THE LEADERSHIP LESSON OF ANT..

The ants worked as a team: I will form a team, bringing professionals together. The ants trusted one another: I must do away with the notion that only by working alone can I ensure quality. The ants were open: I will share the idea with like-minded people. When ants discovered food, they informed others, who came along and helped. The ants were partners and of different sizes: . As much as possible, each team member will get assignment based on his capability. The ants were diligent and focused: The team must keep working, even slowly. Deadlines will give us focus. The ants regrouped: I will be open to try new ideas if present ones are not working.

They are four legged. Instead ants move in large groups. . great inspiration and great insights.11 Great Lessons That We Can Learn From Safari-Ants When I need a real inspiration. They are very small insects found in tropics particularly in East Africa and Central Africa. go around it. I look at plants I even sometimes look at people. They mostly live in an anthill. if faced by an obstacle. Keep going. Safari ants have taught me very big lessons. Army ants are divided into four classes. an army ant never moves alone. drones (male) and soldier. worker (any female ant that lacks the full reproductive capacity). the queen (female ant that has the full reproductive capacity). Soldiers have a big head and pincer-like mandibles. but do not turn back. Among them is never to turn back. Nature is amazing. When the food in their hill dwindles. Safari ant For a few days now. driver ants or siafu in Kiswahili. blackish brown in colour. either climb it. I look at flowers. Safari ants are also known as army ants. From nature I draw great stuff. I look at nature. sometimes of up to 100m ants. real. ants leave that hill to look for food. I have been thinking about safari ants. Strangely. well designed and in harmony than man-made things. I look at animals. wonderful.

If the find a wall they climb it. The soldiers keep their mandibles wide open to ensure they bite any intruder. When the ants reach their destination they build another ant hill. Actually ants never turn back even if they find an obstacle. you may be small but you are equipped to make it. if they find a rock. However. This is the time to move on. . So in the mind of ants. 1. ants never turned back. if an ants bite. It is time to make it within your limitations. they do not release the grip even after the ant’s body is severed from the head. there is no plan B of turning back. Unfortunately. Each of the class of ants play a specific role to ensure they live in harmony and achieve intended objective. You may be thinking that you are not like so and so. If they invade a house they wreck havoc to the occupants especially at night. we used to stop on the road and try to intercept the ants from moving towards a certain direction. if they find a river. The ants move in very long and sometimes crooked columns. Below are 11 lessons we can learn from ants. It is better for an ant to die rather than leave the intruder. They design their own pathways. ants do not have a well designed roads or paths to follow. Do not wait until you have amassed big qualifications or fat accounts. You may think that you are not good enough. The soldiers build walls so that the weak ones can move in the middle of the column.Safari ant column In the course of their movement. Use what you have-remember moses of the bible and the rod. You are inadequate but you can still make it Ants are very small but they are sometimes a real menace to humans. despite our concerted efforts. When I was a child. they go around it. Like ants. Ants are designers and architects of their own roads. they go along it.

Do not do what the society demands of you. For sure as sole proprietor you will enjoy profits lone. If you are embarking on business. please offer some help to the weak.2. Be an architect of your life. Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford. It is better to die trying to maneuver than to surrender to fate. Apple computers were founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. 4. Lonely ants never get far. Give a helping hand If you are the strongest in the society. you either spread it or it will start to stink. think of marrying. 3. special skill. Your strength might be financial. Bill Gates founded Microsoft with Paul Allen. we should also design our life. Look at the richest men in the world. It is time to surmount the obstacle. 5. Live according to your convictions. Small insects like ants can design their roads. Be an army ant. Always two or more are better than one. Be a team player You will not achieve much alone. but as a company you have a chance of large pool of capital and ideas. I normally say that ‘ability is like manure.’ Learn from soldier ants to offer help to the weak ants. Generally couples do well than singles. For sure you will get somewhere alone. if you feel it is not inline with your convictions. think of partnership or a company. direct it. Either climb the wall. Join hands and be a team player. If you are single. . A group of ants reach their intended destination. academic achievement or just a talent. but if you are two or more you will get very far. mostly they are trampled on and they die. Design the path of your life Get your life out of autopilot. Never turn back Perhaps you are experiencing a very discouraging moment in your life or you have hit a wall. Follow your dreams and passion. It is not the time to turn back and give up. Use your ability to benefit the less advantaged. go around it but do not turn back.

