature on the planet lives in harmony and connection with this natural and divine flow of life.
I love how ants cooperate to get the job done.
‘Their purpose felt strong and unwavering’ ‘Every ant knows its role and carries out its task with commitment and without hesitation.’ If we only applied these two qualities or ways of working together, this would change already so much in the state of the world today.
We are offered so much when we stay open to the many reflections around us, even a humble ant can show us how to work together harmoniously.
I would say that there are not many teams of any sort in the world where each team member is considered to be an equal leader, instead there is usually one person leading and the others following, often resentfully. But how amazing it would be if the concept of all members being equal within the team was adopted. I can feel a huge shift in the way these teams would work, not just for the team but for everyone else they are supporting. And it would be thanks to the ants for the inspiration.
Great point Ingrid. When there is any hint of resentment in teamwork, it becomes a fight and a struggle and this is often a sign of control and abuse of power.
And if it becomes ‘a fight and a struggle’ most teams will split into at least two factions, or maybe more. Once the separation kicks in then it can often be a real challenge to return to the unity of the team – if it was there in the first place – and to its true purpose. This is when someone who has not let the purpose go, who is not in it for themselves and who can observe what is playing out without getting caught up in the emotion, needs to step up and with their wisdom, bring the fight to an end.
‘I knew what I had to do – to stay focused on purpose, to bring everyone with me in my team as equal leaders, and to support a way of working together where everyone was evolving.’ This is very inspiring. No-one gets left behind.
Living with a sense of purpose helps us to weather any storm that may come our way.
I would love this level of teamwork however, if there is any sprinkle of self in wanting to be recognised this will pull down the team. Its not easy to find this level of commitment at the workplace but I feel Marika has covered how you can bring it at least — “.. to stay focused on purpose, to bring everyone with me in my team as equal leaders, and to support a way of working together where everyone was evolving.”
I love that nature does this and feel humbled every time I need a reminder. When you see how ordered and self-less nature is, it makes me so aware of how humans so desperately want the individuality.
I think the best leaders I have come across in my life have been very at ease in themselves and have not felt the need to belittle or subscribe to the dog eat dog world.
To have true leadership you have to have a sense of purpose and then a commitment to that purpose.
The beauty of the ant and its true brotherhood as a species is an amazing reflection and inspiration for us all. Nature reflects to us so much and has an immense offering if we choose to see it and be inspired also.
I agree Tricia, that nature is one of our greatest teachers but in this crazy, fast-paced world we live in most appear to miss valuable lessons like this one, as everything else is more important. But maybe, if we take the time to observe nature and to be open to learning from even the tiniest creature then we may begin to see that the life we have chosen to live is not so wonderful after all.
Simply beautiful to come back to and know that there is an order in the universe regardless of the chaos and complication we as a human race stubbornly pursue.
Love that the role of the any will change with age – this is yet another pearl that we would do well to listen to. Being young is great with all that energy, enthusiasm and fresh new ideas. Equally being an elder bring a sage quality with experience, a different perspective on space, a sense of a bigger picture and longer time frame. Blend the two together and you our colony (humanity) would be in much better shape.
Ants know that there is a divine order and flow to everything.
What is being shared here is a way to work in brotherhood which is sadly lacking in our human world where it is all about competition and profit. There are so many ways that we could be supported by taking notice of the way that nature reflects back to us all that is possible should we so chose.
I absolutely love the purpose that ants live with. They show us that purpose helps us to get ourselves out of the way so that there can be brotherhood.
A true leader moves quality through vibration and directs it to a purpose.
Now that’s what I call true teamwork, members of a team united for a sole purpose, no one looking for accolades and no one wanting to be team leader and the squabbles that may arise from this need to be in control of others. Once again, we are clearly shown that nature has all the answers we will ever need when it comes to life as a human being.
“Once again, we are clearly shown that nature has all the answers we will ever need when it comes to life as a human being.” I love the simplicity that we are constantly living in and get reflected. There is nothing complicated about human life and we have all the support that we need. So life is simply a matter of observation, adjustment and adherence.
‘This revelation from nature is a wonderful new way for me to look at true leadership and teamwork. I now have the opportunity to integrate this new awareness into my relationships … at home, at work, or wherever I am in the world.’ I love how we are shown what we need to see when we are ready for it. And very cool it is when we say yes to these lessons from nature and integrate then into our lives.
Both these points are equally inspiring”Every ant knows its role and carries out its task with commitment and without hesitation.”
“The role of an ant may change with age and depending upon the needs of the colony they simply do what is needed and thus do not consider any role as less.”
I like this line about strong and unwavering purpose. It reminds me of how we can all work together without drama and without laziness or complacency. How there can be a unity of working together for a singular purpose that is expressed differently with each person, yet all heading towards the same goal.
Very very factual truth, I love that and it surely holds the answer to our woes.
Seeing these situations such as ants crossing your path at that exact moment in conversation as communication makes life magical. Even if we don’t read the message straight away, stopping to appreciate the fact we are being communicated to is a start.
