During my high school years, I was a self-employed beekeeper. During those four years, I learned a great deal about the social construct of honey bees. One was about teamwork and engagement. The self-sacrificing teamwork bees demonstrate remains an example to me today.

A beehive depends on its food source, honey, for survival. Bees divide and conquer responsibilities to gather nectar. One role of the worker bee is that of forager. Foragers are further divided into finders and gatherers. Finders will travel as far as one mile from a hive to look for nectar sources. They return to communicate with the gatherers about the location of the nectar. Through an intricate bee dance, they tell the gatherers the distance and direction to the nectar. The gatherers then go out, collect the nectar and bring it back to the hive.

Think about this. These worker bees are highly engaged with the goal of hive prosperity. No leader tells them what to do every day. They organize themselves, determine the necessary work, and do it.

Occasionally big changes happen in their environment. Weather may impact nectar sources. Swarming changes the population and temperament of the hive. Through these and other changes, worker bees adjust, persevere and continue to succeed.

It truly is amazing.

This is a nearly perfect model of teamwork and engagement a leader might strive for. To achieve this, ask yourself these questions.

  1. Is the end goal perfectly clear? Is my message clear and uncluttered?
  2. Is my organization structured to allow for innovation and independent thinking?
  3. Have I established an environment where employees can succeed?
  4. Are there mechanisms in place for departments to effectively communicate with one another?

As a transformational leader, you want to ensure your employees are self-sufficient, and can drive their work without day-to-day intervention by you. Just like the honey bees, the success of your outcomes is driven in part by their ability to work on their own to determine what needs to be done, where and by when.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve

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