you have to play your role. They move with great determination such that they do not turn back. Leave your cocoon Leave your comfort zone. Sure enough. if ants find a carcass of an elephant.6. they can finish it. If you are a ‘worker ant’ play your role. Save 1k a month and you will have a big savings cumulatively. Attack gossiping seriously. It is better to die than to give up. do not let go. once you bite the problem. Go to the roots. Ensure vices in your life are eliminated. 8. Do not let go until the problem is solved When you attack a problem. That’s very good. attack that goal by accomplishing small steps at a time. Do what you love to do. Go after your dreams. Like ants. 9. They move on. therefore you should be looked after. Ants leave the harbour of known to the unknown. Do what inspires you. however. Face that procrastination really seriously. Ants have to find a better location by all means. Army ants. Although ants are very small they finish an elephant by many small bites. Army ants never stick in the comfort anthill when they realize things are not working anymore. Play your part Now you feel very proud that I have suggested that the endowed should help the weak. Refrain from blaming the ‘soldiers’ for not doing their work when you are forfeiting your responsibility. They hit the road. bite the intruder really painfully. I know you regard yourself as weak. Quit that habit of laying blames. . Do whatever is possible to solve it. They declare war. Similarly. Take small steps My brother always tells me that ants can eat a whole elephant. 7. do not just go skin deep. Eliminate it completely.

somehow you are not. Within no time. do what millionaires do. keep going. they make a line again and build a column and move on. get up and move on Eunice has reminded me of this important characteristic of ants. Smile to one of your `enemies’ every day. If you fall or make a mistake. Step by step Are you feeling as if your life is dragging? Do you feel as if it is taking forever to reach your goal? Do not panic provided you are making small steps to get you to the coveted destination. However. you are nearing the finishing line. shake off the dust. somehow. Touch a single heart a day. This is a very slow speed. you will get there eventually. This tells you not to remain in a mess forever. they get to the intended destination. Learn the lesson. . Do a good deed to another person each day. If you disrupt the column of ants. 11. before long you will have read the whole bible. Remember army ants normally travel at a very low speed of about 20 meters an hour. organise yourself and move on. they remain disorganised for a very short time. Keep going. We know you are supposed to be a millionaire by now. After failing.Read one verse in a bible everyday. 10. Do not be discouraged by your speed of a tortoise. probably than that of your life but surprising enough.

Taxonomy The classification of ants is as follows: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Hymenoptera Family: Formicidae Genus: Approximately 290 known genera Species: Approximately 8800 known species Morphology Ants have three major body parts: head. tearing. Nearly all ants have a unique gland found on the petiole called the metapleural gland. The thorax can be broken down into two major parts: the alitrunk which contains the legs and wings. It is also thought that the metapleural gland releases pheromones for communication. and gastor (abdomen). The stinger is only found in female ants and is a modified ovipositor (egg laying organ). thorax. Most ants have a stinger at the end of the gastor. dark nests in the ground or rotting vegetation. They have very sensitive antennae that are used for a wide array of communication. Most importantly. Ants have mandibles (jaws) which are of varied structures. This gland secretes an antiseptic substance that at times acts as a repellent to attacking organisms. Some ants can release this stinger in a similar fashion to honeybees. cutting and other special tasks. These varied structures provide for a plethora of functions ranging from grasping. this gland has been shown to contain antibacterial and antifungal chemicals which are essential for survival in the humid. and the petiole which is found directly anterior to the gastor and is found only in ants. Ants have compound eyes which have not been shown to effect their behavior. return to top . although some ants seem to be able to detect movemen t.

Working as a colony with specialized duties. Other ants in the colony are responsible for bringing food to the feeders. social insect predators to utilize the moist. unconstricted gastor.Origins The oldest fossil remains of modern ants is preserved in amber and has been dated by radioactive isotopes to be approximately 80 million years old. The metapleural gland excretes antifungal and antibacterial materials that ants spread throughout their colonies through their wanderings. and. This antennae combines both wasp and ant features.e. i. they are more efficient than non-social insects in getting necessary jobs done. therefore. Others are responsible for bringing food into the colony. petiole turning down towards the gastor. they can crawl into a much smaller space than their relatives. Their varied mandibles are an irreplaceable tool for accomplishing the jobs necessary for the multiple behaviors displayed by various individuals of colonies. This protects their brood and their food supplies in the humid underground environment Mating Most all ants mate in one of two ways. The first is known as the male-aggregation syndrome. when you have a number of individuals solely responsible for feeding larvae. which have been patiently waiting underground. Like modern ants. and. scientists are uncertain as to its' morphology. Since ants shed their wings after mating. suddenly take to the air and swarm in what is commonly called the nuptial flight. stinger that can be extruded. The fossil contains the following wasp like characteristics: short mandibles with only two teeth. the gastor has been folded back over the thorax. and remain the only. the fossil contains the metapleural gland. and double tibial spurs. It has many of the characteristics of modern ants while also presenting many characteristics of the ant's distant relative. dark dirt and rotting vegetation for nesting. do not have to succeed at a great number of tasks to get the food to the larvae. etc. At a time usually triggered by environmental events such as a large rainfall. The fossil antennae have a short first segment and a long flexible segmented structure for the rest of the antennae. The ant retains some of the weapons of the wasp. The feeders are specialized to complete their single task. thereby restricting the view of the petiole. The wasp has wings and a relatively large thorax which limits where it can nest. and a relatively small thorax without wings. therefore. One of the greatest advantages for ants is their social behavior. there is a higher likelihood that the larvae will be fed by at least one individual. the nonsocial aculeate wasp. the wasp. the stinger and other chemical weapons. the males and unfertilized queens. An early Cretaceous fossil that may be an ant has been discovered. It is a less well preserved specimen. Unfortunately. This swarming often appears as a column . which make the ant a mean and efficient predator. For example. Why ants are so successful It appears that ants were the first.