And we think we human beings are the most intelligent species on this planet. It seems we have much to learn from nature, true leadership being on of them.
Nature knows is responsibility to the ALL – Humans have been lured by the comforts – me, mine not ours!
I love how people naturally help and support each other and the magic that comes from this.
There is no greater feeling than working together for something that is bigger than just me.
Giving ourselves the space to simply openly observe life can help us to connect with a deeper understanding of what is truly going on and how our contribution matters to it.
We could do with a big dose of commitment and a brotherhood in society today, because as you’ve shared the magic that’s possible with these two simple tools is quite spectacular, in terms of what we are capable of TOGETHER.
Yes, perhaps we could build that into parenting – role model commitment and brotherhood. If we did, we would know what Love felt, sounded and looked like.
A beautiful reflection from nature and all it offers us as humanity. The Ants are inspiring in their purpose and oneness and imagine our world if we all united and lived like this – Amazing
If we all looked more closely and right the way from school age at the exact workings of nature, wildlife, its symbiosis and order then our entire way of educating, living, working, leading would be reverted back towards to the naturalness of harmony we are in awe of – of nature and equally of ourselves too.
I love this reflection Marika. Nature teaches us so many invaluable lessons if we but stop and notice what is going on around us.
Also, there is so much to appreciate when we truly stop to observe and learn, because nature is incredible and it is here to support us to evolve.
Lifting 20 times its own body weight and carrying it for long distances back to its colony – wow, they must know how the pyramids were built.
Gosh can we imagine if we behaved towards each other more like the ants
•Every ant knows its role and carries out its task with commitment and without hesitation.
•The role of an ant may change with age and depending upon the needs of the colony they simply do what is needed and thus do not consider any role as less.
This would turn our world upside down for the betterment of everyone if we behaved in this way too.
I very much like the fact of getting done what needs to be done in support of the whole.
I am currently studying a management and leadership qualification, what you express here Marika about the ant needs to be studied! We can all learn so much from the power and purpose that these little insects can bring.
There is no doubt that our greatest and truest potential and purpose will be realised when we work together, equally leading and supporting each other as a unified body, superseding by far anything that we could ever achieve as an individual alone.
We clearly have a lot to learn from ants, as many of the qualities they exhibit reflect our true nature. However we are living a long way from that at the moment.
Very true, as we have a lot to learn from each other, from the wisdom that we all have access as to who we are and our purpose of being here together. There is no greater or lesser amongst us and our working together in this capacity and understanding is what will allow our true advancement as a humanity to be realised and lived.
So very true Fiona, nature reflects and reminds us of our grandness and of how amazing we are.
It is amazing to have an understanding about how true teamwork can be, and with that, true leadership. But what I find interesting is how we bring this understanding out in to life, for example, do we use it as an excuse to judge people who do not have this same experience of understanding? Or do we live as true role-models, without perfection and with the deepest humbleness, for how life can be when we are all in brotherhood?
I love that nature reflected to you exactly what was needed in your workplace Marika, being open to the magic of God we are given beautiful messages to support us along the way.
There is nothing like observing nature to see what it is to live in obedience to the universal flow.
Swapping the lead, letting each person step up and run with their strengths, all working with the purpose of supporting everyone else in the environment is very significant.
We are born to love and work together. That is why we are here for, to love without holding it back and to share it with everyone else. Working together from there.. Just like ants do! They dont doubt the truth.
I love that we have all these great examples in nature to remind us of how we can be … and how awesome are ants, a great reflection that leadership is about all of us.
When we are open to it nature can reflect much wisdom and we can learn alot from what we observe from it.
How very wonderful it would be to live and work in a ‘colony’ where we were all “able to work together harmoniously for the good and unity of the colony”. Life and work as we know it would change dramatically and so would the world we live in; the harmony of true brotherhood would prevail at last.
If our common purpose is evolution for all then the leadership is not what’s important, more so who ever can next bring through what’s needed to lead the whole group. It takes the rigidity out of roles to allow equality in the expression of all involved.
Its interesting that despite the amazing teamwork that ants display together, they are generally seen as being a bit of a pest and definitely an inconvenience, especially when they get into our houses or crawl all over our food. Perhpas we should be less quick to get rid of them and be more open to reading the significant messages that they are reflecting back to us.
Just had a meeting with a manager of one of the biggest companies in the Netherlands, and shared the example of the leadership of ants. We both agreed that humans think they are the most advanced species, but if humans would be really honest, they should be humble and could actually learn from nature, which reflects what true leadership is about.
Love that Willem, next up it will be the bees and the lessons that their hive has to offer us.
“…what if our work and home environments functioned from the same selfless quality of leadership and teamwork that ants do?” If this were the case, our lives and the impact on society in general would potentially be evolutionary. This surley has to be worth some consideration?
A great sharing Marika on what true teamwork involves, equality and respect with an openness to share, knowing that everyone has something to contribute go along way in true teamwork. Beautiful what the magic of God was showing you through the little ants.