Leadership Lessons from the Ants


The ants appear to be a small and insignificant part of nature but the reality is that although they are small they are in no way insignificant as they possess some very fine leadership qualities. Every leader or aspiring leader in any field of endeavour has something to learn from these creatures. The Bible mentions them in the book of Proverbs which happens to be the book of wisdom. This is not surprising, as they are, without any doubt, creatures of wisdom.

In Proverbs 30:25, the Bible says; "The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." And in Proverbs 6:6-8, it says; "Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."

Leadership lessons to learn

The Leadership Lessons from the Ants are as follows:

1. Leadership requirements

Physical strength is not necessarily a requirement for leadership. The ants are not strong and the Bible acknowledges this. However a lack of strength does not stop them from reaching their goals.

2. Role of planning and preparation

Planning and preparation will aid a leader in achieving his goals more than physical strength ever will. What the ants lack in physical strength, they make up for in planning and preparation.

3. Leaders are initiators

John C. Maxwell has said, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way." This is true of the ants; they have no leader because they require no leader. They know the way, they go the way and definitely they show the way to all who care to learn from them.

These creatures are leaders, they are self-starters, and they are initiators. No one needs to point them in the right direction or monitor them to ensure they go there. They are able to do this all by themselves. This is without doubt the characteristic of a leader.

4. Motivation irrespective of feelings or circumstances

Leaders do not require motivation to do what they know is important and required. They are self-motivated. These creatures do not need a leader to motivate them to get the job done; they motivate themselves.

5. Understanding times and seasons

Leaders understand times and seasons. They know what is required of them in each season and they rise to the task. These creatures understand that they cannot work in every season, however in the seasons that they can work; they work with all their might and get the job done.

6. No excuses for handicaps and weaknesses

Leaders do not make excuses for or focus on their handicap rather they look for ways to make their handicap work for them. The ants are small and definitely not strong but this handicap does not stop them from achieving their goals. They are naturally at a disadvantage because of their size but this does not hinder them.

The sluggard has been asked to learn from the ants. Why? Because the sluggard will not go out to work for fear that a lion will slay him but the ant goes out to work despite the fact that it could easily be trampled under feet.

7. Leaders are realists

Leaders do not worry about what they cannot change; they change what they can and learn to live with what they can't change. The ants are small and have no strength; this is how they were created. They cannot change it, and so in wisdom they have accepted this and learnt to live with it and still take the lead. The good news is, so can you!

About the author
Eturuvie Erebor (AKA Gabriella) is a writer, speaker, trainer and coach with a strong passion to transform the lives of women and youth not only in her native country, Nigeria and the United Kingdom, where she was born, but all across the world. She has spoken to women and youth groups in churches.

There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags; The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks; The spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces. (Proverbs 30:24-28)