With another species. It turns out that the workers are more closely related to each other than they would be to their own offspring. This type of natural selection is called Kin Selection. the best they can do is to contribute 50 percent of their genes to their offspring . If the gene for altruism works against the success of the colony then the individuals with the gene will not be successful and the gene will be selected against. If the workers did have the opportunity to reproduce. in they are helping their sisters at their own expense without directly passing on their genes. Gene Flow It is often argued whether ants and other social insects are altruistic in their contribution to the colony rather than trying to reproduce and directly pass on their own genes to their offspring. Yes. which will become her nest. at least fifty percent related to each other since half of their genes always come from their father.of flying ants rising off the ground. living off of her own body reserves. Genes are selected in nature according to their ability to contribute to the success of the species. in that they are passing on their own genes by allowing the colony to survive and expand to new colonies. all from their mother. Eventually they will hatch and become the first of her workers that will take care of her and the colony as it increases in size and numbers. they aren't altruistic. No. The female-calling syndrome has queens aggregating at the surface of colonies and calling males to them via pheromones. Workers can end up with either half of their mother's genes which means that they will be on average 75 percent related to each other. For example. they surround her in a rolling. Workers are. There are many exceptions to this basic description of mating. they seem to be altruistic. Specifically. some females are inseminated on the ground and then fly off to find their nests. If an altruistic gene helps a colony to survive. This means that they are more successful in making more genetically similar individuals by helping the colony than by having their own offspring. Workers always get the exact same half of their gene complement from their father since he only has a half to begin with. When she appears. She lays her eggs and remains with them until they hatch. writhing ball of males until the newly inseminated female breaks out of the ball after about 20-30 seconds and flies away to find a nest site. Female workers arise from fertilized eggs and therefore have a full complement of genes of which half come from their mother and half come from their father. One possible explanation for kin selection arises from the fact that all workers are females. then that gene will be passed onto kin which will in turn have the altruistic gene that will help that colony survive. therefore. the males will be swarming close to the ground waiting for females to emerge from their colonies. (which they don't). The queen is usually inseminated in mid-air and then flies off to a locale where she breaks off her wings and begins to dig a hole either in the ground or in plant material. males arise from unfertilized eggs so they have only a half complement of genes.

including (broadly) discrimination of injured and dead individuals. synchronization of sexual activity. The males generally do nothing for the colony. food preparers. either by inhibition or by stimulation. They die almost immediately after mating. including assistance at molting Trophallaxis (the exchange of oral and anal liquid) Exchange of solid food particles Group effect: either facilitating or inhibiting a given activity Recognition. the Dufour's gland is the source of trail. 5. Some trail pheromones can last several days. Control of competing reproductives 11. Workers are generally sterile females. and assessment during sexual competition. They wander around accepting food from the workers until the time comes for mating. The queen is often the largest. In fire ants. they turn around follow their pheromone trail back along the path to the main trunk and then the colony. 10. p. 8. 7. 6. The majority of communication seems to be chemical. Sexual communication. The following is a list of the 12 major reasons for communication that researchers have identified (Holldobler and Wilson. including species recognition. 2. In leaf cutter ants. Caste determination.Communication Ants need to be able to communicate for an array of reasons. Alarm Simple attraction Recruitment. caretakers of the queen and nest construction. They continue to branch out like arteries to capillaries until single ants are foraging for leaf material. brood keepers are the smallest. they may create a main trunk trail leading away from the colony only to branch out in several directions a short distance later. feel each other out with their antennae. straddle each other to give certain messages. as to a new food source or nest site Grooming. males. The size of the ant in the colony is often different according to the task the ant needs to perform. is used to lay down trails for the same individual or for others to follow in the same track. among other things. 1. defenders. and workers. 227). brood feeders. Ants also tap each other. They have a variety of tasks to perform for the colony ranging from foragers. The job of the queen is to lay eggs. sex recognition. When they obtain their leaf fragment. Soldiers are . return to top Division of Labor Ant colonies are grossly divided into queens. the pygidial gland on the gastor. 3. of both nestmates and members of particular castes. It also seems to be used to warn colony members of danger and as a pheromone to attract fellow foragers to food sites. 9. Territorial and home range signals and nest markers 12.laying chemicals. and grasp and stroke each other as well. One gland. 4.

A small percentage of the colony acts as foragers though. the whole colony loses a small energy packet. When an ant is lost to predation or injury. Some ants forage before sunrise and after sunset when the temperatures are not too hot. When ants specialize. Others forage only after sunrise and before sunset to take advantage of the warmer temperatures. the colony may need protein or may need carbohydrates. Predators may influence whether a colony hunts with packs of ants going off at a time or if the colony uses individuals to hunt on their own. but there are ants that use leaves for different purposes. Interestingly. or fungus gardeners. return to top Symbiotic Relationships Relationships between ants and other organisms are numerous and varied. the colony can maintain the energy flow to continue reproducing indefinitely. Some ants may forage at unseemly times of the day to avoid predators. Ants can be predators. while the older ants are usually delegated the more dangerous tasks of foraging and defense. cooler temperatures. There are no known ants that actually eat leaves. If every ant in the colony had to forage. while cold weather species do better in higher humidity. which means that the colony will probably survive longer. Foraging may be controlled by the time of availability of the food source.large. foragers are constantly exposed to danger while out on the hunt. rather than to go slowly and allow other colonies to take the food. seed specialists. For example. taking care of her and the brood. then every individual would be exposed to great dangers. so the majority of the colony is safely tucked away in the nest. ants may expend a larger amount of energy to retrieve a food source quickly. Foraging The overriding goal of every foraging ant is to spend the least amount of energy to obtain and deliver the greatest food value to the colony. duties are often assigned according to the age of the ant. The younger ants are closer to the queen. As long as enough foragers are successful. Most ants will not forage during or shortly after a rainfall. they help the colony survive in a number of ways. . One major deciding factor as to foraging technique takes into account the external dangers presented to ants while foraging. and foragers are smaller. They are constantly under attack by predators and competitors. The foragers are sacrificing for the majority of the colony. At different times. ants seek a variety of materials depending on the needs of their colony. Temperature and humidity are two important environmental factors effecting foraging. Desert ants are adapted to higher temperatures and lower humidity. High humidity seems to present a higher temperature window as to when ants will forage. omnivorous. Will they hunt out in the open or will they hide under some sort of canopy? If competition is a problem. When foraging.

they don't get fed. but are tolerated and even fed. The ants are attracted to the plant where they can obtain small amounts of sugar and. Ants provide this same service of eliminating herbivores to many plants. Aphids secrete honeydew and amino acids through their anus. for example) steal brood from other colonies and return the brood to develop and serve the Slavemaker colony. Other ants confiscate plant parts to grow fungus on in fungus gardens deep with colonies. Ant/Plant: These relationships are also known to be abundant.producing structures not associated with flowers. These leaf cutter ants process the leaves and use the fungus grown upon the leaf material for food. These are nectar. Many plants have extrafloral nectaries on various parts of the plant. the ant Tuleutomyrmex schneidere spends almost its entire life riding on the backs of host ant species. The honeydew sometimes contains chemicals that are purposely directed at attracting ants. Harvester ants do a great service to plants by collecting and transporting seeds. The aphids sometimes release chemical signals that warn other aphids of a predatorial attack and also alert the ants so they can attack the invader. Other ants work together as with the Crematogaster limata parabiotica and Monacis debilis. the ants eat a small part of the seed and leave the rest of the still. The ants eat or store the honeydew. In one case. which allows easier access to the aphids and affords the aphids protection by a greater number of ants.viable seed to germinate. Ant/Other Insect: These relationships are many and diverse.   . They seem to contribute nothing to the hosts. ranging from commensual to parasitic. Camponotus has also been seen giving food to the Monacis workers. For example. Ant/Ant: Some species of ants are extreme in their dependence upon other ant species. Some carnivorous plants allow ants to hunt herbivores on them. Aphids and ants have many species relationships where both the ants and aphids benefit (mutualism). These ants have their nests close together and share the same foraging trails. In turn. The ants sometimes incorporate the aphid territory into their own territory. Slavemaker ants (Formica subintegra. Sometimes ants live in tree hollows and have no effect on the plant at all. defend the plant from other insects. the ant protects the plant from the herbivores eating their plant tissue. in turn. The slaves are absolutely dependent in that if they don't work.

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